The connection between violent conflict and the famines that risk the lives of 20 million people in multiple countries of Africa and the Middle East was the topic of one of five appearances by USIP experts on Capitol Hill in the past week. USIP President Nancy Lindborg told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 22 that famine is rarely, if ever, caused by food shortages. Instead, “starvation has been used as a weapon of war in conflicts across time,” she said.
Lindborg offered her analysis a day after three other USIP staff were called to help inform policymaking on three other issues in a tumultuous time globally. On March 21, USIP Board Chairman Stephen J. Hadley appeared alongside former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, before the House Armed Services Committee, to encourage a national debate about America’s role in the world. They are due to address a similar topic before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 30, in a hearing on “The Road Ahead: U.S. Interests, Values and the American People.”
If America recedes from the global stage, people in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East will increasingly look elsewhere for inspiration and guidance – whether to authoritarianism or extremist ideology.
Also on March 21, Senior Policy Fellow Maria J. Stephan explained for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission how increasing global crackdowns against civil society create “a less safe, secure and free world.” And Director of Gender Policy and Strategy Kathleen Kuehnast moderated a panel of three experts on “Ending Violence Against Women in Politics,” before the same commission later in the day.
USIP Board Member Stephen D. Krasner, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a Stanford University-based public policy research organization, addressed “The Budget, Diplomacy and Development” today before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
We ignore badly governed, failed, and malign states at our peril.
Read testimonies on USIP’s website: