USGLC In The News
U.S. Leadership in the Horn of African (George Rupp and Dan Glickman, FoxNews.com)
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9/11 lessons learned and still not learned (Al Neuharth, USA TODAY)
Feedback: Other views on 9/11 anniversary. “We cannot afford to turn inward and ignore the global challenges we face. Staying engaged in the world prevents future conflicts and saves American lives in the long run.” —Gen. Hugh Shelton, USA (Ret.), chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1997-2001
Senate comes to State Department’s defense on budget (Josh Rogin, The Cable)
The Senate issued its fiscal 2012 budget allocations on Wednesday, which propose allocating $44.6 billion for the international affairs budget — $5 billion more than was proposed by the House. “As a result of the dramatic reductions to the International Affairs Budget in FY11 and those proposed by the House for FY12, many of the hard-fought gains we have worked to achieve since 9/11 may be reversed,” said Adm. James Loy and Gen. Michael Hagee, co-chairs of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council, in a letter today to congressional leaders.
Who’s In the News
Berman Measure Revives Effort to Overhaul Foreign Aid Programs (Emily Cadei, CQ)
In a speech at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, Democrat Howard L. Berman of California warned that “cutting blindly, without fixing the underlying problems, will only make things worse.” Instead, Berman, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, unveiled the draft of a bill that would replace the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (PL 90-137) — the legal framework for U.S. international assistance programs that marks its 50th anniversary this week — and, he hopes, would make aid delivery less fragmented, more efficient and less prone to waste.
Berman: Ros-Lehtinen’s bill to “eviscerate” U.N. is “radical” (Josh Rogin, The Cable)
In an interview on Wednesday, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) told The Cable that House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s proposal to drastically reform the United Nations and cut U.S. contributions to the organization was ill-advised and probably dead on arrival. “I cannot see this legislation becoming law. I think there are some radical proposals here,” he said.
U.S. civilian surge to Afghanistan cost $2 billion: report (Susan Cornwell, Reuters)
A surge of U.S. civilian advisers into Afghanistan has cost $2 billion so far, a government watchdog said Thursday, calculating the price of an important part of President Obama’s war strategy. U.S. development experts are not much cheaper than the cost of sending soldiers to Afghanistan, according to data in the audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The report said it was costing between $410,000 and $570,000 to deploy one civilian U.S. government employee to Afghanistan for a year.
Foreign Assistance for the 21st Century (Sarah Trister, Huffington Post)
On September 8th, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman will roll out a new, sweeping foreign assistance reform bill aimed at completely replacing the outdated and confusing Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which remains the framework of America’s foreign aid today. In a political climate where savings and efficiency are keywords for both political parties, reforming the decades-old foreign assistance framework should be a top priority in Congress.
US companies, whose investments trail far behind those of China, Vietnam and Thailand in communist Laos, are turning their attention to the poor but fast-growing nation, an official said Thursday.”Laos is a new frontier for US companies,” Coca-Cola general manager for Laos and Thailand, Jorge Garduno, said in a statement from the Business Council, which represents more than 100 major American firms. Long reliant on foreign aid, Laos is now receiving massive foreign investment, which the World Bank says is mostly from China, Vietnam and Thailand. Other nations such as the US trail far behind, the Bank says.
Obama announces $447 billion plan to boost economy (Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post)
President Obama made an impassioned appeal on Thursday night for $447 billion in tax cuts and government spending to boost the nation’s lagging economic recovery, calling on lawmakers to put politics aside and work together to solve the jobs crisis.
Inaction Keeps Infighting On Appropriations at Bay (Kerry Young, CQ)
House appropriators appear to have concluded that it is time once again to set aside so-called regular order. Time constraints are cited as the reason for not putting spending bills on the floor. But the decision also deprives conservatives of chances to foment intraparty rebellion against an August accord that Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, worked out with the White House and Senate Democrats. The third spending bill that has not reached full-committee markup, the State-Foreign Operations measure, has made no progress since a subcommittee markup in July. Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said he is uncertain whether any of those bills will get full-committee action.
Defense cuts spat clouds deficit panel debate (Richard Cowan and Kevin Drawbaugh, Reuters)
On the first day of work on Thursday for a “super committee” charged with finding $1.2 trillion in new government savings, a member of the panel threatened to quit if defense spending cuts are discussed, underscoring the difficulties ahead. U.S. spending on security programs, including defense, was cut by $350 billion as part of a $917-billion deficit-reduction plan enacted last month. But Republicans were devising ways for the Pentagon to escape much of those cuts with diplomatic and foreign aid programs shouldering most of the pain.