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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Sen. Graham Defends State, USAID

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
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Sen Lindsey GrahamAnother Republican has come out in support of the International Affairs budget. In an exclusive interview with The Cable blog, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to the importance of fully funding diplomatic and development efforts worldwide. Graham, who is likely to become Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, commented: “If you don’t want to use military force any more than you have to, count me in. State Department, USAID, all of these programs, in their own way, help win this struggle against radical Islam. The unsung heroes of this war are the State Department officials, the [Department of Justice] officials, and the agricultural people who are going out there.”

He added, “To those members who do not see the value of the civilian partnership in the war on terror, I think they are making a very dangerous decision.” Graham intends to work closely with Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to increase funding for State and USAID in frontline states like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and increase partnerships in these key regions; “The way I look at it is, it’s national security insurance that we’re buying.”

On the House side, Appropriations State and Foreign Ops Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) is supportive of State and USAID efforts but recognizes the tough fight ahead for funding.

To read more from Josh Rogin’s blog, click here.

Update on the Budget

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
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A week before the House Appropriates Committee is set to outline its budget cuts and set against the backdrop of unrest in Egypt and the Middle East, the battle over the International Affairs budget continues to heat up. A piece in POLITICO today acknowledges the “dramatic reversal of the activist Bush-era philosophy” as the rift grows between GOP old-timers who acknowledge the role the State Department and USAID play in national security and tea party challengers whose primary goal is to cut. The article quotes Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking member Dick Lugar (R-IN), who says, “It’s a new leadership group, and they are attempting to express that they are different and it’s a different time.” State’s spokesman P.J. Crowley told POLITICO, “If we have to take a significant cut in foreign assistance, in some fashion, that is going to affect Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Those are countries where we have vital interests and vital security concerns.”

Yesterday, Devex posted a story about President Obama’s five-year spending freeze announced in his State of the Union address last week. In a recent press briefing, U.S. National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer noted that the freeze will likely exclude the International Affairs budget. Hammer continued, the freeze “is the guidance for all departments, and so our budgets going forward will reflect that we clearly are very keen to preserve our foreign affairs funding in order to be best able to advance U.S. interests.” Read more here.

Stay tuned for more to come.

GOP Voices Make the Case for Effective Foreign Aid

Friday, January 28th, 2011
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Daily Caller logoFormer Ambassador to Tanzania and Congressman from Wisconsin Mark Green, Managing Director of the Malaria No More Policy Center, along with MFAN Co-Chair and former Republican Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates, and MFAN Principal and former President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Rob Mosbacher, Chairman of the Mosbacher Energy Company of Texas, put forth a strong defense for foreign assistance in a new op-ed in The Daily Caller. Green, Kolbe and Mosbacher urge policymakers to not cut short the achievements that aid has delivered over the last decade by slashing the budget, and instead focus on making US foreign assistance more efficient and effective—creating tremendous opportunities for the US to build markets and generate stability worldwide. Read the full op-ed below.

The Daily Caller

More effective foreign assistance can pay real dividends

Mark Green, Jim Kolbe, and Rob Mosbacher

January 28, 2011

As a new Congress gets into gear, both Republicans and Democrats have a solemn duty to do the people’s work and to make sure their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely. U.S. foreign assistance is already under the microscope, as it should be, but we believe policymakers should focus on making it better instead of slashing budgets. Foreign assistance accounts for less than 1% of our federal budget, and our investments in it can pay real dividends for the cost.

The world has changed dramatically even in the last decade, becoming more interconnected and full of challenges that defy narrow solutions. Our foreign assistance is a projection of our responsible leadership in the world; it is more important than ever to our security and economic interests. We must take the politics out of this debate and get down to the facts.

In terms of our national security, we provide extensive counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency assistance to “frontline states” such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. These civilian-led programs help build and train national army and police forces, support democracy and the rule of law, and improve destitute living conditions that can fuel extremism and anti-American sentiment.

Military leaders from Secretary of Defense Gates to Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen to Afghanistan Commander Petraeus have issued strong calls for strengthening civilian programs that take some of the burdens off of our war fighters, with Gates saying recently that helping countries develop “is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.”

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MFAN Statement: RSC Budget Proposal Would Derail Progress on Foreign Assistance Reform

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
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January 26, 2010 (WASHINGTON)This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann, George Ingram, and Jim Kolbe:

We strongly oppose last week’s Republican Study Committee budget proposal, which would cut all operating expenses at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The cuts would derail the comprehensive reform agenda underway inside the agency, at a time when its ability to perform effectively is crucial to our national security, our economic interests, and the lives and well-being of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.

USAID is a crucial partner of the United States military in “frontline states” including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, where the agency’s civilian development professionals train security forces, support efforts to bolster democracy and the rule of law, and improve quality of life for people in areas where extremism thrives.  Secretary of Defense Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen, and Afghanistan Commander Petraeus have called for strengthening these civilian programs, noting that the military does not want, and is not designed or equipped to carry, the extra burden of leading development programs.  Secretary Gates also said recently that helping countries develop “is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.”

The agency also builds critical agricultural growth programs, entrepreneurship initiatives, and community health efforts that help developing countries, the fastest growing markets in the world, mature and become better partners for U.S. exports and investment.  Just as the U.S. supported the Green Revolution in agricultural development in the 20th century – which helped countries like South Korea become strong trading partners and stalwart allies – we must continue this work by supporting the growth of vibrant private sectors and healthy middle classes, thriving civil societies, and empowered citizens in developing countries.

Most importantly, USAID Administrator Raj Shah is making progress on a tough reform agenda that would decrease inefficiencies; make the agency more selective, accountable and better at evaluating results; “graduate” countries that no longer need U.S. assistance; and uphold economic growth and empowered citizens as core goals of all development efforts.  We believe this reform effort must be given a chance to succeed, and we hope bipartisan Members of Congress will play a constructive role in making the agency more effective and accountable by helping to enshrine these and other foreign assistance reforms in law.

MFAN Co-Chairs: It’s Time to Finish the Job on Foreign Aid Reform

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
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In a new op-ed for Devex, MFAN’s Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram make the case to keep up the momentum for foreign aid reform, underscoring that reform is a bipartisan issue with support from both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. The full op-ed is posted below. To comment on the piece, please email Rolf Rosenkranz at rolf.rosenkranz@devex.com or Jenni Rothenberg at jrothenberg@modernizingforeignassistance.org. Devex members can also sign in to post a comment by clicking here.

George Ingram1David Beckmann1

It’s Time to Finish the Job on Foreign Aid Reform

By the Rev. David Beckmann and George Ingram

With the leak of a summary of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review last week – and President Obama’s announcement of America’s first-ever government-wide global development policy in September – the Obama administration has moved another step closer to an overhaul of the U.S. approach to global development, something no administration has been able to accomplish in the last 50 years.

The fact that we have come this far shows there is a broad, bipartisan consensus in Washington on the need to make U.S. foreign aid more effective, particularly because it is so critical to ongoing national security efforts, but also because we need our development dollars to go further in a time of tight budgets. The administration and Congress now must work together to finish the job, and turn these bold proposals into lasting policies and structures.

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