The Loss of A Leader

July 25, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

While negotiations continue on the debt ceiling as the August 2 deadline looms large, the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee will hold its markup of its FY12 bill on Wednesday morning.  The Subcommittee’s allocation is 21% below the President’s FY12 request, which will result in very deep cuts to non-war related programs.  Also on tap this week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Kerry will unveil his FY12 State Department-Foreign Relations Authorization bill. This weekend, the USGLC mourned the passing of General John Shalikashvili, the first foreign-born soldier to become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Shalikashvili, a member of the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council, was a strong voice for U.S. global engagement and a dedicated supporter of the smart power tools of development and diplomacy.

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Who’s in the News

CEO says foreign aid hits home (Jim Spencer, StarTribune)

Policinski came to Washington recently to a conference of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) to discuss the importance of the U.S. government’s investment in overseas markets. Tough economic times have made increasing the country’s foreign aid budget a hard sell, Policinski said. Still, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, World Bank president Robert Zoellick and others who participated in the USGLC conference, Policinski insists that U.S. foreign aid can pave the way back to jobs in the U.S.

Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, Military Chief in 1990s, Dies at 75 (Shaila Dewan, New York Times)

Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, the first foreign-born soldier to become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died Saturday morning at an Army hospital in Washington State. General Shalikashvili succeeded Gen. Colin L. Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1993 under President Bill Clinton and served until 1997. He advised the president on crises in the Balkans, Haiti and other troubled places. “He never minced words, he never postured or pulled punches, he never shied away from tough issues or tough calls, and most important, he never shied away from doing what he believed was the right thing,” Mr. Clinton told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Lieberman Presses Obama to Work on Trade Pacts With Egypt, Tunisia (Emily Cadei, CQ)

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman called on President Obama last week to start trade negotiations with Egypt and Tunisia as soon as possible, saying that free trade can bolster the emerging democracies there. Speaking on July 22 at a forum hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Lieberman said trade policy “is an area where there is still significant space for both the United States and our allies in the European Union to show a lot more vision and leadership.” Lieberman cited efforts to promote multilateral and private investment and expand trade as ways the West can have a significant impact with relatively low investment.

Clinton assures China on US debt crisis, presses for help with North Korea talks (Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton moved Monday to reassure Asian financial markets that resolution to America’s debt crisis will be reached, as she sought China’s help in pressing North Korea to demonstrate seriousness in nuclear disarmament talks and easing tensions in the South China Sea. After delivering a speech in Hong Kong where she maintained that the U.S. economy is sound despite its current woes and the debt deadlock, Clinton drove to China’s southern mainland city of Shenzhen for talks with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Beijing’s top foreign policy official, that lasted four hours.

Forging a Constructive Partnership: Why We Shouldn’t Abandon the Foreign Aid Authorization Process (Larry Nowels, ModernizeAid Blog)

First, there is a cost of efficiency in trying to figure out how to launch new programs, work around restrictions put in place decades ago, or find ways to implement programs that realize greater impact and achieve sustainable results.  While each has merit in its own right, the collective effect of those single issue bills has been greater fragmentation, less coherence in our aid policy, and an inability to address key challenges in a more integrated and strategic fashion.  And this is not to mention that a close read of the FAAct sounds like we’re stuck in the Cold War.

Berman: Marathon foreign policy markup was a “series of tantrums” (Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy)

The House Foreign Affairs Committee just spent two full days and nights marking up a State Department and foreign operations authorization bill in an effort that the committee’s ranking Democrat says was a “waste of time” for a bill that has no chance of becoming law. Berman said that the original draft of the bill, which included sweeping restrictions on foreign aid to countries around the world, was bad enough. But the over 100 amendments introduced by GOP congressmen sent an even more harmful signal to the world, he said — namely, that the United States wanted to disengage from international forums and punish countries that don’t always agree with the U.S. government.