Today’s headlines

November 29, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

USGLC in the News

At USGLC’s dinner with Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gen. Games Cartwright (ONE Campaign blog)

This week, ONE’s South Carolina team attended the US Global Leadership Council’s (USGLC) dinner and forum on protecting development and foreign assistance at the Citadel. Field Organizer Charlie, Congressional District Leader Caitlin, super volunteer Hannah, and I listened to Senator Lindsey Graham stress the dangers of making foreign assistance the scapegoat of deficit reduction. He then made the case for smart, results-oriented programs that help save millions of lives and help keep America competitive in a global economy.

Who’s in the News

No security without diplomacy, development (William J. Perry and Tim Solso, The Washington Times)

Our roots as a nation of builders, business owners, explorers and inventors demand that we embrace the challenge of this new, interconnected globe. This is a time to lead and to build – not a time to withdraw from the world and cede the future to other countries.  Today, we need our diplomats and development workers more than ever.  Foreign aid and development programs account for less than 1 percent of the federal budget, yet they are vital to our national and economic security. Unfortunately, these essential programs are also politically vulnerable.

Smart Power

Vital debate on spending, aid (Charleston Post and Courier Editorial)

Sen. DeMint, a committed fiscal hawk, is far less prone to compromise than Sen. Graham, whose willingness to move toward the middle often draws the ire of conservatives…Yet though Sen. Graham remains intent on preserving an ample foreign aid budget, he also sounds inclined to improve spending oversight, explaining: “Jim and I are both frustrated about the way the Senate is doing its business. These are tough fiscal times. We ought to be looking for areas of the government we can cut back and duplicative programs we could consolidate. But the process we’re using right now has no rhyme or reason outside of allowing members of the Senate to duck taking tough votes.”  Both of our state’s senators should work toward strengthening congressional scrutiny over America’s foreign aid budget — while maintaining it at a sufficient level.

From rags to riches, South Korea hosts forum on international aid (John M. Glionna, LA Times)

For the next few days, nearly 2,500 policymakers and experts from 160 nations are meeting in Busan to devise more efficient ways of providing international aid…”It is unprecedented that the international aid forum is taking place in a country that once survived on international aid,” a government official in Seoul told the Korea Times newspaper. “In this regard, Korea is a model state whose dramatic transition from rags to riches will help highlight the significance of international aid for during the forum.”

Al Shabaab rebels ban some aid groups in Somalia (Reuters)

Al Shabaab rebels banned some U.N. and international aid agencies from working in Somalia on Monday and began seizing and looting some of their offices in southern and central areas of the country, the Islamist group and aid sources said.  The move comes as aid groups battle to stem a famine that has left a quarter of a million Somalis in danger of starvation and Kenyan, Somali and Ethiopian forces fight the al-Qaeda-inspired rebels in the south and center of the country.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Newt’s plan for the economy (Charles Riley, CNN Money)

Once considered a long-shot, the former Speaker of the House is now the national frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and is polling well in the early states of Iowa and South Carolina.  So what exactly would President Gingrich do to help the economy? Well, he’d change almost everything.

US not responsible for Europe’s debt woes (Julie Pace, Business Week)

President Barack Obama says the United States stands ready “to do our part” to help Europe solve its debt crisis, even as the White House rules out U.S. taxpayers as contributors. Obama and European leaders are huddling in Washington amid growing fears over the future of the euro. Obama offered no specifics about how the U.S. could help. Experts say that without drastic action, the euro could be days away from collapsing, a scenario that could cause more financial damage to the American economy.