Today’s Headlines

November 7, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

USGLC in the News

U.S. global engagement keeps Americans safe, creates jobs (Col. Dan Nolan, Tampa Tribune)

Right now our country makes a small but critical investment of just about 1 percent of the entire federal budget in international affairs programming, but we receive a huge return. Not only are we saving lives around the world, but we are protecting our families at home by fighting terrorism and preventing conflicts before they start.  U.S. engagement in the world also helps us create jobs…

United they stand (Richard Riley and David Wilkins, Charleston Post and Courier)

The Oct. 27 editorial “Graham right on foreign aid” was “right” on the mark describing how essential our nation’s development and diplomacy programs are to our national security and job creation efforts, particularly here in South Carolina.  Sen. Graham is a champion on this critical issue, and our hats are off to him for standing up for American leadership in the world today. Saving pennies today only to spend billions down the road in costly conflicts that could be avoided with strategic investments in our International Affairs Budget is not a smart foreign policy.

Smart Power

USAID touts role in blunting Islamic extremism (Greg Jaffe, Washington Post)

The U.S. Agency for International Development has recently been deepening its relationship with the U.S. military and casting itself as a key player in blunting the spread of Islamic extremism.  With the budget ax looming, the agency is betting that closer ties to the military will help it win backers in Congress, where USAID, like most of the U.S. government, faces potentially deep cuts.  But the push to do more to support the military and America’s national security goals has drawn some criticism from international aid groups. USAID leaders say they understand why, even if they contend it’s not the case.

The importance of foreign aid (Cory Rodgers, The Daily [Pennsylvania] American)

This week the Senate will debate 2012 funding for U.S. foreign assistance. This funding builds schools, trains teachers, helps communities grow food and manage water resources, installs public water and sewage facilities, treats potentially fatal diseases, and provides health, teamwork, and community-building seminars for adults with a primary school education. Should this funding be on the table for cuts?  It has been argued that foreign aid is wasted on other countries when it should be spent to improve the lives of Americans. But the fastest growing market for American companies is in the developing world.

His Libraries, 12,000 So Far, Change Lives (Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times)

ONE of the legendary triumphs of philanthropy was Andrew Carnegie’s construction of more than 2,500 libraries around the world. It’s renowned as a stimulus to learning that can never be matched – except that, numerically, it has already been surpassed several times over by an American man you’ve probably never heard of.  I came here to Vietnam to see John Wood hand out his 10 millionth book at a library that his team founded in this village in the Mekong Delta – as hundreds of local children cheered and embraced the books he brought as if they were the rarest of treasures.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy: 20 Things The G-20 Could Have Done (David Rothkopf, NPR)
Americans are under the quaint, even vaguely poignant illusion that they will actually elect a president next year. But, of course, the voting that will determine who leads the United States from 2013 onward will take place not in the United States but in Europe, in China, and in a handful of other distant locations. As a consequence, this week’s G-20 meeting in Cannes, France, should be viewed as an even earlier and more influential caucus than the ones taking place in Iowa. And upcoming meetings among eurozone finance ministers, the U.S.-EU summit in late November, the EU summit on Dec. 9, and the just-announced Greek referendum — which will likely come in January — should all be seen as key primaries.

Krauthammer: Who lost Iraq? (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post)

Barack Obama was a principled opponent of the Iraq war from its beginning. But when he became president in January 2009, he was handed a war that was won. The surge had succeeded. Al-Qaida in Iraq had been routed, driven to humiliating defeat by an Anbar Awakening of Sunnis fighting side-by-side with the infidel Americans…Obama was left with but a single task: Negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to reinforce these gains and create a strategic partnership with the Arab world’s only democracy.  He blew it. Negotiations, such as they were, finally collapsed last month. There is no agreement, no partnership. As of Dec. 31, the U.S. military presence in Iraq will be liquidated.

Papademos Front-Runner to Lead Greece (Costas Paris and Alkman Granitsas, Wall Street Journal)

Greece’s embattled Socialist government and their main rivals in opposition are converging on naming former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos to lead an interim administration, officials from both parties said Monday, although no deal has yet been reached.  On Sunday, the country’s two largest parties agreed to form an interim national unity government after a week of political turmoil in Athens that nearly toppled the government and raised questions about Greece’s future in the euro zone.  The interim government is charged with implementing Greece’s freshly minted €130 billion aid deal before leading the country to fresh elections in February.