This week I posted some questions and thoughts on the anticipated changes in Congress following the change in leadership in the House. Below are some analysis by others for your consideration.
By Simon Anholt
Foreign aid, in many ways, gives with one hand while it takes away with the other.
I have often commented in the past about the unintended damage done to the international standing and, consequently, the long term prospects of poorer countries by well-intentioned charity promotion, and in particular the negative ‘branding’ of Africa by aid celebrities like Geldof and Bono. Over the decades, with the best intentions in the world, their relentless depiction of Africa as one single, hopeless basket-case has harmed the long-term development prospects of the whole continent even as it has boosted donations. After all, while many people would happily donate money to a basket-case, few will think it prudent to invest in a basket-case, buy products or services produced in a basket-case, go on holiday to a basket-case, or hire somebody born and raised in a basket-case.
Because you and everyone else looking for a “whole of government” approach to public diplomacy, strategic communication, and global engagement should know, below are the members of the Foreign Operations subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations.
Because you and everybody else looking for a “whole of government” approach to public diplomacy, strategic communication, and global engagement should know, below are the members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC).
Finally we may actually begin moving beyond bureaucratic structures based on quaint beliefs of US and non-US vectors and audiences. At the Online WSJ, Cam Simpson writes about some of these important changes. From Obama Revamps National Security Posts:
President Barack Obama is merging the domestic and foreign sides of the White House national-security team, effectively eliminating a division created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. …
The president said Tuesday that the change reflects "the fundamental truth that the challenges of the 21st century are increasingly unconventional and transnational, and therefore demand a response that effectively integrates all aspects of American power." …
Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, who heads the NSC, said foreign and domestic distinctions are often moot. He also suggested the prior system might have blinded officials to imminent danger. …
Among the other shifts at the NSC, a new entity, dubbed the Global Engagement Directive, will aim to coordinate public diplomacy, foreign assistance and international communications at a single White House desk.
The importance of foreign aid programs in building capacity, empowering foreign populations, and denying physical and ideological sanctuary to our adversaries is finally coming to the forefront. The militarization of America’s foreign policy is more than Defense leadership in informational engagement and propagating a comprehensive approach to stability operations, but in the management of foreign aid for development. As was noted in a conference call with LTG Caldwell this week, the percentage of the foreign aid budget the Defense Department manages has skyrocketed.