Saying Goodbye to a Leader

June 6, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Over the weekend, the USGLC joined a large community of family and friends in mourning the passing of former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. A military veteran and career Foreign Service Officer, Eagleburger served his country with distinction. The Senate returns to Washington this week as the House begins a week-long recess. No major budget-related legislation is on the agenda, as the FY12 budget and appropriations process remains in limbo in the Senate. On Thursday, Vice President Biden’s bipartisan budget working group meets again; both Republicans and Democrats have said the talks have been productive, but that much work is left to be done in order to reach agreement on a long-term spending plan.  On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Ryan Crocker’s nomination to be ambassador to Afghanistan.  The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing Thursday for CIA Director Leon Panetta, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Defense Secretary Bob Gates.  The confirmation is expected to pass the Committee with a large bipartisan majority.

Must Reads
Who’s In the News

All children deserve vaccines (Melinda Gates – Huffington Post)

I have believed for more than a decade now that children in the poorest parts of the world should have access to the same life-saving vaccines available to children in rich countries. That’s why I’m excited that the GAVI Alliance announced today they will be able to bring life-saving vaccines to millions more children.

The Obama administration’s dangerous course on Libya (Senator Richard Lugar – Washington Post)

The House of Representatives sent the Obama administration a strong, bipartisan rebuke on Friday for failing to make the case for war in Libya or seeking congressional authorization for military action. It is critical that the administration understand the significance of this vote, abandon its plans for a nonbinding resolution in the Senate and proceed to seek the requisite debate and authorization for the use of military force, as I have advocated for nearly three months.

Smart Power

State Department ‘on deck’ in Iraq (Rebecca Williams – The Will and the Wallet)

In five months the State Department is to assume control of a civilian-lead mission in Iraq.  But, according to a new report issued by State’s Inspector General, “several key decisions have not been made, some plans cannot be finalized, and progress is slipping in a number of areas.”  Of late, many policymakers have been talking about redefining the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), perhaps keeping thousands of US troops in Iraq as a safety measure.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Gates: Taliban talks could begin this winter (Josh Rogin – The Cable blog)

Political reconciliation talks with the Taliban could begin as early as this winter, but only if the U.S. keeps up the military pressure and convinces the Taliban they are losing the war, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday.

IMF agrees to a $3 billion loan for Egypt (Mary Beth Sheridan – Washington Post)

The International Monetary Fund agreed Sunday to a $3 billion loan to help Egypt overcome a cash crunch and boost salaries in the wake of the pro-democracy uprising that toppled its longtime president.  The world’s most populous Arab nation has been struggling to close a $10 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year beginning in July. Since the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak in February, the critical tourism industry has suffered major losses and foreign investment has tapered off.

Obama in a dream world (Pat Buchanan – The Richmond Register)

At the G-8 summit in Deauville, France, the news was dramatic, delivered by Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Barack Obama.  To sustain the Arab Spring, America, Europe and Japan will provide $40 billion in fresh foreign aid for Arab nations that take the democratic path… Yet that $40 billion over three years is pocket change compared to what Hillary Clinton promised at the Copenhagen summit.

No time to let up on the fight (New York Times)

The battle to slow the global AIDS epidemic has made astonishing progress over the past decade, especially in countries whose survival as functioning societies had once seemed threatened. The question is whether the momentum can be maintained at a time when donations are falling, the need for treatment is rising, and research suggests that with sufficient resources the epidemic could be stopped in its tracks.