Hillary Clinton described him as a passionate visionary and experienced development expert. He has spent several years with the Gates Foundation before being thrown into the rough and tumble of Washington DC, and today is steering the US foreign aid programme through controversial and uncertain future. He is the 60th administrator of the United States Agency for International Development or USAID and has overseen the US government’s response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He also spheres heads President Obama’s landmark ‘Feed the Future’ programme.
Biden Gets China (Steve Clemons, The Atlantic)
A senior White House official has confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden will take the lead on the administration’s next phase China policy. While the Departments of State and Treasury have held important functional roles in conducting the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings, raising the bilateral status of US-China relations with ongoing meetings between two senior US Executive Branch officials with two of China’s most senior leaders, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and State Councillor Dai Bingguo, there has been a general sense that neither Timothy Geithner nor Hillary Clinton and her team were comprehensively driving US-China policy.
State Department and Pentagon creating joint office for funding emergency response (Josh Rogin, The Cable)
The Obama administration acted on that idea this year by proposing a $50 million starter fund in its fiscal 2012 budget request which it called the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), meant for responding to “urgent and emergent challenges.” The idea is that approval to spend the money would require the approval of both secretaries, but the State Department would be more or less in charge. “Secretary Gates called for pooled funding and this is the direct result of that and the first test of whether State and DOD can really work together on this kind of thing,” a senior State Department official said in an interview with The Cable. “This is really an example of how State and DOD, rather than engage in bureaucratic gamesmanship, have decided to work together to solve these problems.”
Paul’s Foreign Policy Is Truly Outside the Mainstream (Jamie Fly, National Review Online)
American administrations of both parties end up intervening in foreign conflicts and supporting our allies with overseas deployments because doing so is in our interest and because it embodies the values upon which our nation was founded. If Paul and his fellow libertarians want to be viewed not as isolationists but as prudent noninterventionists, what are the instances in which they would use American military power? Paul often says that he supports a strong national defense, but who does Ron Paul think the American people need to be defended from?
Afghan Aid From State Faces More Restrictions Than Pentagon Aid (Emily Cadei, CQ)
Congress has strictly conditioned the money it is providing the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for Afghanistan (USAID) in fiscal 2012 on the behavior of the Afghan government — including a demand for action to tamp down corruption and empower various sectors of society. But that is only a fraction of the U.S. assistance going to Afghanistan. The billions more being funneled through the Department of Defense face no such conditions.
Panetta to Offer Strategy for Cutting Military Budget (Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker, New York Times)
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is set this week to reveal his strategy that will guide the Pentagon in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from its budget, and with it the Obama administration’s vision of the military that the United States needs to meet 21st-century threats, according to senior officials.