Shawn Powers on why the United States' public diplomacy budget needs more attention.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host foreign ministers and senior officials from the 67 nations that make up the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS [...] The coalition has made great strides leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It is a perfect example of multilateral and bilateral foreign policy, just as the White House is calling for big cuts in funds to the United Nations.
The brief exchange between the president and his national security adviser highlights one of the early conundrums of Trump’s presidency and his foreign policy. In his first budget blueprint, released Thursday, and in speeches, Trump has preached “America First,” an approach that involves bolstering U.S. military might, strengthening the country’s borders and slashing foreign aid.
“By far, the largest component of our requested budget increase is dedicated to the critical states of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he told the committee in March 2010. (...) In the five years since those remarks, Shah has appeared to focus less and less on Afghanistan and more on other development programs, such as combating global poverty and the Ebola outbreak, while aid to Afghanistan accounts for billions more U.S. taxpayer dollars than any other country where the agency operates.
The President's 2016 Budget is designed to bring middle class economics into the 21st century. This Budget shows what we can do if we invest in America's future and commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America. It lays out a strategy to strengthen our middle class and help America's hard-working families get ahead in a time of relentless economic and technological change.
As Canada reduces cultural staff and closes libraries and offices, it's important to remember that soft power is by no means inferior to commercial, political, or military facets.
At the same time, American influence in the world is bolstered largely through its "soft" power, and science and technology is an essential force of this influence, according to the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project poll.
The U.S. State Department has recently decided to cut all funds for the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program for fiscal year 2013. Born out of the peace process in Northern Ireland in which former Sen. George Mitchell played a pivotal role, the Mitchell program at its inception was intended to strengthen and modernize the relationship between the island of Ireland and the United States.