Today’s Headlines

October 7, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Must Reads

USGLC in the News

USGLC’s Exclusive Video Chat with Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides (Youtube)

On October 6, 2011, the USGLC hosted an exclusive live video chat with Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides to discuss where the International Affairs Budget is and how critical this funding is to both our national and economic security.

Who’s in the News

The Promise of a Pro-American Libya (John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, and Marco Rubio, The Wall Street Journal)

In short, the Libyans we met want to build a secure, prosperous and democratic nation that rejects violent extremism, allies itself with America and our allies, and promotes the peaceful ideals of the Arab Spring. It is in our national interest for Libya to consolidate the gains of its revolution, and in the critical months ahead we must deepen our support for the Libyan people.

Pursuing U.S. values and self-interest (Thomas Nides, Politico)

As these new democracies emerge, our diplomats and development experts will be on the ground, supporting the people as they build new and stable governments; jump-start and reform their economies, and create the foundations for enduring peace. Why? The people of the region will benefit enormously from this democratic transition — but so, too, will the American people. A peaceful, prosperous and democratic Middle East will likely create economic opportunity for U.S. businesses and enhanced national security for every American.

Romney: U.S. is not a “nation of followers” (Sarah B. Boxer, CBS News)

Mitt Romney on Friday will call for a buildup of America’s naval forces and missile defense system and accuse President Obama of undermining the nation’s global leadership status in what his campaign is billing as a major foreign policy address here. Excerpts of the GOP presidential contender’s speech, released by his campaign Thursday evening, include a call for the nation to assert itself as the unchallenged leader of the globe – a role that some Democrats and Republicans have suggested might be too much of a burden in an era when the nation is struggling to erase a massive deficit.

A wider view of U.S. role in world (Jon Huntsman, Politico)

To protect American interests, we need to transform our foreign policy for the modern world. Simply advocating for more ships, more troops and more weapons isn’t a viable foreign policy. We need more agility, more intelligence and more economic engagement with the world.  It’s time to erase the old map. End nation-building, engage our allies and fix our economic core. This is how we will fight the enemy we have — and renew American exceptionalism.

Smart Power

Agencies Fight to Save U.S. Foreign Aid from Deep Cuts (Amanda Wilson and Rosemary D’Amour, IPS News)

The forthcoming conference of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) in Busan, Korea this November will put foreign aid effectiveness at the forefront of the debate. With U.S. international development projects under scrutiny in the U.S. at home, and abroad, continued federal spending at current levels on organisations like USAID could depend on officials’ ability to make a convincing argument about the value of foreign aid. Aid effectiveness is a major factor in the decision-making process for officials, and has been a dominant theme in discussions of international development this year, including a meeting of civil society organisations during the World Bank annual fall meetings in September as a prelude to the Busan conference.

Aid Agencies Rush to Contain Cholera Outbreak in CAR, Chad (Che de los Reyes, Devex)

Aid agencies are rushing to respond to a cholera outbreak that has hit two countries in central Africa in an effort to prevent it from spreading to densely populated regions. The water-borne disease, which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can result in dehydration and death within hours if not detected and treated quickly, has already claimed 14 lives in the Central African Republic. The outbreak is reportedly concentrated in some 500 villages spread along the Ubangui river and in forest clearings…The [International Rescue Committee] said the cholera mortality rate in Abeche has dropped from 6 percent to just 1 percent since the launch of its emergency medical response.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Romney creates shadow National Security Council (Josh Rogin, The Cable)

In July, The Cable reported that Mitt Romney would set up a foreign policy and national security advisory structure that mimics the White House’s National Security Council, with teams of experts assigned to working groups on functional and regional issues. Today, the Romney campaign announced an elaborate national security advisory team with about 50 well-known personalities.  The announcement comes one day before Romney is set to give what his campaign is billing as a major speech on foreign policy at The Citadel in South Carolina.

The Price of Failure (John Horris and Bronwyn Bruton, Foreign Policy)

For decades, the United States and international organizations have poured money into Somalia despite its relative geopolitical insignificance — first as a Cold War bulwark, then as a humanitarian emergency, and now as an effort to contain crime and terrorism. Just how much has Somalia cost us? To figure out the true financial burden that Somalia’s conflict has imposed on the world since 1991, we used a variety of official and unofficial sources, combined with some educated guesswork, and came up with an estimate of $55 billion.