Today’s Headlines

October 21, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Who’s In the News

Cutting Foreign Aid: Not The America I Love (Richard Stearns, Huffington Post)

I watched the Republican debates from my hotel in London this week, where I am meeting with other World Vision leaders. Being overseas, and watching them hours after the live event, provides a more objective perspective on home. During part of the discussion that evening, I found myself thinking: This is not the America I love.  One audience member asked a question on foreign aid. She said, “The American people are suffering in our country right now. Why do we continue to send foreign aid to other countries when we need all the help we can get for ourselves?”  Truthfully, this is a tough question.

Poe and Kolbe: Shedding More Light on U.S. Foreign Aid (Rep. Ted Poe and former Rep. Jim Kolbe, Roll Call)

The United States faces myriad challenges around the globe. We are engaged in military conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia. We are pursuing terrorists in far corners of the world. We respond when other countries need help by offering humanitarian aid to cope with crises — from famine in the Horn of Africa to earthquakes in Haiti and tsunamis in Japan. At the same time, we compete with China and other emerging economies to maintain our position as an influential and powerful force in the global economy. Clearly, the need for effective U.S. global engagement is more important than ever.

Smart Power

IMF urges support for poor in new Arabic blog (Reuters)

Seeking to win support for its economic policy prescriptions in the Middle East and North Africa, the International Monetary Fund has launched an Arabic-language blog that will encourage debate on the region’s problems.  The global lending institution is expected to play a key role in funnelling international aid to the area in the next several years, as countries rebuild themselves after the political turmoil of the Arab Spring.

Politics/Foreign Policy

NATO Air Strategy Gains Renewed Praise (Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous, Wall Street Journal)

In the months before the Libyan war, NATO was seen as a creaky and possibly obsolete alliance that had outlived the purpose for which it was formed, to serve as a bulwark against Soviet power.  After the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi and the ultimate liberation of Libya, however, the alliance is looking markedly different. The squadrons of alliance fighter jets that helped rebels depose and finally defeat Gadhafi point to what defense experts see as a new template for future military intervention.

What GOP foreign policy debate? (W. James Antle III, Politico)

Remember the foreign policy debate that was supposed to break out in the Republican Party during next year’s primaries? According to one of the leading presidential candidates, it may already be over.  “God did not create this country to be a nation of followers,” Mitt Romney said in what was billed as a major foreign policy address. “America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world — or someone else will.”

U.S. Ratchets Up Anti-Terrorism Pressure on Pakistan (The Associated Press)

The Obama administration on Friday intensified pressure on Pakistan to do more to crack down on Islamist militants destabilizing Afghanistan, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a tough public message that extremists have been able to operate in and from Pakistan for too long.  For the second time in two days, Clinton pressed Pakistani authorities to step up efforts against the Haqqani militant network, which is based in the country’s rugged tribal region, and is blamed for attacks both inside Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

Latin America Deserves More Attention (Jaime Daremblum, Weekly Standard)

In her remarks to the 41st Washington Conference on the Americas this past May, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the Western Hemisphere “vital” to U.S. interests, adding that Latin America and the United States “will rise or fall together in the 21st century.” Unfortunately, the Obama administration has yet to champion a regional initiative that matches Secretary Clinton’s lofty rhetoric. Its neglect of Latin America reflects a bipartisan problem: Quite simply, neither Democrats nor Republicans are sufficiently attuned to hemispheric issues.