Another Republican for foreign assistance: Tim Pawlenty

 In Alternatives to War, Stand Up

Image courtesy of The Cable.

This year, Republicans have taken the lead in slashing funds for critical international diplomacy and development programs in next year’s budget under the guise of helping reduce the deficit. There are, however, many Republicans who recognize these decisions as short-sighted, and who value the impact US foreign assistance has both here and abroad.

In addition to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who defended the foreign assistance budget in response to a young constituent, senior foreign policy advisor to presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty told the US Global Leadership Council’s conference that Pawlenty supports investing in international development:

“These are difficult economic times and you have a significant part of the Republican Party calling for retrenchment. The governor doesn’t accept that view and believes we ought to maintain defense spending and maintain the international affairs account,” Pawlenty’s senior foreign policy advisor Brian Hook said at yesterday’s U.S. Global Leadership Coalition conference.

“Governor Pawlenty believes very much in projecting an American foreign policy that is very much focused on clarity and strength, with the capabilities to back it up. And that means not cutting the international affairs account and defense spending,” Hook said.

“Leaders need to be honest with voters and admit that we are not going to pay down the deficit with savings in the [international affairs] account…. He believes a strong and effective civilian capacity can help prevent conflicts before they occur.”

While I, and many experts and economists, would take issue with his assertion that we should maintain military spending levels, it’s helpful to have supportive voices on both sides of the aisle and debate amongst the Republican presidential contenders on the importance of foreign assistance. There is already a long line of politicians, development experts, and military officials who are on the record supporting strong investments in diplomacy and development. The next step is to turn that into the political will to protect this funding and improve the way we are distributing aid around the world.

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  • kara j lincoln

    please note i share what i shared with Rep. Howard Berman Previews FAA Rewrite on Mfan Blog:

    my suggestion is to take a review right now at our government + it’s
    ceiling debt issue. define how never again such threat would reoccur.
    especially when such foolish spending on war economy. showing this to other
    countries is real. then the thought of solution oriented discussion with
    folks simply do_in what is in need elsewhere – takes communication, not
    funding, especially with virtual tools. it takes dedication + compassion
    for like folks to share via ecosystems via simple natural living. ecological
    self reliance so as to support all to become a local, global + beyond
    participant.this money cannot obtain.

    mathematically to do what US gov’t does when such large amounts of funds
    are disbursed to those that have manipulated as in Wall Street loopholes +
    business people, leaving hard working savings as in fear of not getting
    social security is very prehistoric + dysfunctional. it’s time for this
    review local + beyond to define how best to end more interference in others
    life + save this way – energy as well most efficient to refuel by restoring
    sound simple natural ecological restoration. for our earthly family to
    again go beyond survival + obtain harmony.

    this gov’t seems to enforce support where it gains, which is wrong. the UN
    entity allowing such hot spots as in present somali + many is a disgrace to
    human rights. meanwhile many folks get over looked for aid giving to places
    where we gain from their resources.

    in past such manipulation was not easy to figure out. now folks are clear,
    can focus + with virtual tools can get facts. as many share in networking
    what works to self-sustain without leaving a footprint. as what we do in
    our people building project.

    folks we need to have a base, a sound infrastructure within our self, our homeland + state the truth when don’t have this, so it all is laid on the cloth/table when we try to coneect with others to define what they missing, etc.

    peace is available if we all do this now, kara

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