Presidential Race Takes Shape

August 15, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

As Texas Governor Rick Perry jumps into the GOP race for President, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty bows out after a disappointing third place showing in the Iowa straw poll.  As Governor, Perry has worked with USAID to deliver aid from Texas to children in both Haiti and Pakistan.  After meeting with former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf last month, he said, “These young children, just these bright faces in just rubble, nothing but devastation up there and the USAID literally saved their lives.”  You can keep up to date on all of the 2012 presidential hopefuls at the USGLC Candidates Corner.   Take a look now and check back for updated content as the campaign’s get into to full swing.

Must Reads

Who’s in the News

How American aid is lifting Liberia (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, The Washington Post)

Indeed, on a June visit to the United States, I met with congressional leaders and administration officials to make the case for sustained foreign assistance to Liberia. I explained that we are not seeking an open-ended commitment but, rather, support in the next few years of our transition. I am confident that such aid would, within a decade, allow Liberia to sustain its own development and end its need for foreign aid. Should Liberia stay on the path my government is charting, it will join the ranks of middle-income countries by the year 2030.  Like most other developing countries, Liberia aspires to outgrow the need for aid. We look forward to a day when our economy thrives, when our children no longer suffer from preventable diseases and when the women of our country can move beyond mere subsistence and have genuine opportunity.

Foreign Fights Need Training, Not Troops: Hadley (Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News)

The initial round of cuts has grouped a lot of different departments, such as DoD, the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, under the national security umbrella. Hadley said grouping these State and DoD efforts is appropriate, but that it opens both up to cuts.  “I would hope that, in some instances, we may cut defense and we may actually add some money on the nondefense national security side,” Hadley said.

Smart Power

In Afghanistan’s Garmser district, praise for a U.S. official’s tireless work (Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post)

Since September 2009, this district along the Helmand River has seen five different Marine battalion commanders, two governors and two police chiefs. The only constant was a compact American whom everyone here calls Carter Sahib.  Carter Malkasian, who had been the State Department’s representative in Garmser until last month, is perhaps the only foreign official in the country to have been so widely embraced as a sahib, an Urdu salutation once used to address British colonial officials that Afghans now employ as a term of honor and respect.

Politics/Foreign Policy

U.S. Links Pakistani Aid to Performance (Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman, The Wall Street Journal) —article attached as subscription required

The White House has started conditioning the award of billions of dollars in security assistance to Pakistan on whether Islamabad shows progress on a secret scorecard of U.S. objectives to combat al Qaeda and its militant allies. The U.S. also is asking Pakistan to take specific steps to ease bilateral tensions.

Former budget director: Supercommittee won’t look to defense for cuts (John Bennett, The Hill)

The supercommittee charged with paring the deficit will focus on entitlements and taxes, former OMB director Alice Rivlin said.  The supercommittee charged with paring the federal deficit will focus on entitlements and taxes, meaning the Pentagon budget will be a “fallback” place from which to slice, former White House budget chief Alice Rivlin said Friday.

GOP candidates flub facts on foreign policy (Josh Rogin, The Cable)

Foreign policy turned out to be a prominent part of Thursday night’s GOP primary debate. The questions covered a range of countries — and the accuracy of the candidates’ responses was similarly all over the map.