U.S. Should Strengthen Investments In Foreign Aid, Not Merge USAID, State Department
Washington Post: Tillerson wants to merge the State Dept. and USAID. That’s a bad idea.
Andrew Natsios, professor at the Bush School of Government, director of the Scowcroft Institute at Texas A&M University, and former USAID administrator under President George W. Bush
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has set in motion a plan to merge all or parts of the U.S. Agency for International Development into the State Department and close 40 percent of USAID missions abroad, theoretically to ‘pursue greater efficiencies.’ While the Trump administration’s proposed … cuts to foreign aid have been the focus of Washington debate, the misguided absorption of USAID into State is a much graver danger to the effectiveness of the U.S. government’s aid program. Budget cuts can be quickly restored, particularly in the face of new and unexpected crises. A merger, however, could permanently diminish our ability to help and save lives around the world. … The United States needs to invest in foreign aid to protect itself from the chaos spreading across the world. We should be strengthening our aid programs and infrastructure, not weakening them. The State Department should focus on conducting diplomacy, which is what it excels at, and USAID should do its job as development professionals with more independence, not less” (6/28).