May 26, 2017

CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy in The Washington Post

By Michèle Flournoy

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a former Marine Corps general, said recently, “America has two fundamental powers, the power of intimidation and the power of inspiration.”

We couldn’t agree more. We’ve spent our entire careers on the “hard power” side of the ledger. Yet we know that U.S. humanitarian assistance, the keystone of the U.S. “power of inspiration,” is critical to U.S. national security. Americans understand that the U.S. military acts as a deterrent to those who would otherwise do us harm, but they should also understand that the United States’ extraordinary history of alleviating suffering and fighting extreme poverty around the globe is a major asset in securing our nation.

Yet the Trump administration has inexplicably proposed a package of extreme budget and staffing cuts to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development that would lay waste to many humanitarian and development programs. The administration’s budget proposal would cut overall development funding in half, slash international disaster assistance by 43 percent and completely eliminate the leading U.S. food-aid program.

Read the full piece in The Washington Post.

  • Reports
    • January 28, 2020
    Rising to the China Challenge

    An independent assessment for Congress as mandated by the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act....

    By Ely Ratner, Daniel Kliman, Susanna V. Blume, ​Rush Doshi, Chris Dougherty, Richard Fontaine, Peter Harrell, Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Eric Sayers, Daleep Singh, Paul Scharre, Loren DeJonge Schulman, ​Neil Bhatiya, Ashley Feng, Joshua Fitt, Megan Lamberth, Kristine Lee & Ainikki Riikonen

  • Podcast
    • January 24, 2020
    Armed services continuously make procurement reforms

    There has been years of continuous procurement reform for the Defense Department. Tinkering by Congress has rendered procurement into a sort of laboratory. And each of the arm...

    By Susanna V. Blume

  • Video
    • January 23, 2020
    Winning the Next War

    Chinese and Russian capabilities to exploit vulnerabilities in America's current way of war have grown. Without major changes to how it fights its wars, does the United States...

    By Robert O. Work & Chris Dougherty

  • Podcast
    • January 21, 2020
    Working National Security on John McCain’s Presidential Campaign

    Richard Fontaine spent years advising leading figures in American foreign policy, but working for the late Sen. John McCain was unlike anything he had experienced before. Now ...

    By Richard Fontaine & Ilan Goldenberg

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia