Security by Other Means

Security by Other Means: Foreign Assistance, Global Poverty, and American Leadership

Lael Brainard editor
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 364
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  • Book Info
    Security by Other Means
    Book Description:

    In a world transformed by globalization and challenged by terrorism, foreign aid has assumed renewed importance as a foreign policy tool. While the results of more than forty years of development assistance show some successes, foreign aid is currently dispersed between many agencies and branches of government in a manner that formulation and implementation of a coherent, effective strategy. The current political climate is receptive to a transition toward greater accountability and effectiveness in development aid. Because this transition is clearly an imperative but has not yet been comprehensively addressed, the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic and International Studies have conducted a joint study that both assesses the current structures of foreign assistance and makes recommendations for efficient coordination. Drawing on expertise from the full range of agencies whose policies affect foreign aid, Security by Other Means examines foreign assistance across four categories reflecting the interests that aid furthers: security, economic, humanitarian, and political. As disparities in the world become more untenable, foreign aid plays a key role in not only the national interests of the U.S. but also the interconnected interests of the international community. This important new volume takes aim at critical questions in a concerted manner by assigning coherence and effectiveness to U.S. foreign aid. Contributors include Owen Barder (Center for Global Development, formerly UK Department for International Development), Charlie Flickner (former Staff Director of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations), Steve Hensch (George Washington University), Steve Morrison (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Steve Radelet (Center for Global Development)

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-1368-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Members of the Brookings-CSIS Task Force on Transforming Foreign Assistance in the 21st Century
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Strobe Talbott and John Hamre

    In a world transformed by globalization and challenged by terrorism, foreign aid has assumed renewed importance as a foreign policy tool. With hard power assets stretched thin and facing twenty-first century threats from global poverty, pandemics, and terrorism, the United States must deploy the other tools of national power more effectively. Doing so will require a major overhaul of America’s weak aid infrastructure.

    The urgent demands of postconflict reconstruction and humanitarian disasters have led to a faster rate of expansion of foreign assistance dollars in the last six years than at any point since the onset of the cold war....

  5. CHAPTER 1 A Unified Framework for U.S. Foreign Assistance
    (pp. 1-32)
    Lael Brainard

    The tragic events of September 11, 2001, together with the protracted unfolding tragedy of the HIV/AIDS pandemic have catapulted America’s relations with poor nations to a high priority on our national security agenda. Heightened attention to the plight of the hundreds of millions living in poverty and more than 500 million threatened by infectious disease was discernible both at the highest levels of government and in public discourse in the late 1990s, but it took a fundamental disruption to the security environment to produce bipartisan support for commitment of substantially greater resources.¹

    Since that time funding has grown, and programs...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Organizing U.S. Foreign Assistance to Meet Twenty-First Century Challenges
    (pp. 33-66)
    Lael Brainard

    The smartest policy and the biggest increase in resources in the world will not improve the success of America’s aid enterprise without fundamental organizational and operational transformation. Well-meaning increases in resources could be vitiated by the realities of bureaucratic turf battles, lack of coordination with international efforts, and contradictory approaches across the many U.S. policies affecting countries receiving U.S. assistance.

    At any given time, in any particular developing country, any or all of over fifty separate government units could be operating separate aid activities with distinct objectives, implementing authorities, reporting requirements, and local points of contact.¹ Figure 2-1 lists a...

  7. CHAPTER 3 What Role for U.S. Assistance in the Fight against Global HIV/AIDS?
    (pp. 67-92)
    J. Stephen Morrison

    The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), announced by President George Bush at the January 28, 2003, State of the Union Address, is a compelling, signature White House foreign assistance initiative intended to address, on an urgent basis, a single global infectious disease.¹ In its early phase, it has begun to reveal what is possible and to suggest what the future implications might be when the White House launches a foreign assistance innovation that carries the imprimatur, personality, and prestige of that singularly iconic institution.

    Most fundamentally, PEPFAR is an unprecedented, unexpected, high-risk presidential foreign policy commitment in the...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Strengthening U.S. Development Assistance
    (pp. 93-120)
    Steven Radelet

    Beginning in the early 1990s, two major trends in the world economy led to renewed debate about development assistance, its purposes, and how to make it more effective. First, with the end of the cold war, many aid programs lost their raison d’être and much of their political support. Second, the resolution of the widespread macroeconomic crises that had led to the ascendancy of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank stabilization and structural adjustment programs led to a deep rethinking about the IMF and World Bank approach. While these programs had clearly helped many countries achieve macroeconomic stability, critics...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Humanitarian Assistance Expands in Scale and Scope
    (pp. 121-160)
    Steven Hansch

    Arguably, no action is more reflective of the American spirit, or more likely to win friends and allies, than is America’s proven leadership in responding quickly and proficiently to disasters that poor countries are unable to manage on their own.

    Given its remarkable professionalization in the last twenty years, U.S. humanitarian aid is likely to continue to improve in efficiency and effectiveness. Better timeliness of delivery, accuracy of targeting, and evidence-based project design count among the key improvements that have allowed the United States to be a world leader in humanitarian aid. Despite progress in these areas, several factors indicate...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Development in the Shadow of Conflict
    (pp. 161-194)
    Patrick Cronin

    Foreign assistance programs broadly conceived must be bolstered as an integral part of the national security strategy of the United States government. A serious—but realistic—capacity to turn swords into plowshares and prevent conflict before it begins must be a core mission of the U.S. government in the twenty-first century. In addition, when conflict does arise, the U.S. government must be prepared to conduct effective stabilization and reconstruction operations with international allies. Since the end of the cold war, the United States has continuously found itself involved in postconflict rebuilding, whether on a grand or small scale and whether...

  11. CHAPTER 7 The Changing Complexion of Security and Strategic Assistance in the Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 195-224)
    Patrick Cronin and Tarek Ghani

    One of the oldest and most enduring purposes of U.S. foreign assistance has been to counter security threats to the nation. Throughout the cold war, the United States provided security assistance—in the form of money and military training and hardware—to contain Soviet power. During that time the boundaries of so-called security assistance were broadly consistent with the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act definition of U.S. government programs that provide “defense articles, military training, and other defense related services by grant, loan, credit, or cash sales in furtherance of national policies and objectives.”¹ Increasingly, however, a much broader category of...

  12. CHAPTER 8 Removing Impediments to an Effective Partnership with Congress
    (pp. 225-254)
    Charles Flickner

    Contemporary congressional interest in foreign assistance is generally limited to areas of concern to one or more members, often manifested in the form of “hundreds of congressional directives and special budget measures,” known as earmarks.¹ If a core problem in foreign aid is to “strike a balance between legitimate oversight of how tax dollars are spent and counterproductive overregulation,” Congress is neglecting its lawmaking and oversight role and intruding into the realm of the executive through its attempts to manage aid implementation.²

    There is no evidence that more than a handful of elected members of the U.S. federal legislature ponder...

  13. CHAPTER 9 Foreign Aid Reform Commissions, Task Forces, and Initiatives: From Kennedy to the Present
    (pp. 255-276)
    Larry Nowels

    U.S. foreign assistance policy, programs, and organization have been the subject of extensive—some would say excruciating—examination by policymakers, academics, the broad international development community, and American lawmakers throughout the post–World War II period. Yet the formal channels for these efforts—the presidentially appointed commissions, legislative branch task forces, and lawmaking attempts—often floundered, failing to develop the consensus necessary to implement their policy recommendations. At best, some of these structured efforts yielded ideas that individually may have caught the attention of new administrations and may have formed the basis for selective reforms. But as comprehensive, integrated packages,...

  14. CHAPTER 10 Reforming Development Assistance: Lessons from the U.K. Experience
    (pp. 277-320)
    Owen Barder

    In 1997 the incoming Labour government established the new Department for International Development (DFID), with responsibility for the $6 billion aid budget and other aspects of U.K. development policy, led by its own cabinet minister.² In the subsequent eight years, the new department established a reputation for itself, and for the U.K. government, as a leader in development thinking and practice. A 2005 study for the Canadian government found that “ten years ago, the DFID was considered a middle-of-the-pack development agency. Today it is generally considered to be the best in the world.”³ DFID was described byThe Economistas...

  15. CHAPTER 11 Conclusion and Recommendations
    (pp. 321-334)
    Lael Brainard

    In the face of unprecedented new global challenges, the hard power assets of the United States—military, economic, and other means of persuasion and coercion—are stretched thin. It has become increasingly critical to leverage foreign aid and other soft power tools in order to grapple with global poverty, pandemics, and other transnational threats. America’s fragmented, incoherent foreign assistance infrastructure has diminished the influence and overall effectiveness of these programs, however. While U.S. spending on foreign assistance has recently seen its greatest increase in forty years, the administration of that aid is dispersed between many agencies and branches of government...

  16. APPENDIX A Contributors to the Brookings-CSIS Task Force on Transforming Foreign Assistance in the 21st Century
    (pp. 335-340)
    Lael Brainard and Patrick Cronin
  17. APPENDIX B List of Legislation, Strategic Objectives, and Organizations Involved with Foreign Assistance
    (pp. 341-346)
    (pp. 347-350)
  19. Index
    (pp. 351-364)