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    Congressional Skepticism of Aid to Afghanistan Grows as U.S. Troops Withdraw

    As the U.S. continues to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, possibly all of them by the end of the year, Members of Congress are increasingly doubtful about the efficacy of U.S. aid programs. “Afghanistan is the most corrupt country in the world,” Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R–UT), chairman of the House Oversight … More

    Corruption Blocks Influence of Foreign Aid

    Why do some nations that receive U.S. foreign aid year after year never seem to improve, or move beyond the dependency phase? Perhaps the largest reason is corruption. It’s the “pre-existing condition” that keeps many aid recipients from ever recovering. It’s a major obstacle to economic growth, which is why … More

    Congress Tells MCC to Get Back to Basics

    Buried in the 1,582-page, trillion-dollar “omnibus” budget bill for fiscal year 2014 is some very tough language that in essence orders the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to focus on corruption and demand that aid-receiving countries be held accountable for the outcomes of their economic policies. The report reminds us that … More

    U.S. Allies Voice Alarm over Obama’s Middle East Policies

    Saudi Arabia and Israel, two key U.S. allies, have publicly challenged the Obama Administration’s Middle East policies this week and expressed alarm over the unraveling of America’s reputation as a dependable ally. Both are understandably concerned that the Administration is succumbing to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s charm offensive and is … More

    Obama’s Lack of Leadership on Aid to Egypt

    U.S. policy on Egypt has drifted in recent months due to a lack of high-level attention, as the Obama Administration focused on Syria, Iran, Israeli–Palestinian peace talks, and the government shutdown. CNN reported yesterday that the Administration would soon announce a cutoff of aid to Egypt, but the White House … More

    Obama’s MCC Rewards Bad Behavior in El Salvador

    Last week, the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a five-year, $277 million foreign aid compact with El Salvador. But, as Mary O’Grady reports in The Wall Street Journal, since the ruling FMLN party came to power in 2009, El Salvador has become poorer, less democratic, and less free. … More

    Suez Canal Attacked by Terrorists

    Egyptian authorities announced this weekend that a container ship passing through the Suez Canal was attacked by terrorists, who apparently sought to close the strategic waterway. The Panama-flagged vessel reportedly escaped major damage. More importantly, the canal was not forced to close, which would have disrupted global shipping operations, ratcheted up … More

    Obama Administration Stumbles in Egypt’s Shifting Sands

    The Obama Administration’s influence in Egypt has evaporated as Egypt’s “Arab Spring” hopes for a democratic transition have wilted during a summer of rising violence. Egypt’s army, which ousted the unpopular, autocratic and anti-Western President Mohamed Morsi in a July 3 coup, turned a deaf ear to Washington’s call for … More

    Millennium Challenge Corporation Goes Off Course in Georgia

    The U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors recently approved a five-year, $140 million compact with the nation of Georgia “to increase the quality of human capital by investing in science and technology education and workforce development” with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)” and … More

    Why Don't We Have Free Trade with Every Country?

    With a July 31 expiration date fast approaching, both the House and Senate last week introduced legislation that would extend free trade preferences to developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Introduced with broad bipartisan support, the extension was lauded by both sides of the aisle for supporting … More