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Archive for the ‘White House’ Category

Rozen Reports on FA Debate, USGLC Letter

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
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The National Security Council Deputies Committee meeting last week continues to generate buzz with a recent post by Politico blogger Laura Rozen.  Yesterday, Rozen posted a piece that focused on frustration felt on Capitol Hill among members and staff over the lack of significant consultation during the review processes for the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) and the White House’s Presidential Study Directive on Global Development Policy (PSD-7):

“We recognize there is not consensus within the administration for what is the appropriate direction for foreign assistance reform,” one Hill staffer told POLITICO. “We think it’s appropriate for us to have input in shaping that process and look forward to shaping that process.”


Action Alert: MFAN Partners’ Budget Drives

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
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USGLCAs Congress moves on the appropriations process, it is critical that the President’s FY 2011 International Affairs Budget Request is fully funded.  MFAN Partner the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition created a Budget Update Center with a wealth of resources, including fact sheets, graphics, and statements on the budget process and why the International Affairs Budget plays a vital role in our national security.

one_logoThe ONE Campaign — another MFAN partner — recently launched a grassroots campaign urging senators to support the International Affairs Budget.  Read the letter of support and fill in the form here to find your elected official.   Below is a list of senators who have already signed on to the bipartisan letter:


NATO Secretary General Rasmussen on Development

Friday, April 9th, 2010
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GERMANY DENMARK NARTOYesterday at the University of Chicago, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave a speech on “Afghanistan and the Future of Peace Operations.”  The speech focused on NATO’s role in Afghanistan and how — eight years into the conflict — it has only become more clear that both a military and a civilian effort are required for security and success.  Rasmussen made a forceful case for development, saying, “In Afghanistan, there can be no development without security.  But equally, there can be no lasting security without development.”  Later, he spoke about how NATO has adopted a “whole-of-government approach” to Afghanistan; “Diplomats, defense ministries and development experts sit together, plan together and operate together, including in Provincial Reconstruction Teams all over Afghanistan.”  He also made the case for increased partnership among NGOs, international organizations, and other allies and global stakeholders.  See below for more excerpts from his speech, and read the full speech here.

“…everything is, indeed, connected.  The military mission cannot ultimately succeed until the civilian aspects – better governance, improved development, and a rising economy – succeed.”

“The answer is that we need what we call a comprehensive approach. And that is the first lesson of this mission. The days when the military could defeat the enemy, then hand the baton off to the civilians and go home, are past us.”

“We don’t just need better relations with other international organizations and NGOs.  To my mind, NATO also needs to institutionalize a broad and inclusive security dialogue and, where appropriate, partnership with relevant countries from around the world.”

Brookings, CSIS Issue New Report on Foreign Assistance Reform

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
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Noam UngerBrookingsCSIS logoMargaret Taylor

In a new report – “Capacity for Change: Reforming U.S. Assistance Efforts in Poor and Fragile Countries” – by co-authors Noam Unger (Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution and MFAN Principal), Margaret Taylor (Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project), and Frederick Barton (former co-director of the CSIS Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project), policymakers are presented with key recommendations to inform a coherent and effective national approach to both stabilization and broader development.

As the Obama administration moves through two strategic reviews – the Presidential Study Directive on U.S. Global Development Policy and the State Department’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review – the report concludes that “there is a stunningly broad consensus that improvement is needed across the board” on how the U.S. government provides foreign aid.  The report also predicts that “new presidential decisions and policies are expected” from the administration this spring on key questions around foreign assistance and the elevation of development as a strong pillar of U.S. foreign policy.


QDDR Blog Series: MFAN Co-Chair David Beckmann on Poverty

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
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The third installment in MFAN’s QDDR blog series comes from our Co-Chair, Rev. David Beckmann, who is president of the leading anti-poverty advocacy organization Bread for the World.  To see other posts in the series, click on the following names – George Ingram, Noam Unger.


The QDDR and Poverty Reduction

by Rev. David Beckmann

Bread for the World wants a reform of U.S. foreign assistance that will make it more effective in reducing poverty.

The Obama administration has already taken important steps towards reforming foreign assistance.  President Obama and Secretary Clinton have made development and global poverty reduction a higher priority in U.S. foreign policy.  They have achieved increased funding for development assistance and added staffing to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  They have also launched the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative (which thrills us at Bread for the World) and announced a more integrated approach to global health.