Today’s Headlines

July 8, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Foreign aid keeps America safe (The Daily Caller, James Kunder)

At this critical inflection point, Congress must get serious about heeding the words of departing Secretary Robert Gates and responding to the military’s long-deferred request for an adequate civilian partner by rebuilding the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Investments in our “civilian surge” capacity today will reap significant returns for U.S. national interests down the road — generating taxpayer savings, economic growth and greater national security.

William Lynn, Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian, will leave post (Washington Post, Greg Jaffe)

The Pentagon’s second-highest-ranking civilian said Thursday that he plans to leave his post later this summer or early fall after new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has had time to choose a successor. Lynn’s resignation, which has been rumored for several weeks, was spurred by his desire to spend more time with his family, said defense officials. “The secretary asked me to stay to ensure a smooth transition” to a new deputy, “and we think that’s probably early fall,” Lynn told the Associated Press. “I think they’ll try to move pretty quickly.”

Smart Power

NSF and USAID Jointly Launch International, Interagency PEER Program to Advance Science Collaboration With the Developing World (National Science Foundation)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today launched an international joint initiative to address global development challenges.

PEER, “Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research,” capitalizes on competitively-awarded investments to support and build scientific and technical capacity in the developing world. “I am delighted to see these two agencies collaborating to further President Obama’s goals of strengthening America’s science and technology enterprise and applying its outputs to challenges both domestic and global,” said Holdren, assistant to President Obama for science and technology.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Debt showdown set for Sunday (The Hill, Russell Berman)

The White House and congressional leaders lurched closer to a climactic showdown over the debt limit Thursday, as President Obama scheduled a Sunday meeting that could determine whether a broad deficit-reduction deal can be reached before time runs out. The president described the meeting as “frank” and “very constructive,” but said the leaders remain “far apart on a wide range of issues.”

House Sends Conflicting Signals on Libya (New York Times, Charlie Savage)

The House voted down a measure on Thursday that would have prevented the United States military from using force in Libya, but it also blocked military support to the Libyan rebels as Congress continued to wrestle with how to respond to the Obama administration’s decision to participate in the NATO-led air war.

What the CIA needs in David Petraeus (Washington Post, David Ignatius)

Petraeus knows the agency needs a strong leader who can motivate and also discipline a sometimes stubborn secret bureaucracy. He knows, too, that the CIA culture is insular — good at co-opting the outsiders it likes and at undercutting those it doesn’t. But he has coped with similarly strong cultures within the military and doesn’t seem worried about the poison darts that may come his way.