Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Live Blog: The Future of U.S. Foreign Assistance

Bookmark and Share

11:45 a.m. The third panel this morning at the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is entitled, "The Future of U.S. Foreign Assistancde: Effective Development and National Security. The panel is moderated by Matthew McLean, Vice President, Millennium Challenge Corporation. Panelists for this event are:

* U.S. Representative John Boozman (R-AR), Member U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs
* Richard Fontaine, Foreign Policy Advisor, McCain '08
* Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States (former U.S. Representative from Arizona)
* Ambassador Andrew S. Natsios, Distinguished Professor in Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University
* Raymond Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America
* Vin Weber, Chariman, National Endowment for Democracy and Partner, Clark and Weinstock
* Honourable Michael Wilson, Canadian Ambassador to the United States

11:55 a.m.The United States sends nearly 200 billion dollars in developmental foreign assistance each year, only approximately 25 million of which comes directly from the federal government. The United States contributes more in absolute dollars than any other government, although it ranks among the lowest in terms of GDP percentage (though this does not factor in non-governmental contributions).

11:58 a.m. Offenheiser believes the current system of foreign aid needs critical reforms, as it is not serving its intended purpose or filling the needs of those it is intending to help. The U.S. has no national development strategy, unlike defense and diplomacy strategies, according to Offenheiser. He adds our laws our 'out of place and out of time' and is undermining U.S. leadership in foreign policy (the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act was written in 1961).

12:01 p.m. The American public, however, is a hard sell when it comes to sending more governmental dollars overseas on developmental aid. A poll conducted a few years ago by the Washingotn Post (June 2002) found only 8 percent of Americans believe we were spending 'too little' on foreign aid, with 22 percent stating the U.S. spent about the right amount, and 56 percent stating we spend 'too much.'

12:01 p.m. Former Congressman Kolbe believes we need more transparency in our aid giving, as well as "pruning the tree" of U.S. foreign assistance - less earmarks and more streamlined aid.

12:13 p.m. Ambassador Natsios agrees that the organizational structure of U.S. foreign aid is 'a mess.' Natsios says one of the reasons is the decrease in the number of AID foreign service officers. Foreign aid functions need to be recentralized in Washington, D.C. as well as in the field, the Ambassador concludes.

12:16 p.m. Congressman Boorman says the biggest hurdle to foreign aid in D.C. is that there is no constituency for it. Boorman says our aid can go a long way in improving our foreign relations -- in Africa, for example, President Bush was treated 'like a rock star' and America has positive ratings around 70 percent.

12:22 p.m. Former Congressman Vin Weber believes democracy (workers' rights, women's rights etc.) must be central to our foreign affairs strategy, but it must go hand-in-hand with foreign assistance.

12:31 p.m. Canadian Ambassador the U.S. Wilson comments on Canada's policy in Afghanistan and how it gives developmental assistance. Canada has six priorities there including building the security forces, helping government to provide basic services, providing humanitarian services, building Afghan institutions (e.g. elections), and assisting Afghan-led political solutions. Canada has increased its aid to Afghanistan by 50 percent to 1.9 billion. The Ambassador says there can be no developmental aid without security - two Canadian schools have been burnt down by the Taliban.

12:36 p.m. McCain foreign policy advisor Fontaine outlines McCain's record for U.S. aid while in the Senate in recent years. If elected president, McCain would eradicate malaria in Africa, calling for the private sector to match governmental aid. McCain would also be committed to fight world AIDS.

Previous post: Live Blog: Climate Change and Energy Security
Next post: Live Blog: Conservatism Today

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting