But perhaps the most important idea of all, shared by both the Bush and Obama administrations, is that the mission of U.S. foreign assistance is to put itself out of business by helping build vibrant private sectors and middle classes, thriving civil societies, and more efficient local governments that are accountable to citizens. This is the way to put the people we are trying to help in control of their own development.
Tremendous progress has been made in addressing the conditions of despair that lead to extremism, containing the spread of pandemic disease, and creating the kinds of economic opportunities that lead to greater global stability. In a world that is shrinking — with fewer borders and growing interdependencies, less isolation and greater shared challenges — more effective foreign assistance can lead to real dividends in terms of our security, our prosperity, and our leadership in the world. We hope that bipartisan policymakers will come together to strengthen U.S. foreign assistance and our global leadership.
Mark Green, a former Republican Member of Congress from Wisconsin and Ambassador to Tanzania, is Managing Director of the Malaria No More Policy Center. Jim Kolbe, a former Republican Member of Congress from Arizona, is a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates. Rob Mosbacher, a former President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is Chairman of the Mosbacher Energy Company of Texas.