This morning’s forum highlighted the growing consensus across the political and civilian-military spectrums about the need to bolster the smart power tools of development and diplomacy, including strengthening the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Just yesterday, the Senate weighed in once more with a resolution on this matter as concern continues to grow over the lack of a nominee to head USAID.
Sponsored by Senators Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL) and Cardin (D-MD), S. Res. 312 calls for a “highly capable and knowledgeable individual” to be nominated “with all expediency and exigency” to be USAID Administrator. It also recommends that USAID “serve as the principal advisor to the President and national security organs of the U.S. Government” and that the number of full-time Foreign Service Officers at USAID “substantially and transparently increase.”
In introducing the measure along with his Senate colleagues, Assistant Majority Leader Durbin noted that “As our development assistance grows, so does the need for an influential and transformative Administrator at USAID. Military and civilian leaders both agree: a strong development strategy is critical for our long term success.”