Today’s Headlines

January 9, 2012 By Mac Stoddard

Must Reads

Who’s in the News

Kerry Knocks Romney’s “Reckless” Foreign Policy (Amy Harder, National Journal)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., blasted GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney’s record on foreign policy in an op-ed in the conservative New Hampshire Union Leader on Sunday, just days before the state’s primary on Tuesday.

Smart Power

Better than Expected U.S. Support for Global Development (Kemal Dervis and Homi Kharas, Brookings)

The aid authorizations in the budget tell a clear story that despite domestic travails, the U.S. is intent on retaining a leadership role in managing global affairs, and wants to use its soft power. This is good news for all those who care about development of the world’s poorest countries and poverty reduction for the most vulnerable citizens. The amounts involved are a very small fraction of the U.S. budget but can help hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.

America Abroad (Roger Cohen, New York Times)

The conspicuous failure of American hard power — in Iraq and Afghanistan — has tended to obscure the way American soft power has flourished over the past decade. For a while soft power was undercut because the U.S. reputation was tarnished, but the Arab awakening has demonstrated how powerful American-driven social media are in opening up closed societies. Facebook and Twitter have been conspicuous. But when I.B.M. invests massively in Africa — which it has identified as the next major emerging growth market — it is also investing in an openness that advances U.S. interests.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Development Challenges for Africa in 2012 (Chinua Akukwe, World Press)

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Africa Development Bank estimate that Africa’s economy grow at the rate of between 5.5 and 6 percent in 2012, outpacing projected anemic growth rates in Europe and North America. Africa’s middle class now accounts for 34 percent of the continent’s population, the highest recorded rate in the last 50 years. Despite the projected positive growth, Africa will continue to face significant development challenges in 2012.

Haiti Can Be Rich Again (Laurent Dubois and Deborah Jenson, New York Times)

In the wake of the earthquake, many have talked about the need to lay foundations for a better future. To do that, Haiti should look to the past, and the system of small farms and the decentralized economy that once provided Haitians with dignity, autonomy and wealth.

UN: ‘Major emergency’ after tribe-on-tribe violence in S. Sudan touches 60,000 (Associated Press)

Aid groups are mounting a “major emergency operation” in rural South Sudan after tribe-on-tribe violence sent tens of thousands of people fleeing and killed an unknown number of people, the U.N. said Saturday.