Moving Forward and Strong Voices

November 9, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

The Senate is moving forward with its consideration of a second minibus package, which includes the FY12 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The Senate will hold a procedural vote tomorrow on the bill and debate will get underway next week.  This morning, Frank Carlucci, Lee Hamilton, and Tom Ridge, wrote an opinion editorial for the Washington Times, saying “it is in America’s national interests to support smart investments in development assistance.” Also today, USAID is leading FWD Day to spread awareness about the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa. Click here to engage online and help forward the facts.

Must Reads

USGLC In the News

 America at a global cross roads (Frank Carlucci, Lee H. Hamilton and Tom Ridge, The Washington Times)

Even as Americans are understandably focused internally on getting our economic and fiscal houses in order, we are constantly reminded that the rest of the world is not standing still. At a time of economic distress and huge deficits that demand tough choices, it is tempting for elected officials to scale back this country’s engagement around the globe, in particular by making cuts to programs that support diplomacy and international development.

Who’s in the News

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul Backs Greater US Pakistan Trade-Not Aid (Stewart Powell, Houston Chronicle)

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is pressing for increased U.S. trade with Pakistan — rather than stepped up U.S. foreign aid — as a way to overcome frayed relations between the two allies in the war on terror.

Clinton sets new U.S. global AIDS focus on treatment (Andrew Quinn, Reuters)

Clinton, outlining new priorities for the U.S. global AIDS program started in 2003, said drug treatments, combined with new efforts to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the preventive effect of expanded voluntary male circumcision, had changed the AIDS battle plan.

Smart Power

Possible amendments to state spending bill worry administration, foreign aid backers (Emily Cadei, CQ)

Republican senators are lining up a long list of amendments to the State Department and foreign operations appropriations bill, complicating a plan to debate the bill as early as next week as part of a second funding package.

Philanthropic foundations bring new challenges to aid debate (Mark Tran, The Guardian)

The role of philanthropic organisations will come under close examination in a two-week conference in Bellagio, Italy, starting on Wednesday, which will bring together experts to thrash out an action plan for strengthening and co-ordinating collaboration between philanthropists and those working in international development. Participants in the Bellagio Initiative include Caroline Anstey, managing director of the World Bank, Samia Yaba Nkrumah, leader of the Convention People’s party in Ghana, and Xiulan Zhang from Beijing Normal University.

SMART POWER? Hillary spends $20 million on ‘Sesame Street’ to fight terror (Joseph Straw, Fox News)

Along with U.S. capture-or-kill teams and Predator drones, radicals in Pakistan have a fearsome new enemy: Elmo. The U.S. State Department has enlisted the baby monster and his furry friends from Sesame Street in a $20 million effort to teach Pakistani kids the importance of tolerance and equality, the Associated Press reports.

China’s Cyber Moves Hurting Beijing (Richard Fontaine, The Diplomat)

China isn’t the only country engaged in cyber espionage. But perceptions of its increased activity risk undermining its soft power diplomacy. Its cyber operations are devoted to that effort. But if they undermine China’s claim to peaceful rise and spur its neighbors to restrain Beijing, it will have produced precisely the behavior least conducive to China’s emergence as a strong, prosperous and resilient global power.