Today’s Headlines

May 13, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Must Reads
Smart Power

The US should maintain aid to Pakistan, especially in education (Rebecca Winthrop and Anda Adams – Brookings Institution)

The citizens of Pakistan deserve a clear message from the United States that it is truly interested in their well-being, including meeting the demand for reforming education. Development assistance to improve education in Pakistan, if done effectively, is one major area that can support and improve the livelihoods of Pakistanis. These core elements of non-military development are where the U.S. government should be investing its resources to establish a stable and long-term relationship with Pakistan.

Will politicians punish MCC for doing evaluation right? Mexico shows a better way (William Savedoff – Center for Global Development)

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a trailblazing U.S. development agency, is doing the right thing by publicly releasing impact evaluations of its programs as they are completed. Will politicians punish the MCC, using what will surely be mixed evaluations as a stick to beat it and an excuse to cut funding? If so, this will have a chilling effect on the movement to improve evaluation of U.S. development programs more broadly. Luckily, a new study of recent experience in Mexico offers some hope that politicians can resist this temptation.

Politics/Foreign Policy
Leveling the playing field for American businesses (Erika Gudmundson – Treasury Notes blog)

This week, after two days packed with meetings and negotiations, the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue concluded with the United States and China  committing to a set of concrete and tangible outcomes to: promote strong, sustainable and more balanced growth; strengthen financial systems and improve financial supervision; enhance trade and investment cooperation; and create more opportunities for U.S. businesses, exporters andworkers.

War fatigue in House GOP (Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan – Politico)

A newfound restlessness about the decadelong war in Afghanistan has reached the highest levels of the House Republican leadership, sparking serious concerns about war funding and murmurs about troop withdrawal — a sign that the GOP may be undergoing a shift in thinking about overseas intervention.  The new movement comes not just from conservative tea party members with an isolationist streak but from mainstream conservatives and moderates.

Bipartisan Policy Center urges new US foreign policy approach toward fragile states (PR Newswire)

This comprehensive report, the result of a three-year effort, assesses existing U.S. capabilities, bureaucratic structures and in-country instruments that could be created or modified to address the myriad of threats posed by fragile states. Historically, the U.S. has separated military, economic, political and humanitarian assistance and strategies, scattering stabilization efforts. Mindful of the current fiscal challenges facing the nation, the BPC recommends utilizing existing personnel and funds more effectively through improved strategies, interagency cooperation and funding mechanisms.