Tag Archives: USAID

What is the State Department Doing for Syria?

Many months before the March 2003 military invasion of Iraq, the State Department’s Future of Iraq team was hard at work developing contacts, analyses, and recommendations about a multitude of key civilian functions that would be critical for the effective … Continue reading

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Secretary Kerry’s Opportunity in the Sahel

US military forces are upgrading their support to French, Malian, and other African forces in Northern Mali. The latest operation seems to be adding unmanned aerial vehicle capabilities based in neighboring Niger. This is an important step, but by no … Continue reading

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Education for the New Defense Strategy

Following my last blog posting (January 3, 2012), I listened to the President and SecDef Panetta outline the elements of the new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense. My timing was good. The underlying themes of the DoD document … Continue reading

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Foreign Aid and National Security

It is maddening to hear calls in Congress to sacrifice “foreign aid” as a purported deficit-cutting strategy while fires are still smoldering in the Middle East. Compare that strategy to those critics who slammed the government for shoring up dictators … Continue reading

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Right-sizing the Federal Workforce

I suppose it is inevitable that the Administration and Congress will reduce the number of Federal employees now as a way to trim the deficit and to trim the size of government. I hope we will not toss the national … Continue reading

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Education for the Crisis After Next

Here’s the good news: the US government is getting smarter at the strategic level about the need to respond collectively to crisis. Interagency fora at the cabinet and subcabinet levels are working better than before (sometimes), and financial resources are … Continue reading

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“Whole-of-Government”

“Whole-of-government” is a useful way to conceptualize a many-sided American approach to crisis management. However, it is a bit misleading, at the same time both too broad and not inclusive enough. Too broad because not all of the US government … Continue reading

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Diplomacy & Development

Diplomacy and development are not yet the “new normal” in leading US counter-insurgency strategy, but we are gradually headed in that direction. According to my reading of counter-insurgency doctrine the overwhelming majority of our effort must reside in the civilian realm – supporting economic development, good governance, justice, and trade, among other things. Continue reading

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