Bridges Not Barriers: Securing Futures and Improving Lives Through Expanded Foreign Aid

by PSA Staff | September 26th, 2012 | |Subscribe

Co-authored by Ray Chambers and Thomas Kean. The Honorable Thomas Kean is a former Governor of New Jersey and Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Report. He is on the board of directors of Partnership for a Secure America. This blog posting originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Bridges Not Barriers: Securing Futures and Improving Lives Through Expanded Foreign Aid

The international community suffered a profound loss earlier this month when Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in Libya. While the deplorable attack came at the hands of an extremist group, the collective response of the Muslim world has clearly not been supportive of the actions of a few. Within hours, Libya’s interim president strongly condemned the “cowardly” attack and apologized to the United States. Yet almost immediately, some leaders in the United States seized upon the attack as a reason for the United States to end all foreign aid to Libya and other nations in the region.

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Guns, Butter, And Band-Aids: A Three-Tiered Approach to Foreign Policy

by PSA Staff | January 18th, 2012 | |Subscribe

This article was written by two Fall 2011 Fellows in PSA’s Congressional Fellowship Program.  All CFP articles are produced by bipartisan groups of Democrat and Republican Fellows that were challenged to develop opinion pieces that reach consensus on critical national security and foreign affairs issues.

Guns, Butter, And Band-Aids: A Three-Tiered Approach to Foreign Policy

In the early hours of a tropical morning in January 2010, the Baltimore-based U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort docked two kilometers off the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti equipped with military, U.S. Public Health Service, nongovernmental organization, and international organization personnel ready to respond to the raw wounds of the island nation still trembling from a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that had struck only days earlier. Despite initial doubts from the Pentagon that the ship was needed as another member of a swiftly-deployed fleet of similarly-equipped Navy and Marine vessels to the island[1], the U.S.N.S. Comfort quickly became a household name for U.S. military relief efforts due to the ship’s remarkable capability to quickly provide wounded Haitians a stable, secure place to receive desperately needed medical care. Not to be understated were the colossal efforts of the U.S. Agency for International Development.  This agency was designated to spearhead the U.S. intergovernmental agency response to the tragedy, which deployed disaster assistance personnel within a day of the crisis’ occurrence and continues to rebuild Haiti nearly two years later. Monitoring on-the-ground developments in Haiti, the U.S. Department of State preserved its strong tradition of diplomacy with the Haitian government and the international community; thereby assuring the distressed country that it had an ally in its long fight to recover, rebuild, and thrive.

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A New Approach to Interventionism

by PSA Staff | January 17th, 2012 | |Subscribe

This article was written by two Fall 2011 Fellows in PSA’s Congressional Fellowship Program.  All CFP articles are produced by bipartisan groups of Democrat and Republican Fellows that were challenged to develop opinion pieces that reach consensus on critical national security and foreign affairs issues.

For the vast majority of Americans, watching the last American boot leave Iraqi soil is nothing short of good riddance. The numbers have become seared in Americans minds: Nearly nine years. Nearly a trillion dollars spent. Nearly 35,000 US soldiers wounded. Nearly 4,500 US soldiers dead.

The long-term effect of the Iraq War is pretty obvious—a national sentiment for retrenchment—a streak of isolationism that is being espoused by both sides of the political spectrum. It’s hard not to watch Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry warn against “military adventurism” without comparing him to his predecessor.

But despite the desire to go inward, the simple fact is that if there was any hope for the US to go on the sidelines, that’s changed forever with the onset of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring has reminded the world of the danger of failed states. With long-time dictators losing power, militant Salafists (not solely Al Qaeda) are looking to fill the vacuum.

But the Arab Spring also comes with a new challenge—a new type of interventionism.

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Graeme Bannerman: Libya, A Costly Victory

by PSA Staff | October 24th, 2011 | |Subscribe

Graeme Bannerman is a PSA Board Member and scholar at the Middle East Institute, where his work focuses on US-Arab relations, regional security, the peace process, and the history of the Middle East.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asserted recently that critics of the Libyan mission “have been proven wrong.” Now, with the death of dictator Muammar Qadhafi, the secretary’s view is supported by the overwhelming majority of Washington’s foreign policy establishment.

But this won’t be the first time that Washington may be proven wrong. Even conceding the unlikely outcome that the Libyans overcome their tribal, regional, and political differences to establish a democratic state, the long-term costs of U.S. involvement are likely to far outweigh the benefits.

The first negative fallout was seen in the Russian and Chinese veto of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. The Russians and Chinese made it clear that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s abuse of the U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force in Libya to ”protect civilians” to justify a policy of regime change will make them reluctant to support future Security Council resolutions — which the United States and NATO could exploit to pursue an expanded agenda.

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All blog posts are independently produced by their authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of PSA. Across the Aisle serves as a bipartisan forum for productive discussion of national security and foreign affairs topics.