Tag: State Department

 

A No More Tiers Formula to Clean Up Corruption

Blog Post

A bipartisan group of eight Senators led by Senate Foreign Relations Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) has just reintroduced a new version of a bill designed to identify and combat corruption overseas. The Combating Global Corruption Act of 2017 ties some potentially useful anti-corruption measures to a less-than-useful exercise in corruption ranking that will blunt their impact. That’s a shame, but it also suggests an easy fix: junk the ranking.

Publications

State Department guidance underscores the importance of its work in furthering development: “The surest path to creating more prosperous societies requires indigenous political will; responsive, effective, accountable, and transparent governance; and broad-based, inclusive economic growth. Without this enabling environment, sustained development progress often remains out of reach.”

Cutting UN Funding Will Cost the US

Blog Post

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Trump Administration is considering a new Executive Order that mandates cutting all funding to bodies that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority and fund abortion amongst other categories, but also suggests “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in remaining US funding towards international organizations. The proposed cuts would do almost nothing to reduce the deficit while weakening US national security and international leadership.

The Warlord and the Ambassador: A Review of Dante Paradiso’s "The Embassy"

Blog Post

The Embassy: A Story of War and Diplomacy by Dante Paradiso tells the inside story of how US Ambassador John Blaney and his team kept the Liberian embassy open, risked their lives to cross the front lines to meet with General Cobra, and played a crucial role in negotiating a complicated sequence that included Taylor being forced into exile, the rebels allowing ECOWAS peacekeepers to reopen the port, and getting peace negotiators back to the table. Paradiso, a foreign service officer who served in that embassy, skillfully tells the story through the eyes of several unsung heroes.

What Tillerson’s Leadership Could Mean for US Development Policy

Blog Post

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted yesterday to give the greenlight to Rex Tillerson’s nomination for Secretary of State. Assuming he is confirmed by the full Senate—which at this point is all but certain—Tillerson will play a critical role in shaping US foreign policy from the helm of the State Department with important implications for global development. While, like other nominees, some of Tillerson’s stated positions appear out of sync with those espoused by President Trump, it’s worth examining where Tillerson is on the record when it comes to issues of development and humanitarian relief.

The Tillerson Hearings

Blog Post

No one expects to hear much on development-related matters during next week’s hearing for Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson. But even if they aren’t asked outright, I’ll be listening closely to Mr. Tillerson’s testimony for answers to some fundamental questions about what we can expect from the next four years for US development policy.

GAO Report Misses the Point on USG Ebola Response

Blog Post

Having tried and mostly failed to track what was going on with US Government performance and spending on Ebola, I welcome the GAO’s overview of obligations and disbursements by appropriation account and strategy pillar. Now the scope of this report appears to be narrow, so let’s hope there’s more to come. A performance audit should go beyond the money to look at what actually happened; what organizations, activities and products were funded; what were the results on the outcomes that matter—Ebola transmission, rapid control of Ebola outbreaks; whether second-order economic impacts were mitigated; and how outbreak preparedness has evolved over time.

Kerry on US Development Investments: Doing More with Less

Blog Post

The $52 billion FY2014 international affairs budget request is a small investment with big returns for the United States and the world, Secretary of State John Kerry said in congressional hearings last week.  The request is the same amount Congress allocated in FY2013 and a four percent cut from FY2012. Kerry told members of Congress that the State Department and USAID are prepared to do more with less.

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