Who’s in the News
Don’t cut lifesaving health assistance (Christopher J. Elias and Richard Stearns, The Hill)
Five years ago, Richard Sianeza was on his deathbed, dying of AIDS. A farmer in Zambia, he had spent seven months unable to work and unable to support his family. A World Vision community caregiver paid Richard a visit and encouraged him to be tested for HIV…Richard is just one of the millions of people alive today because of American leadership. Yes, U.S. foreign assistance is a primary reason Richard is alive and healthy today.
The self-inflicted wound of US foreign aid cuts (Kevin Gallagher and Katherine Koleski, The Guardian)
It’s not every day that foreign aid is front page news in the United States, but it is because slashing foreign aid has become one of the few areas of bipartisanship in the US Congress. Such an act of retreat is short-sighted. Given that China and other emerging markets are ramping up their overseas development assistance, the US should be revamping and increasing aid, not cutting.
How to save the innovative Millennium Challenge Corp. aid agency (Raj Kumar and John Hewko, Washington Post)
Those in Washington who work in global development speak in hushed tones nowadays, worried that after 10 years of bipartisan support for U.S. foreign assistance, foreign aid is about to be front and center on the debt commission’s chopping block. Nowhere are the concerns greater than at the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), an innovative creation of the George W. Bush administration that is in an unusual position for a government agency: It has not spent its money fast enough.
A New Pakistan Policy: Containment (Bruce O. Riedel, New York Times)
America needs a new policy for dealing with Pakistan. First, we must recognize that the two countries’ strategic interests are in conflict, not harmony, and will remain that way as long as Pakistan’s army controls Pakistan’s strategic policies. Offering Pakistan more trade while reducing aid makes sense. When we extend traditional aid, media outlets with ties to the ISI cite the aid to weave conspiracy theories that alienate Pakistanis from us. Mr. Obama should instead announce that he is cutting tariffs on Pakistani textiles to or below the level that India and China enjoy; that would strengthen entrepreneurs and women, two groups who are outside the army’s control and who are interested in peace.
Armed U.S. to Help African Renegade Group (Thom Shanker and Rick Gladstone, The New York Times)
President Obama said Friday that he had ordered the deployment of 100 armed military advisers to central Africa to help regional forces combat the Lord’s Resistance Army, a notorious renegade group that has terrorized villagers in at least four countries with marauding bands that kill, rape, maim and kidnap with impunity. The deployment represents a muscular escalation of American military efforts to help fight the Lord’s Resistance Army, which originated as a Ugandan rebel force in the 1980s and morphed into a fearsome cultlike group of fighters.
Romney, Stressing Israel Ties, Hammers Obama on Foreign Policy (The Jewish Press)
In the first major foreign policy speech of his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said he would increase defense assistance to Israel, raise the U.S. military profile near Iran and recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and frontrunner for the Republican nomination, delivered the speech last Friday at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina – a key early primary state he initially was given little chance of winning. Now, with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s campaign in the doldrums, Romney is making forays into the state.
Paul to propose $1T in specific cuts (Dan Hirschhorn, Politico)
Ron Paul’s opinions about cutting the budget are well-known, but on Monday, he’ll get specific: the Texas congressman will lay out a budget blueprint for deep and far-reaching cuts to federal spending, including the elimination of five cabinet-level departments and the drawdown of American troops fighting overseas. The EPA would see a 30 percent cut, the Food and Drug Administration would see one of 40 percent and foreign aid would be zeroed out immediately. He’d also take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars.
Influence Game: Romney adviser’s interests emerge (Stephen Braun, AP)
Some foreign policy experts who joined Mitt Romney’s campaign have lobbying and business backgrounds that could shape the advice they give to the Republican presidential candidate. Their interests include lobbying against cuts in U.S. aid to Pakistan and ties to defense companies with government contracts for cybersecurity, Navy shipbuilding and ballistic missile interceptors — all issues that Romney has cited in recent speeches. One adviser works for a German bank that has promoted cap-and-trade programs to reduce pollution, which Romney said he now opposes.