Today in Washington – Thursday, September 30, 2010
11:00AM: Secretary Clinton meets with Senator John Kerry, on Capitol Hill
12:00PM: Secretary Clinton meets with Senator Chuck Schumer, on Capitol Hill
12:45PM: President Obama meets with Democratic Congressional leadership
The Daily GAB
Last night Thomas Nides was nominated to be the new Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, replacing Jack Lew whose nomination to be OMB chief is pending in the Senate. Like Lew, Nides brings both New York finance and Washington political experience. Currently the COO at Morgan Stanley, he previously worked for former-House Speaker Tom Foley and ran Joe Lieberman’s 2000 vice-presidential campaign. And last night the Senate confirmed two new nominees for USAID: Donald Steinberg as Deputy Administrator and Nancy Lindborg as Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. One additional USAID nomination, Paige Alexander as Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia, will have to wait for Senate confirmation hearings until after the election.
Also, USGLC Board member Ambassador Mark Green was nominated to the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
USGLC in the News
Gates: State Department Needs Full Funding in Iraq (Donna Miles – American Forces Press Service)
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates expressed concern today that Congress could doom successes achieved in Iraq by failing to properly fund the civilian-led efforts required to ensure they stick. “I worry that having invested hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives in Iraq, that now that we are at the end game, we will stint on the resources needed to bring this to the kind of conclusion we all want,” Gates told about 300 ROTC students from Duke University and several of its neighboring colleges here. Any weakness of the campaign has nothing to do with the military, he said, but with the fact that the State Department has inadequate funding to take over the responsibilities President Barack Obama has assigned it. Gates noted, for example, that the State Department is programmed to take over responsibility for Iraqi police training over the course of the next year. Yet when it submitted its budget request to cover that effort and establish “branch embassies” that would provide a diplomatic civilian presence throughout Iraq, Congress made “a big cut,” he said. Gates said he shared concern about this quandary when he met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Rajiv Shah, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.
Obama Administration Sets New Guidelines for Foreign Aid Distribution (César Noriega Ramos – Scripps Howard)
Aid for foreign development will be delivered on more conditional, selective and accountable criteria, according to a new presidential directive on global development policy. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the Obama administration has elevated aid for development to the highest priority on the government’s agenda. Clinton stressed that investing in development is more cost effective than financing military intervention, although she did not exclude military efforts as part of U.S. foreign policy. “Development is an integral part of America’s national security policy, and it is part of an integrated approach that includes development, diplomacy and defense,” Clinton said. The final session of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition gathered top administration officials who explained the new global development policy.
U.S. getting tough with Pakistan on aid (Josh Rogin – Washington Post)
The Obama administration isn’t just seeking to end tax cuts for America’s rich – it’s also calling on the Pakistani government to raise taxes on its wealthiest citizens if it still wants to receive U.S. financial assistance. The United States has pledged billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan since President Obama took office, and promised hundreds of millions more in disaster relief after the country was hit by devastating floods. Obama administration officials, while still contending that the aid advances the fundamental U.S. interest of building a stable Pakistan, are now saying that Islamabad will have to come up with more money of its own if it wants to keep getting handouts from Washington. “This is one of my pet peeves: Countries that will not tax their elites but expect us to come in and help them serve their people are just not going to get the kind of help from us that they have been getting,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told an audience recently at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition conference.
Hilary Clinton Wants Pakistan To Start Paying Its Fair Share (JJ Sutherland – NPR)
The United States is plowing billions of dollars into Pakistan in both military and civilian aid. And yet, the elites of Pakistan are barely taxed, tax evasion is endemic in the country, and they still expect the United States to come in and pay for everything. That’s going to stop, said Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton yesterday. Also at the conference was Defense Secretary Robert Gates. For years he’s been calling for the budget of the State Department to be increased to help the Pentagon in its efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it what may be the quote of the week, he points out it’s not happening: “We are making a transition to a civilian-led process [in Iraq], but the Congress took a huge whack at the budget that the State Department submitted for this transition,” Gates said. “It reminds me of the last scene in Charlie Wilson’s War.”
Who’s In the News
Obama announces Thomas Nides to replace Jack Lew (Josh Rogin – Foreign Policy)
The White House announced late Wednesday President Obama’s intention to nominate Morgan Stanley’s Thomas Nides to be the next deputy Secretary of State for management and resources, replacing Jack Lew, who is waiting to be confirmed to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
U.S. Sanctions 8 Iranian Officials For Human Rights Abuses (Robert Burns – Huffington Post)
The Obama administration stepped up pressure against Iran’s government on Wednesday, slapping financial and travel sanctions on eight Iranian officials and accusing them of taking part in rampant human rights abuses. Under an executive order signed this week by President Barack Obama, the State and Treasury departments jointly announced the sanctions that target Iranians who “share responsibility for the sustained and severe violation of human rights in Iran,” notably after last year’s disputed presidential elections. At a State Department news conference, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said it was the first time the United States has imposed sanctions on Iranians for violating human rights. The step adds another layer to already heavy U.S. sanctions on Iran, which in the past have been imposed over the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.