Preparing for the President’s Budget Request

February 10, 2012 By Mac Stoddard

Monday marks the beginning of the FY13 budget process with the release of the President’s budget request.  Please be sure to visit USGLC’s Budget Center Monday afternoon for a full analysis of the International Affairs Budget request.

Must Reads

Who’s in the News

Sen. Paul to Offer Amendment to Cut Foreign Aid to Egypt Until NGO Crisis Subsides (Sara Sorcher, National Journal) (Subscription Required – Word Document Attached)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-K.Y., said he would offer an amendment to the highway bill that would suspend all foreign aid to Egypt until it lifts the charges against 19 American civil-society workers, in the latest sign of congressional anger about the escalating crisis over Cairo’s crackdown on pro-democracy groups.

Smart Power

Conservatives, Liberals, and Human Rights (Mark P. Lagon and William F. Schulz, Hoover Institution Policy Review)

When the American section of Amnesty International was first founded in the 1970s, William F. Buckley was one of its earliest supporters. The prime mover behind the American section, Ginetta Sagan, was a mentor to those of all political stripes, including, for example, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, whom no one has ever accused of being a “leftist.” When George W. Bush called in his second inaugural address for the United States to affirm “the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,” he was issuing a call with which no human rights advocate could possibly disagree. The board of Freedom House, a prominent human rights organization, is rife with ex-Bush administration officials like William H. Taft IV and Paula J. Dobriansky, and with scholars like Ruth Wedgwood and Joshua Muravchik who are generally identified with the conservative end of the political spectrum.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Muslim Brotherhood Demands Military Cede Power in Egypt (David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times)

The Muslim Brotherhood demanded Thursday that Egypt’s military rulers cede control of the government, stepping closer to a long-anticipated confrontation between the ruling generals and the Islamist-dominated Parliament.  In a statement on its Web site and a television interview with one of its senior leaders, the Brotherhood called for the military to allow the replacement of the current prime minister and cabinet with a new coalition government formed by Parliament, which would amount to an immediate handover of power.   The Brotherhood, the formerly outlawed Islamist group that now dominates Parliament, had previously said it was content to wait for the June deadline by which the generals had pledged to turn over power, which they seized with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak last year.

Does the U.S. have a plan for Iraq? (New York Times Symposium)

The news this week that the United States is preparing to slash by as much as half the enormous diplomatic presence it had planned for Iraq was seen as a “remarkable pivot” for the State Department, which had spent more than a year planning the expansion. It also made observers wonder: What exactly is the U.S. short-term and long-term strategy in Iraq? Is there one?  Contributing debaters to this symposium include Kori Schake, Christopher Preble, Kenneth M. Pollack, Marisa Sullivan, and Peter Van Buren.