Conversations With America: Meeting the Millennium Development Goals

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 16, 2010
Conversations with America: A Discussion on Meeting the Millennium Development Goals REPLAY1

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will hold a conversation with David Lane, President and CEO of ONE, on global development opportunities and challenges on the eve of the Millennium Development Goals summit. The discussion will be moderated by Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley and streamed live here on DipNote and at 10:15 a.m. on September 16, 2010. (EDT).

Members of the public have submitted questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. You can read their questions here on DipNote. You can read more information about the U.S. government's strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals here.



September 16, 2010

Salman in France writes:

Let me just point out a few things...

From the US Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare, FM3-05.130 :

2-38 : Like all other instruments of U.S. national power, the use and effects of economic “weapons” are interrelated and they must be coordinated carefully. Once again, Army special operations forces must work carefully with the Department of State and intelligence community to determine which elements of the human terrain in the unconventional warfare operational area are most susceptible to economic engagement and what second- and third-order effects are likely from such engagement. The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) placement abroad and its mission to engage human groups provide one channel for leveraging economic incentives. The Department of Commerce’s can similarly leverage its routine influence with U.S. corporations active abroad. Moreover, the information operations effects of economic promises kept (or ignored) can prove critical to the legitimacy of U.S. unconventional warfare efforts. Unconventional warfare practitioners must plan for these effects.

In practice, USAID's activities in Bolivia before and after Evo Morales' election included destabilization efforts. This was exposed by a series of budget forms obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request : "" .

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
September 19, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I just heard on the news, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will have the first woman as Deputy of Education. This is wonderful news for women in Saudi Arabia and King Abdoulah, shows great strides for women in his Kingdom.


Donald M.
Virginia, USA
September 19, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

September 19, 2010

I believe most US Citizens are more concerned about how its taxpayers dollars aiding Pakistan, when it should be "Charity Services" or "Blood Drives" the State Department can have the biggest heart in the world but people in our country are doing without fresh water, struggling for food, or homes, yet billions of dollars continue funding into Pakistan? Which brought me to the point that Staffers I asked if they pay income tax in the country of Paksitan, and completely dodged my question? If there NOT paying, isn't about time they started paying taxes like we do in the United States. Instead of giving them billions make it a loan like Mr. Bill Clinton did with Mexico, then they would have to pay it back. How many people in the United States truly get a hand out in the billions of dollars, NONE? So why is Pakistan any different, why are they in need more than say any other country in the world that is struggling to survive? Unless the United States is afraid of Pakistan.

DipNote Bloggers reply: @Donald: yes, Pakistan has an income tax system.

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
September 19, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Thank you staffer for the information, so if they are paying taxes, they can pay for a Loan, and build from that. I'm not saying Pakistan shouldn't get a dime, but pointing out there should be a business arrangement where like in any business or deal they should pay it back with interest. Otherwise it appears the United States is showing favoritism for Pakistan, and theres over 200 other countries in the world that could use aid. Case in point, when my car decided to blow a head gasket, it left me walking. I had to make an arrangment and sign a loan to obtain a vehicle with a dealership. So If I can do it, why isn't Pakistan doing it when it comes to the Millions of dollars being aided to them? Wasn't a few weeks back, Hillary Clinton gave them 500 Million dollars, then to find out a bank in Islamabad had problems with people withdrawing thousands of us dollars. The quote I heard, a pakistan man withdrew 40 thousand dollars. Who is accountable for this money? How does he plan on paying it back, or does he? The real question is, What is the State Department doing to "Prevent Corruption in Pakistan"?

New Mexico, USA
September 19, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

There are priorities and then there are priorities...

For instance, if Saudia Arabia didn't need 60 billion in military hardware from the US to protect itself against the threat posed by Iran, it wouild be logical to assume they would have 60 billion dollars they could use to help their Muslim brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

So, there's a simple formula for development goals, that the less money folks spend blowing stuff up, the more money they'll have to build a world worth living in.

See, if Pres. Obama, and Sec. of State Clinton were to hire me as a speech writer, the previous paragraph above would leave no question in anyone's mind about the logic of US policy today.

If folks like Iran wish to threaten their neigbors to the extent the Saudis feel the need for 60 billion in hardware to return the favor and blow stuff up in greater or equal measure, then the price of maintaining "peace and stability" in the region actually detracts from that goal, as well as the millenium goals in particular.

The other day in Senate Hearing on North Korea, the notion was put in testimony that our nation's investment in the "peace and security" of the Korean peninsula, had allowed for the conditions of vast economic development of all the regions nations, with one notable exception.

But the flip side to this is that for the last 57 years, had we not needed to provide that because the conflict had been permanently resolved among the parties, then North Koreans wouldn't be starving today at the hands of their leaders who live in luxury.

And what about all that money spent on hardware that wasn't invested in everyone's economy at the time?

(I accept the "given" that without security nothing can be built because it's a lot easier to blow it up, being quicker than to build stuff.)

But I'm going to venture a theory here that the world's economy wouldn't have been face down in the mud trying to get to its knees today.

The problem as I see it in US policy approach where it concerns milataristic regimes with illusions of grandure and ill intent is that;

1) You don't leave tyrants in power long enough to threaten nuclear war.

2) You don't leave tyrants in power long enough to starve their people, commit ethnic cleansing, terrorism or other crimes against humanity.

3) If the job isn't worth doing right the first time, it sure isn't going to pay to have to go back years later and do regime replacement right.

4) If you are going to help people regain their freedom, don't leave them to sleep in the rubble after.

These are real simple rules of regime replacement therapy.

And here's the point...

The same economic mistake dictators make in arming themselves at the threat to, and expense of their people, causes the US and others to make that same economic mistake as "Sophie's choice" in how a government takes care of it's people's security, and in trying to provide economic sustainability.

Now is that so hard for nations to understand? Be it governments or their people?

By not dealing with conflicts in a permanent manner, the UN and it's member states have set the stage for a very dangerous would for humanity to live in today, and this is everyone's fault for failure to find a working alternative to all out war and unconditional surrender.

The US has had to correct this mistake twice in the last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If folks had regime replacement therapy on the front burner rather than "behavior change", you might have gotten behavior change along the lines my government sought, but these tyrants are figuring no one wants a war (which is a given), and morover that we will seek peace at any price (which is a historical fallacy called "failed" diplomacy)

This Admin came into office intending to end the war in both theaters of it our troops are doing the job required because tyrants were left in power in the first place.

The pundits are welcome to put this in their political pipe and smoke it, and come up with a better plan if they like.

But to those who's job it is to serve the people, I should very much like them to adress the inescapable logic in all of this.

"sanctions are not and end in themselves"

Yeah well if the intended purpose is to bankrupt a regime and force it from power withouit hostilities , success may be factored into just how desparate the regime is to hang on to it.

Offer Saddam a "retirement package" and 48 hours to think about it, pack his bags and walk...well what are folks to do but engage in "forced retirement" at the end of a rope?

I swear, sometimes I think folks would declace it illegal to create a better world to live in, by all the hemming a hawing they do over doing the right thing.

It's like humanity not only can't grasp what the right hand is doing from the left, they are playing with sharp objects in the process.



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