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Voluntary Family Planning: A Key Component of Effective U.S. Foreign Assistance and National Security Policy

Let’s face it. We are, in the early portion of the Trump Presidency, in a period of foreign policy contentiousness in the United States: Russia; China; Iran; international trade; how to view refugees; ISIS; Israeli settlements; North Korea; Trans-Atlantic relations. The list of potential flash-points seems endless. ... Read More

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Six Principles for Prioritizing Foreign Assistance

The new administration has undertaken a herculean task to reform government, with the goal of making it more effective and efficient. The President’s Executive Order calls for each department or agency to submit a plan to the Office of Management and Budget for achieving greater efficiencies. OMB would then presumably approve or modify those plans in crafting future budgets.... Read More

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Recommendations from One World Food Program Director to the Next

Famines rising in four regions of the world, millions of people fleeing from wars, and more refugees than after WWII make for almost overwhelming burdens and responsibilities for our international humanitarian system.  Much of that falls on the UN World Food Program (WFP), considered one of the most effective humanitarian agencies in the world. ... Read More

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“If you’re not reporting on oil money, you’re undermining our national security” - Why it’s important to fight global corruption through extractives transparency

Corruption in developing countries is a leading cause of violent extremism, including the international terrorism that directly threatens the United States. For the West to counter such threats from radical groups, we have to address the root causes of extremism, which means, “Tackling corruption must be a first-order priority.”... Read More

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Connecting the Dots: The Trump Administration and U.S. Foreign Policy

Okay, I admit it:  at first glance there seems to be little overlap between core beliefs of the Trump Administration and the logic of foreign assistance programs managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).... Read More

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A cynical vote in favor of corruption

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”—Oscar Wilde

The Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule was voted off the books Friday, Feb. 3, executed at dawn during a highly unusual morning Senate session that began at 6:30 am. The 52-47 vote came swiftly, following a brief debate and vote in the House of Representatives Wednesday, and a few hours of Senate debate around dinner time Thursday.  There were no subcommittee reviews, no committee hearings: Congress took fewer than five days from the beginning of the legislative process to the end.... Read More

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A Nation in Balance – Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

Today marks the 56th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell speech.  It was delivered on television three days before he left office fourteen presidential terms ago.  The speech is best known for his admonition to guard against the accumulation of too much power and influence by the growing “military-industrial complex.” Coming from Eisenhower, a leader of unsurpassed military prominence in his era, this was a powerful and credible warning to the nation.... Read More

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Will Tillerson and Trump reverse U.S. leadership on global anti-corruption?

At Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for Exxon-Mobil chief Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State, Sen. Tim Kaine (D, Va.) introduced into the record a 2008 report prepared by Sen. Lugar’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff: “The Petroleum and Poverty Paradox: Assessing U.S. and International Community Efforts to Fight the Resource Curse.”  The 125-page report was the launch pad for the drafting and eventual passage of the Cardin-Lugar amendment aimed at fighting corruption in mineral-rich developing countries.... Read More

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Bipartisan lawmakers are more effective, new study says

Bipartisanship in politics may sound like a good thing, but does it really make a difference in today’s polarized Congress?... Read More

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U.S. issues new USEITI report on oil, gas and mineral revenues

The government this week issued its second annual report on the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI).  This report is a direct outgrowth of anti-corruption work begun by Sen. Lugar when he was in the Senate, and a board member of The Lugar Center sits on the committee that oversees USEITI. You can find a copy of the report here.  USEITI is part of a larger effort to promote transparency and fight corruption in developing countries, which dovetails with The Lugar Center’s project to increase the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid.... Read More

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