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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

The 2006 National Security Strategy: Democracy as the Key to Peace and Development?

The White House’s updated National Security Strategy, released yesterday, offers an unapologetic if rose-tinted defense of Bush administration policies since September 2002, when the previous NSS appeared. Although most of the chapter headings are the same (“Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity,” “Expand the Circle of Development,” etc.), the new version goes well beyond broad declarations of unassailable principles: it seeks to marshal evidence of administration success in achieving these goals.

Two cheers for Transformational Diplomacy -- and State-Building

In testimony yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave a spirited and largely persuasive defense of the Administration’s FY06 Foreign Affairs budget of $35.1 billion. At a time of budgetary austerity (aside from DoD’s obscene and apparently untouchable half a trillion dollar budget) we owe kudos to Secretary Rice for securing OMB agreement on a 4% increase in spending on the State Department and foreign aid programs such as USAID.

Transformational Diplomacy or Tweaking?

Steve Krasner, Director of Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, spoke on Transformational Diplomacy on Friday before a standing-room-only crowd at a CGD event (transcript) He argued that the creation of a new Deputy for Development in the State Department reporting directly to the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, announced the day before, would strengthen not weaken USAID and thus the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid programs.

Rolling Back Sierra Leone's Carpet of Conflict

On January 1st, 2006, one of the largest UN peacekeeping operations of its time will quietly depart Sierra Leone, handing over its responsibilities and legacies alike to the first ever UN integrated peacebuilding mission in a post-conflict context, UNIOSIL. I have been following the drawdown of the UN presence in Sierra Leone for some time now, both in my previous role analyzing economic agendas in civil wars and rule of law issues at the International Peace Academy, as well as here at CGD.

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