The Foreign Service Journal, April 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2020 13 Multiple Objectives Further, U.S. assistance is supposed to support major foreign policy initia- tives and complement military opera- tions, as in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghani- stan; assist in acquiring the use of foreign military bases; and support U.S. exports and investments in developing countries and create future profitable markets. (Note that DFC and TDA were created within USAID; when proved successful, they were spun off under pressure from U.S. business interests.) Of rapidly growing importance today, assistance is also used to address major issues that transcend boundaries, such as global warming and the great number of problems that stem from it, as well as diseases, possible pandemics, population pressures and mass migra- tions. USAID collaborates with other parts of the U.S. government and bilateral and multilateral donors in most of these undertakings, and it contracts with numerous companies, universities and nongovernmental organizations. It also represents the United States on the Development Assistance Commit- tee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and often to United Nations agencies in Rome and elsewhere. Are many of these wide-ranging activities likely to disappear or decline in importance in the near future? Of course not. Can the United States as a country cease to address them? No. Thus, it follows that we must con- tinue to have mechanisms, skilled per- sonnel and budgets to deal with them, even if—and this is most unlikely— most or all of the world’s countries reach satisfactory levels of economic and social development. More Efficient Organization These skills and budgets need not be centered in USAID, but they must be housed somewhere. Given political reali- ties, it is likely that things will remain as they are for the time being. That said, there are better ways to organize these necessary capabilities that would result in greater efficiency and substantial administrative savings. One is to merge MCC into USAID. USAID would be the major partner in such a merger, but the MCC name would better describe the wide range of responsibilities and activities. Or create another name. Our country then would have two main foreign economic assistance oper- ating entities—the merged USAID/MCC, dealing with most of the matters outlined above; and the DFC (merging the smaller TDA into it), promoting finance and private investment in, and trade with, developing countries. Some donor coun- tries do, in fact, divide their assistance organizations in this way. Yet another approach would be to merge USAID into State as a separate bureau and specialty; now the two are partly joined and partly separate. At the same time, State could seek control of or greater influence over the other assis- tance spigots. I have discussed these options in previous FSJ articles (see Speaking Out in December 2010 and November 2009) . The Future We live in complex and turbulent times. World problems will continue to accumulate as the decades pass. Most of them can be addressed only with substantial and wise use of soft power. That is the argument for a continued and expanded organization like USAID, suit- ably transformed for the long term. n AFSPA ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management Chambers Theory Clements Worldwide Episcopal Church Schools of Virginia Federal Employee Protection Systems Jake Realty Group Property Specialists, Inc. Richey Property Management WJD Management