In the News

October 19, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

This morning, USGLC  Chairman Dan Glickman and Senior Director Mark Green published an op-ed in Roll Call, laying out in stark terms the consequences of cuts to the International Affairs Budget. They write, “We also need to be honest about what is at stake. If we slash our diplomatic and development programs, we are not going to balance our budget. There would, however, be some very real costs to the American people.” At last night’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, there were some concerning statements made in response to a question about the merits of foreign aid.  Several candidates, including Perry, Romney, and Paul, addressed the issue raising concerns about foreign assistance with Paul calling for zeroing it out all together.   As we mentioned yesterday, CNN along with AEI and the Heritage Foundation will host a debate focused solely on foreign policy November 15th.

Must Reads

USGLC in the News

Glickman and Green: Cuts in Foreign Assistance Are Penny Wise and Pound Foolish (Roll Call, Dan Glickman and Mark Green)

In times like these, even the most important programs are, and should be, under the microscope. But we also need to be honest about what is at stake. If we slash our diplomatic and development programs, we are not going to balance our budget. After all, these programs make up about only about 1 percent of overall spending. There would, however, be some very real costs to the American people. We know our former colleagues across Capitol Hill will have to make tough decisions about where to cut in order to get our budget back to balance.

America’s Investment in Global Leadership Advances U.S. National Security and Economic Prosperity (Thomas R. Nides, Huffington Post)

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with some bloggers in an online event co-hosted by our friends at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). We discussed the challenges we at the State Department face in the current budget environment, as well as the work we’re doing to keep our nation secure and our economy strong.

Who’s in the News

Global HIV/AIDS Treatment Funding at Risk Under Mitt Romney (Anand Reddi, Huffington Post)

As the tenor of the 2012 presidential election focuses on the economy and international affairs, many global health advocates are interested in Mitt Romney’s commitment to funding U.S. global HIV/AIDS treatment initiatives. At a recent town hall meeting in New Hampshire, several participants asked Romney about his support for global HIV/AIDS given his plans to drastically reduce federal discretionary spending.

Hillary Rodham Clinton tells Libyans: ‘We’re on your side’ (Joby Warrick, Washington Post)

Clinton, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Libya since the ouster of autocratic leader Moammar Gaddafi in August, offered Libyan leaders practical and financial help on a wide range of fronts, from rebuilding the economy to caring for the country’s war-wounded to rounding up thousands of anti-aircraft missiles that have gone missing amid the chaos of recent fighting. But she also warned of lingering dangers, including the risk of prolonged resistance by Gaddafi loyalists as well as the possibility that democracy could be usurped before it has time to take root.

Paul urges complete end to foreign aid, including Israel; Bachmann says no cuts to US ally (Associated Press)

The Texas congressman on Tuesday said U.S. aid to Israel “teaches them to be dependent” and reduces their sovereignty. He also says the Middle East nation should be free to conduct its foreign policy without worrying how the United States will react and perhaps punish it with fewer dollars. Rival Michele Bachmann says Israel “is our greatest ally” and spending to the country shouldn’t be cut. The Minnesota congresswoman says she would rather see “nations that we have liberated” such as Iraq and Libya pay back the United States for money it spent there.

Smart Power

Experimental malaria vaccine protects many children, study shows (Rob Stein, Washington Post)

For the first time, an experimental vaccine has been shown to safely protect large numbers of children against malaria, one of the world’s most devastating scourges and one that has long evaded medicine’s most potent weapons. “This is remarkable when you consider that there has never been a successful vaccine against a human parasite,” Tsiri Agbenyega of the Komfo-Anokye Hospital in Ghana, who is leading the study, told reporters during a briefing before the results were made public. “This potentially translates into tens of millions of cases of malaria in children being averted.”

Foreign Aid agency musn’t be penalized for being successful (Delaware Online, John Hewko and Raj Kumar)

Although the MCC model of delivering U.S. aid abroad has been a success in a field sometimes marked by roads to nowhere, the agency is now a takeover target. Some analysts have predicted it will eventually become part of a restructured U.S. Agency for International Development. The MCC has 300 employees; it was created to be lean and mean, but today it’s looking more like a morsel that could get eaten as part of a broader reform of foreign aid or simply be badly sliced during looming budget cuts.

Politics/Foreign Policy

United States needs to reevaluate its assistance to Israel (Walter Pincus, Washington Post)

Nine days ago, the Israeli cabinet reacted to months of demonstrations against the high cost of living there and agreed to raise taxes on corporations and people with high incomes ($130,000 a year). It also approved cutting more than $850 million, or about 5 percent, from its roughly $16 billion defense budget in each of the next two years. If Israel can reduce its defense spending because of its domestic economic problems, shouldn’t the United States — which must cut military costs because of its major budget deficit — consider reducing its aid to Israel?