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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 »

Pentagon will finally find out if it pays to assist foreign armies

by Diana Ohlbaum

The Hill, January 2017 |

Since 9/11, the U.S. government has spent more than $250 billion to strengthen the security forces of over 130 countries. Yet there is remarkably little information about what is working, how and why... Read More »

5 things the Trump team needs to know about foreign aid

by Diana Ohlbaum

The Hill, December 2016 |

As President-elect Donald Trump's transition teams arrive at the Department of State and other foreign policy agencies, they are no doubt being inundated with briefing papers and policy recommendations... Read More »

How are we going to respond to a Trump presidency?

by Bill Goodfellow

Center for International Policy, December 2016 | Press Release, Letter

There is no denying that the recent election results will make our work a lot more difficult. So much of what we have accomplished is now at risk. With both the House and Senate controlled by Republicans, and soon the Supreme Court as well, the Trump administration seems poised to run roughshod over progressives... Read More »

How we can heal after the 2016 election

by Diana Ohlbaum

The Hill, November 2016 |

When I consider the possibility of Republican nominee Donald Trump as our next president, I feel nausea, disbelief, shame, outrage, terror, panic.... Read More »

Eight Lessons from Afghanistan

by Diana Ohlbaum

Lobelog, October 2016 |

Although President Obama slowed the drawdown in U.S. troops from Afghanistan, vowing to keep 8,400 troops there until the end of his term, the next president faces a major policy decision: will maintaining or enlarging the American military presence improve Afghanistan’s prospects for long-term stability? Equally important, do the probable gains of a continued deployment outweigh the anticipated risks and costs?... Read More »

Donald Trump, here's the 'extreme vetting' that's already happening

by Diana Ohlbaum

The Hill, September 2016 |

It’s hard to know where to start with GOP nominee Donald Trump's proposal for "extreme vetting" of prospective entrants into the United States. The odious nature of demanding adherence to a particular set of views in order to gain admission to a country founded on freedom of speech? The impossibility of determining a person's innermost beliefs and private opinions? The irony that Trump would be unlikely to pass his own tests of rejecting bigotry and hatred, and demonstrating respect for gay people, women and minorities?... Read More »

Wars eventually end with negotiated settlements

by Bill Goodfellow

August 2016 | Press Release

The announcement that the Colombian government and the FARC revolutionaries have reached a deal to end that country’s 52-year-old civil war is a reminder that all wars, however intractable they may seem at the time, eventually end with negotiated settlements. An estimated 220,000 people died in Colombia’s civil war and over five million were displaced. ... Read More »

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