USGLC in the News
Giving praise where it’s due (Dan Glickman, The Daily Caller)
These numbers are almost too big to comprehend, but every single person saved, along with their family members, friends and neighbors, have now seen first-hand the power of the United States to do good in the world. In areas where poverty fuels desperation and terrorist organizations exploit the vulnerable, this is a powerful and indispensable message to deliver through a few small, inexpensive pills. Earlier this month, President Bush wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “there is no effective way to oppose the enemies of freedom without also opposing the shared enemies of humankind — disease and poverty.” I couldn’t agree more. In addition to being deeply compassionate and in America’s best interests, the Bush-era global health programs are efficient and effective. We have saved those millions of lives using just a small fraction of one percent of our federal budget. That’s truly a wise investment.
Who’s in the News
UN’s Ban Ki-moon visits Mogadishu; wants progress (Jason Straziuso and Katharine Houreld, Associated Press)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Somalia’s seaside capital Friday, the first trip in nearly two decades by the U.N.’s top leader to a city known for a seemingly perpetual state of war. Ban announced that the U.N. would move its Somalia political office from Kenya to Mogadishu next year. Though the improved security allowed for Ban’s trip, the U.N. chief also delivered a warning to Somalia’s political leaders that they must make faster progress on a four-point plan to improve security, governance, reconciliation and create a constitution. The plan, known as the roadmap, is to be implemented by next August or the government risks losing international funding. Ban’s visit signals that the U.N. believes progress is being made, at the least by the African Union military force and perhaps even the U.N.-backed government in Mogadishu known as the Transitional Federal Government.
State Department unveils new super-office: economics, energy, and the environment (Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy)
The changes in the State Department’s bureaucracy were spelled out in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which was released last year, but also fits perfectly into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s new favorite initiative, “Economic Statecraft,” as laid out in her speech in October. “America’s economic strength and our global leadership are a package deal,” Clinton said. “A strong economy has been a quiet pillar of American power in the world. It gives us the leverage we need to exert influence and advance our interests. It gives other countries confidence in our leadership and a greater stake in partnering with us.”
For U.S. Foreign Aid, Better Strategy is the Answer (Alexander Benard, World Politics Review)
This is not to argue that the United States should revert to the days when the U.S. used its military to bully foreign governments into accepting favorable trade concessions. That time is long gone, and rightly so. But the pendulum has now swung too far in the opposite direction. Some more-explicit linkage between disbursement of aid dollars and advancement of U.S. business interests would be appropriate — advisable, even — given that our rivals are employing similar tactics with considerable success, leaving us boxed out of critical markets. Furthermore, these commercial linkages foster ties that yield long-term economic benefits, too. The investment of U.S. money and the presence of U.S. companies in foreign markets improves their human capital, raises their GDP, inculcates Western values and solidifies relationships with allies that, in the future, can go on to become important trading partners.
Arab Spring brings distaste for US aid (Carol Huang, The National)
The US is having to adjust its approach to foreign aid for nations such as Egypt that are flush with revolution-inspired independence and wariness of outsiders, said Egyptian activists, a US official and political analysts yesterday. “We don’t want people meddling in our affairs without us knowing about it. I think this is really the most consensus sentiment,” said the prominent Egyptian activist and blogger Wael Khalil. Mr Khalil spoke on the sidelines of a two-day conference hosted by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Centre (ADGC) that ended yesterday. Political and religious scholars and government officials from Egypt, Jordan, the United States, the UK and other countries gathered to discuss Arab youth, Muslim-West relations and changes in the region.