Secretary Clinton in Pakistan

May 27, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan on a surprise visit, joined Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. They are the most senior officials to travel to Pakistan since the raid that killed Osama bin Laden earlier this month, and the trip clearly underscores the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. In addition, as we lead into Memorial Day weekend, we thank all of our current service members and our military veterans for their extraordinary service, sacrifice and courage.

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Who’s In the News

Clinton visits Pakistan to firm up new ties (Karen deYoung – Washington Post)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met here Friday morning with top Pakistani officials on a brief visit designed to establish new ground rules for the shaky U.S.-Pakistani relationship.  With no advance public notice, amid tight security, Clinton traveled directly from the airport for meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s military and intelligence chiefs. She was accompanied by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, who arrived here Thursday night.

Aid to women farmers could help alleviate global food crisis (Eva Clayton – The Hill)

As budget battles continue on Capitol Hill, some officials are calling for reductions in foreign aid and development programs. Before broadly slashing such assistance, it’s important to individually evaluate its effectiveness.  Constructive aid can do two important things: improve living conditions of women around the world and help alleviate the global food crisis.

Smart Power

Different form of foreign aid concentrates on depth, scale (NPR)

Americans sent nearly $48 billion to friends and family abroad in 2010. A new State Department program wants to encourage first and second generation immigrants to donate money to governments and charities in their home countries. To learn more about this program, host Michel Martin speaks with Thomas Debass, director of Global Partnership Initiatives at the U.S. State Department.

State Department marries investing, diplomacy (Thomas Kostigan – Market Watch)

Under a new program dubbed “smart power,” the Department of State says it will leverage its diplomatic network and resources with the “considerable expertise and assets of the private sector to create market opportunities and revenue-generating solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”  The initiative is meant to address unmet social and environmental needs in under-served markets by connecting diverse government, civil society, and private-sector partners around common goals; advancing collaboration on market-driven solutions with a social impact; catalyzing the creation of financial and business innovations that mobilize capital and enable enterprises to scale; and harnessing the various assets of large corporations to create shared value.

4 Ways to Save 2 billion while improving U.S. foreign aid (Connie Veillette and John Norris – CNN Blog)

Politicians inside the beltway have known for years that the only reason these wasteful and uncompetitive practices are still in place is because of the influence of special interests lobbies that have managed to get their pieces of pork institutionalized.

Politics/Foreign Policy
Reevaluating our ties with Pakistan (Rep. Charles Dent – The Hill)

In the coming weeks, I will analyze whether this aid is a productive use of tax dollars that promotes our security, but the truth is our success in Afghanistan relies heavily on a cooperative partnership with Pakistan. Various American officials have also rightfully emphasized the importance of maintaining government stability and military authority in a nation with nuclear capabilities. However, Pakistan desperately needs the U.S. to remain a strategic ally and economic partner, and in light of recent events, we have gained significant leverage.

G8 have $20B for ‘Arab Spring’ (Andy Barr – Politico)

Hoping to encourage the push for freedom and democracy, President Obama and leaders of the G-8 countries announced Friday that they will allow international development banks to provide more than $20 billion to help spur development in the “Arab Spring” counties like Egypt and Tunisia. A statement released by the G-8 leaders assembled in Deauville, France, did not breakdown how much development banks from each county would provide, but promised to “mobilize substantial bilateral support to scale up this effort.”