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Where is the Opening for Aid Reform?

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, August 2017 |

It’s hard to reconcile the optimism of the development community with the signals coming from the Trump administration... Read More »

Redesigning the Foreign Aid Architecture

by Diana Ohlbaum

Lobe Log, July 2017 |

Donald Trump is hardly the first U.S. president to call for bureaucratic reorganization to improve government efficiency and effectiveness... Read More »

Fixing the Met: Art Lovers Speak

by Montana Mathieu

NY Times, July 2017 |

The next director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will have a full inbox. Here, 20 well-known Met watchers offer their own bold ideas and expectations... Read More »

Good News, Bad News in Trump’s International Affairs Budget

by Diana Ohlbaum

Lob Log, June 2017 |

Expert reviews of President Trump’s proposed budget for international affairs have been almost uniformly negative—and for good reason. Severe and disproportionate cuts for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would undermine U.S. national security... Read More »

Foreign Aid Reform: Opportunity or Threat?

by Diana Ohlbaum

Lob Log Foreign Policy, May 2017 |

It would be difficult, inside or outside the Beltway, to find someone who doesn’t think that U.S. foreign assistance needs to be reformed... Read More »

Letters to the Editor: Mr. Trump should negotiate a power-sharing agreement in Afghanistan


Washington Post, May 2017 |

The April 27 editorial “How to make progress in Afghanistan” urged the Trump administration to send additional U.S. trainers and Special Operations forces to Afghanistan and allow “American planes and drones to operate with the same freedom against the enemy that they have in Iraq and Syria.”... Read More »

Disparaging Diplomacy

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, May 2017 |

The Trump administration’s steady stream of assaults on diplomacy has become a raging river. It started during the campaign, with Trump’s tirades against the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, and various trade agreements... Read More »

Dismantling USAID

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, April 2017 |

It comes as little surprise that the Trump Administration is preparing plans to eliminate the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), whose mission is to “end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies.” Trump’s xenophobic, “America First” rhetoric leaves little room for enlightened engagement with the world, and his budget targets development for disabling cuts... Read More »

US Diplomacy and Development Aid: Death by a Thousand Cuts

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, April 2017 |

When President Trump submitted his preliminary budget request for 2018, which outlined foreign aid and diplomacy cuts of nearly one-third, the rebuke was fast and furious. Members of Congress declared the president’s budget “dead on arrival.” Hearings on the budget produced “near consensus” against the cuts. Not just liberal Democrats and humanitarian do-gooders, but military leaders, Republican national security experts, right-leaning editorial boards, faith leaders, and conservative columnists proclaimed the importance of development assistance and, as one pundit put it, the “amorality and stupidity of eviscerating foreign-aid spending.”... Read More »

Why Haven’t We Defeated al-Shabaab?

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, January 2017 |

“We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?” the Trump transition team asked the State Department. To foreign policy professionals, such questions may sound naïve and uninformed. They may reflect “an overwhelmingly negative and disparaging outlook” on Africa, as one expert characterized them, and extreme skepticism about the value of foreign aid. But rather than debating the motives of those asking the questions, the national security establishment ought to seize the opportunity to reexamine some long-standing assumptions... Read More »

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