Page 13 - FSJ June 2012

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J U N E 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
13
ing in the Council feature prominent
scholars and former government offi-
cials with major influence.
On March 12-13 the Council of
Councils convened it
s inaugural con-
ference
in Washington, D.C., to tackle
four main issues: multilateral coopera-
tion, the nuclear nonproliferation
regime, the dollar’s future as the
world’s reserve currency and the crite-
ria for humanitarian intervention.
Among the speakers were outgoing
World Bank President Robert B. Zoel-
lick and Under Secretary of State for
Economic, Energy and Agricultural
Affairs Robert D. Hormats.
CFR and the other 18 think-tanks
plan to harness videoconferencing,
wikis and mobile platforms to facilitate
direct lines of communication between
international fellows and experts dur-
ing crises. This will add to the dialogue
by supplementing existing intergov-
ernmental and personal communica-
tions.
—David J. Barton, Editorial Intern
Would Less Foreign Aid
Be More Effective?
A May 8 report from the Center
for American Progress (
www.ameri-
canprogress.org
) and the Center for
Global Development
(
www.cgdev.
org
) ma
kes a case for greater selectivity
in deciding where and howWashington
should allocate foreign assistance. In
“Engagement Amid Austerity: ABipar-
tisan Approach to Reorienting the In-
ternational Affairs Budget”
(
www.
americanprogress.org/issues/2012/
05/foreign_aid.html
), Jo
hn Norris
and Connie Veillette propose four ways
to reform U.S. foreign affairs institu-
tions to better reflect national interests
and reduce ineffective spending.
First and foremost, they advocate
reallocating U.S. bilateral assistance to
about half the number of current re-
cipients. Of the 146 nations that re-
ceive at least some funds, 103 get
economic aid and 134 receive security
assistance. Norton and Veillette rec-
ommend concentrating economic as-
sistance programs on just 53 countries
and providing security assistance to 72
countries.
The report makes three additional
recommendations:
• Accelerate cost-sharing arrange-
ments with upper-middle-income re-
cipients of the President’s Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief, including
Botswana, the Dominican Republic,
Namibia, South Africa, and several
others in the Caribbean and Central
America.
• Overhaul U.S. food aid laws and
regulations to end U.S. cargo prefer-
ence, eliminate monetized food aid
and allow for more local and regional
food purchases.
• Establish an International Affairs
Realignment Commission, akin to the
Defense Base Realignment and Clo-
sure Commission, to overhaul U.S. for-
eign affairs agencies and operations.
The IARC would present a package of
institutional and program reforms for
an up-or-down approval by the admin-
istration and Congress.
The report, based on input from a
senior-level, bipartisan working group
of international affairs experts, includes
a country-by-country analysis of where
the United States spends its economic
and security assistance and an interac-
tive map, “Ranking Our Foreign Aid
Recipients.”
—Steven Alan Honley, Editor
C
Y B E R N O T E S
SITE OF THE MONTH:
www.wrestlingroots.org
Wrestling Roots is a nonprofit project aimed at gathering information about in-
digenous forms of wrestling around the globe. Throughout history, many cultures
have created their own versions of the sport; examples include Sumo in Japan, Kushti
in India and Pakistan, Lutte in Senegal and Nuba in Sudan, to name just a few.
Wrestling Roots’ goal is to document and promote these traditional forms and explore
how they are intertwined within the culture they were developed in.
Since many of these sports are taught according to oral traditions handed down
from village elders to younger generations, they tend to lack written rules. To docu-
ment them, the site brings together first-person essays by participants, reports on the
history and cultural aspects of the sport in different cultures, and manuals detailing
the different styles of indigenous wrestling.
The two people behind Wrestling Roots have earned bumps and bruises of their
own along the way by entering indigenous wrestling festivals in Vietnam, China, Mon-
golia, Ethiopia and India. One, Mark Lovejoy, is a State Department Eligible Family
Member; the other, Tim Foley, is a journalist based in Chicago. Wherever Mark’s FSO
spouse is posted, one of the ways he connects with the local community is by entering
that particular country’s indigenous wrestling festival.
To continue their journey, Lovejoy and Foley would appreciate feedback (and a
couch to crash on) from any post that has a connection within the local traditional
sports community. You can contact them through the site.
— Steven Alan Honley, Editor