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Adequate Response To Post-2015 Agenda Will Require Greater Cooperation Among U.S. Agencies

In an opinion piece in The Guardian’s “Global Development Professionals Network,” John Norris, executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress (CAP), and Annie Malknecht, a research associate at the center, write about U.S. efforts to balance “defense, diplomacy and development,” and the work of the CAP initiative, which aims “to develop solutions for these complex scenarios and better balance the three legs of America’s international engagement.” They continue, “The project aims to reform the U.S. approach by spending lean foreign assistance funds more effectively and efficiently, building institutional capacity in weak states and strengthening U.S. engagement with the international community and institutions. While these reforms will not erase the need for traditional hard power, they will help decrease the need for military action.”

Norris and Malknecht discuss the quadrennial diplomacy and development report (.pdf) and several reforms proposed by the Obama administration. “While these reforms are commendable, there is more to be done,” they write, noting international discussion of the post-2015 development agenda. “Whatever the details of the post-2015 development agenda, the U.S. and other developed countries must establish another 15-year commitment to cooperate on complex and far-reaching issues — the stakes are too high for inaction,” they write, adding, “Without government commitment reaching beyond aid agencies, poverty reduction efforts will flounder and the world will face increasingly complex problems in decades to come.” They continue, “For the U.S., this will require greater co-operation between the departments of state and defense and USAID” (10/18).