U.S. Should Continue To Use ‘Soft Power,’ Invest In PEPFAR To Improve Global Health, U.S. National Security

CNN: Trump should not relinquish ‘soft power’
James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

“…[R]ecently [President Trump] proposed a cut of 26 percent for global health programs [at the State Department and USAID] — ‘the lowest level of funding since FY 2008,’ according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Funds for AIDS alone would drop by about $860 million. While I am not proposing a specific ratio of spending, I believe there is a symbiotic relationship between hard and soft power and that, in both cases, we need to invest in the programs that succeed. … And if the Trump administration needs proof that soft power carries great weight, it need look no further than the previous Republican White House. The President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, launched by George W. Bush and extended under Barack Obama, has been critical in the fight against AIDS in Africa. … I want to see more PEPFARs, not fewer. … [N]ational security and global health are inextricably linked. … It was 36 years ago that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of what would later become known as AIDS. We have the chance to make this terrible disease a horror of the past. Let’s continue to seize the opportunity” (7/7).

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