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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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Lugar Diplomacy Series hosts Justice Elena Kagan

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan led an off-the-record round table discussion with 15 ambassadors to the United States Wednesday in the second meeting of the Lugar Diplomacy Series.... Read More

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Bipartisan Index: In a Divided America, ‘Bipartisanship’ is Possible

Voters in the nation’s most partisan Congressional districts—the deep reds and the dark blues—can nonetheless elect bipartisan representatives who are willing to reach across the aisle to try to get things done in Washington.... Read More

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Lugar Diplomacy Series Kicks Off with Gen. David Petraeus

The Lugar Center launched its new Lugar Diplomacy Series Monday with a roundtable discussion among 15 foreign ambassadors led by retired Gen. David Petraeus and former Sen. Richard Lugar.... Read More

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We Need A 21st Century Green Revolution to Feed the World

The first Green Revolution, led by the work of Norm Borlaug and M.S. Swaminathan, is credited with saving millions of lives through its concentration on raising crop productivity through scientific advances around improved inputs and farming techniques. However, it brought us only so far. According to the FAO, today 795 million people suffer from chronic hunger. Our global food and agriculture systems will continue to be under enormous pressures that can only be ameliorated by greater investments in science. To feed a world population of nearly 10 billion by 2050 will require not just greater productivity, but smarter productivity that recognizes the environmental challenges of climate change, the demands of a more urbanized global population, stresses on water resources, and changing dietary preferences.... Read More

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