USAID Should Narrow Focus, Reduce Global Footprint, Explicitly Support National Security Objectives
Devex: Opinion: Rethinking USAID selection criteria
Michael Miklaucic, senior fellow with the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and director of research, information, and publications at the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) at the National Defense University
“…[USAID should] repurpose itself to accept a narrower, but more focused role, drastically reduce the scope of its work and its global footprint, and more explicitly support national security objectives. … The selection of countries for USAID programs should be based on the following four criteria. 1. Strategic interest. … 2. Comparative advantage. … 3. Program impact. … 4. Governance and security. … USAID must reflect carefully, and develop a strategy over the next four years for regaining relevance. … USAID must consider how it might best contribute to the security and prosperity of the United States, and carve out a niche accordingly. A role model for USAID could be the U.S. Treasury, which in the early post-9/11 years was shorn of most of its law enforcement functions, and reinvented itself as a national security agency leading the fight against terrorist financing. There is no guarantee that USAID can similarly reinvent itself, but if USAID is capable of pulling off such a transformation, it may yet have a dynamic future. Otherwise USAID risks continuing to fade into strategic irrelevance” (8/3).