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Author Topic: Democracy Assistance - Wording Thread  (Read 16503 times)
stables
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Posts: 334


« on: May 19, 2011, 03:36:29 PM »

I wanted open this thread for people to discuss the front half of the potential resolutions (i.e, anything that relates to this rough working stem - the USFG should increase democracy assistance to). Dave Arnett & Adrienne Brovero will be directing this group. The goal is to consider how and if the phrase ‘democracy assistance’ sufficiently captures the specific policy mechanisms intended to make up the topic. Their goal is to determine the best way to phrase these types of policies, not to look for what might be considered the ‘best’ foreign policy approaches.

It would be great if folks can look for useful items in the other thread and pull these discussions here. Breaking apart the threads will make it easier to follow.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 03:41:13 PM by stables » Logged

Gordon Stables
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
Paul Elliott Johnson
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Posts: 134


« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 08:57:37 PM »

If you have any discrete tasks you want done, fearless leaders, I'm willing.
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dbhingst
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 12:04:06 PM »

Get back to work on your dissertation, buddy!
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Adri
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Posts: 125


« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 06:32:19 AM »

Hi folks -

Excited to see so much discussion on the topic.

I have a request:

I have been trying to organize our work on the democracy assistance mechanism.

I have seen a number of definitional and functional cards about democracy assistance/aid posted across the various threads.

I am attempting to gather them up to integrate them with our work. If you are one of those folks who has posted some of those cards, could you take a moment to copy and paste the card into this thread. Don't need your whole post - just tag-cite-card. Doing so would make integration a lot easier, would prevent me from omitting any, and would provide one central place to see what has been found so far.

Also, if you have cards that have not been posted, but are willing to share, please post here as well.

Thanks,
Adrienne

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Matt Struth
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 04:32:18 PM »

The majority of democracy assistance goes to nonstate actors
Savun and Tirone, University of Pittsburg Political Science assistant professor, 11
[Burcu, University of Pittsburg Political Science assistant professor, and Daniel, University of Pittsburgh political science Ph.D. Candidate, "Foreign Aid, Democratization, and Civil Conflict: How Does Democracy Aid Affect Civil Conflict?," American Journal of Political Science, Vol 55 Issue 2, p233-246, April 2011, Wiley Online Library, accessed 5-16-11]

The critics of foreign aid efficacy also assume that foreign aid always goes to the government of the recipient country. Although most of the development aid goes to the governments of the recipient countries, democracy assistance aid is usually disbursed to a variety of sectors in the recipient country (Crawford 2001; Scott and Steele 2005). For example, Crawford (2001) shows that in 1994 and 1995 an average of 54% of the European Union's political aid programs were implemented by the recipient governments, and this percentage was only 5.1% for Swedish political aid (124). Similarly, Crawford reports that between 1992 and 1995, central and local governments were the main beneficiaries of 54% of the EU political aid. This number was 35.4% for Sweden and 55.7% for the United States, and 92.9% for the United Kingdom. On the other hand, civil society organizations, such as prodemocracy groups and human right groups, were the main beneficiaries of 46% of the EU political aid, 64.6% of the Swedish aid, 44.3% of the U.S. aid, and 7.1% of the U.K. democracy aid programs (138). These figures indicate that, unlike development aid, the majority of democracy aid goes to nonstate actors.
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jtedebate
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Posts: 52


« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 12:13:01 PM »

Here's an excellent source for the evolution of the phrase "democracy assistance" and the importance of precision!!!  It also proves matt's post about it going thru NGOs

What We Talk About When We Talk About Democracy Assistance: The Problem of Definition in Post-Conflict Approaches. By Richard Lappin
www.cejiss.org/issue/2010-volume-4-issue-1/lappin
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DSDebate
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 06:20:23 PM »

I am not in a position to make substantial continuing contributions to the discussion about topic wording. But since I've worked on some foreign assistance issues, I do want to offer up a suggestion and some factoids that may (or may not) contribute to the community's discussion.

[As is my usual practice, I am not putting my name on this post. I debated at Glenbrook North (1996-2000), and UC Berkeley (2000-2004), and coached at Northwestern (2004-2005, 2010-2011) and Harvard (2005-2006), and I'm a cancer survivor. My initials are below. My health insurance is tied to my former employer; they are internet-savvy and reputation-conscious, so please don't use my name on an archive like this. If you have to refer to me or my post, just use my initials. I am extending the same confidentiality-courtesy to the alumni I have discussed below. If a member of the topic committee wants to contact someone I've listed and can't identify them using the information provided, they can contact me - Dave Arnett has my e-mail address.]

Suggestion: I have been indirectly involved in a number of Topic Selection Committee efforts over the years, and I have been struck by the fact that the committee is not able - in any formal or systematic way - to make use of alumni with professional knowledge of the topic area.
For example, had treaties been chosen, one of the members of Michigan SW is a law professor who specializes in international law, and has an article about the uses of unratified agreements in domestic law. Another Michigan debater of the same era is a professor at George Washington, who researches the formation and negotiation of international agreements. India and Pakistan were another option; I have been working on a Pakistan project at U. Chicago this year, my boss was a high school debater at CPS in California.
For the Middle East/democratization area, a couple of preliminary suggestions are:
- my high school partner, now a professor at Georgia State, who works on media and democracy-building in the Middle East and Central Asia
- another former debate partner who did not debate in college is doing his PhD at Princeton, and has lived in Syria and Egypt for substantial periods of time
- the sister of a coach at MSU, who did work on some Middle East-area foreign assistance programs at GAO
- a U. Vermont alum who is currently at the Congressional Research Service (and could connect the committee with some of the experts cited below)
- a Greenhill, Harvard and MIT alum who teaches at George Washington and has published on a number of Middle East security issues, and is an expert on policy planning (though mostly in the defense area)
- a Michigan alum is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East, and did quite a lot of work on - and in - Iraq

These are just my own first cut of suggested contacts - I am confident that there are many more out there. Nearly all of the people listed are in the DC area, which would limit the costs if the committee had to provide them with reimbursement for travel or time. I suspect that if approached politely and discretely, one or more would be willing to volunteer at least a couple of hours of time. If the committee was able to provide an official-sounding title, it might provide a c.v. line item for some of the academics listed.

A slightly more controversial idea: given how much debaters and coaches carp about topic wordings, I think it should be possible to pass a collection plate for a limited number of honoraria for experts that contribute to writing the topic. If each program put in the cost of a single plane ticket, we could compensate these folks decently and fairly.

This slightly more controversial idea has a fringe benefit. It could enable the involvement of one-step-removed experts. Many of us have mentors and professors that respect and admire the skills debate teaches, but did not debate themselves. These folks might be willing to act as consultants, but they would have to be offered reasonable compensation for their time, and they would have to be protected from the vitriolic lunacy that is the debate community's standard tone of address in online discussions.

I have repeatedly been struck by the inherently inefficient approach that we require the committee to take. Nearly every year, I hear debaters and coaches lambasting the committee for missing a key issue that influences the course of the topic. This is not a matter of selecting smarter people for the committee, or giving them more time or staff. There is simply no way that any person can become a real expert on a debate topic in the time allowed for writing topics. It is not possible. Full stop. It is flatly inconceivable that anyone associated with the topic committee could acquire a meaningful fraction of the knowledge that the debate partners cited above have accumulated over their decade-plus education in Middle East issues. Our current practice is to expect the committee to do the impossible, then complain when they fail.

A logical solution is to provide a mandate - and if necessary, resources - to provide a way for debate-trained subject matter experts to help guide the topic process. I suggest that this be done at the earliest possible stage, perhaps using video-teleconferencing technology, so that the knowledge relayed can actually* contribute to the topic writing process and has time to sink in.

Factoids: when I was a contractor, I worked on programs budgeted as foreign assistance. When I worked on the last Middle East topic, the condition counterplan was a core part of the topic. I have heard people say that that may happen again.

The information I am relaying below may not be debate-relevant. Like many debate alums, my thinking about how debate ideas function is heavily influenced by my knowledge of how the real world works, and that is sometimes at odds with the norms, conventions and short-cuts that we take in debate to make the activity workable and fair. I should also add the further caveat that my understanding of counterplan theory is woefully out of date, and out of step with the hallowed "community consensus" in a variety of ways. I am completely uninterested in starting a  confrontation about the legitimacy of certain counterplan ideas - I am just going to offer up some facts and evidence, and suggest possible* strategic implications, based on my old-school understanding of counterplans. I leave it to the full-time coaches and debaters to do what they do best with the facts provided.

Overview/method: I am going to summarize what I think I know about how conditionality in US foreign aid programs works. Below the signature line, I will provide evidence from USFG sources to back up my claims. I did not attempt to parse the Foreign Assistance Act because it is one of the most notoriously long and complex laws in the US Code, and there are many lawyers and law students who are better at reading statutes than I am who can do this. I did include some text from the relevant Foreign Operations law.

Summary: all foreign assistance programs are conditioned. Programs that evade these conditions are generally engineered to avoid being classified as "foreign assistance." The JCET program mentioned below is an example.

It should be obvious that foreign assistance is inherently conditioned - because the receiving state (or NGO) must agree to accept it. But there are a variety of other conditions that are attached by Congress to foreign assistance. Some of these conditions are internal - they obligate the agency that administers the program to contract for goods and services in a certain way, or report to Congress about its activities in a particular way or on a particular schedule, etc.
Other conditions are external - they require that the agency (or the President or his/her appointee) certify that the recipient meets certain requirements. In some cases, these are accounting requirements that ensure the money is going where it's supposed to go.
In other cases, it's a policy condition: the recipient most not support terrorism, must not default on debts, must not abuse human rights, be developing a nuclear weapon or set one off, have a Communist or military government, etc. These conditions are spelled out in the laws that govern foreign aid - especially the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) and the General Provisions (Title VII) of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation. Some states - notably, Iran, Sudan and Syria, have country-specific restrictions on aid. If I am reading the law correctly, in some cases, there are blanket prohibitions on providing assistance to these governments.
However abstruse these conditions may be (and the accounting/contracting ones are pretty abstruse), they all exist for a reason. Those rationales can be used to generate offensive arguments.

It is possible for the US to provide aid to countries that violate human rights, or proliferate nuclear weapons, obviously. The most common way for this to occur is for the President to invoke the portions of the FAA that enable him/her to waive the conditions in particular cases.

Possible implications:

- Affirmatives will use the usual conditions, and will provide the aid by certifying that the recipient meets the conditions (this is probably the 'least neccessary' amount of fiated action needed to implement a topical plan).
- Negatives can CP to:
a) remove a condition and provide the aid
b) add a condition
c) certify that the recipient is failing one or more of the conditions (this probably would not solve the case, but could generate a net benefit about pressuring the country or the benefits of setting rigorous standards for the condition)
d) read a disadvantage to rubber-stamping the certification, certifying when a country does not meet a requirement, or pressuring the agency to certify compliance when they are disinclined to do so

- Affirmatives will provide aid unconditionally
- Negatives can CP to:
a) subject the aid to the usual conditions and the review/reporting requirements that they entail
b) read a DA to violating the conditions or exempting a program from them
c) use a different condition, but use the fact that all status quo aid is conditioned to non-unique 'conditionality bad' arguments

- Affirmatives will provide aid under the existing conditions, but will waive any condition the country is found to fail
- Negatives can CP to:
a) exclude the conditions and review processes entirely (the "delay bad" shoe will be on the wrong foot for the Affirmative)
b) read arguments that prove there would have to be a waiver and DAs to extensive waiver authority
c) deny the waiver authority but fund the assistance, forcing the executive to choose between certifying compliance with the condition or not funding the program
d) exempt the program from one or more of the conditions
e) CP to provide the funds/support in a way that is not classified as assistance - as in the JCET program and some other military assistance or loan programs

Finally, there is not an account under the Foreign Assistance Act or the Foreign Operations laws for "democracy assistance" but there are some democratization-related programs. I have pasted some official descriptions of those below.

I hope this information helps push the discussion forward, and I sincerely hope that we see an effort to formally involve subject matter experts in the topic selection process.

DAS


Evidences:

GAO 1995 FOREIGN ASSISTANCE - SELECTED DONORS' APPROACHES FOR MANAGING AID PROGRAMS, GAO/NSIAD-95-37 FEBRUARY 23
While strategic planning can be a useful internal management tool, as shown by the Canadians, its effectiveness would be greatly enhanced if policymakers addressed the desired balance among multiple objectives through a central, broad-based, and integrated foreign policy. [[1] The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, establishes the legal framework for the U.S. aid program. [[2] The National Performance Review is a governmentwide management reform exercise initiated by the administration under the leadership of the vice president.


CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law Updated January 17, 2001
Dianne E. Rennack Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) authorizes U.S. government foreign aid programs including development assistance, economic support funding, numerous multilateral programs, housing and other credit guaranty programs, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, international organizations, debt-for-nature exchanges, international narcotics control, international disaster assistance, development funding for Africa, assistance to states of the former Soviet Union, military assistance, international military education and training, peacekeeping, antiterrorism, and various regional enterprise funds.
19

CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law Updated January 17, 2001
Dianne E. Rennack Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
Section 620A (Prohibition on Assistance to Governments Supporting International Terrorism; 22 U.S.C. 2371) prohibits any foreign assistance, food assistance, Peace Corps funding, and support under the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 from being made available to countries that the Secretary of State has certified as supporters of international terrorism.22   The restriction remains in place until such time that the Secretary certifies that there has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the targeted country, the country is no longer supporting international terrorists, and that the targeted government has assured no such support will resume.
The President may waive the prohibition on the basis of U.S. national security, and some assistance may be restored to address humanitarian concerns. A waiver requires notification and justification being provided to Congress 15 days before assistance is given.
Section 620A was added by sec. 303 of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-329; approved June 30, 1976). The section has been amended and restated since then by sec. 503(a) of the International Security Assistance and Development Cooperation Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-83; approved August 8, 1985) and sec. 5 of the Anti-Terrorism and Arms Export Amendments Act of 1989 (P.L. 101-222; approved December 12, 1989).
20-21


CRS - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law Updated January 17, 2001
Dianne E. Rennack Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
Section 620G (Prohibition on Assistance to Countries that Aid Terrorist States; 22 U.S.C. 2377) requires the President to withhold all foreign assistance to the government of any country that provides assistance to the government of a country listed as a terrorist state by the Secretary of State pursuant to sec. 620A of this Act (22 U.S.C. 2370).
The President may waive the imposition of the sanction if he determines that furnishing such assistance is important to the U.S. national interest and notifies the appropriate congressional committees of his intent 15 days prior to lifting the ban. His notification shall include the determination, a detailed explanation of the assistance to be provided with its estimated dollar amount, and an explanation of how such assistance furthers U.S. national interests.
Section 620G was added by sec. 325 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132; approved April 24, 1996). See also sec. 40 of the AECA (above).
Section 620H (Prohibition on Assistance to Countries that Provide Lethal Military Equipment to Terrorist States; 22 U.S.C. 2378) requires the President to withhold all foreign assistance to the government of any country that provides lethal military equipment to a country listed by the Secretary of State as a supporter of international terrorism, either on the sec. 6(j) list under the Export Administration Act, or the sec. 620A list pursuant to this Act. The prohibition remains in place until one year after such transfers or transactions cease. The section is not retroactive, but includes all contracts entered into after April 24, 1996 (the date of enactment of the amendment).
22

CRS - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law Updated January 17, 2001
Dianne E. Rennack Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
The President may waive the imposition of the sanction if he determines that furnishing such assistance is important to the U.S. national interest and notifies the appropriate congressional committees of his intent 15 days prior to lifting the ban. His notification shall include the determination, a detailed explanation of the assistance to be provided with its estimated dollar amount, and an explanation of how such assistance furthers U.S. national interests.
Section 620H was added by sec. 326 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132; approved April 14, 1996).
23

CRS - Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
Updated June 5, 1998
Dianne E. Rennack Analyst in Foreign Policy Legislation
Robert D. Shuey Specialist in U.S. Foreign Policy and National Defense Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
§ 561, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1998 (Public Law 105-118; 111 Stat. 2426) (prohibitsCRS-12
foreign assistance, transactions under the Arms Export Control Act, and international financial institution support to any country that knowingly grants sanctuary to war criminals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, those indicted by any other international tribunal in good standing under international law, or those indicted for war crimes associated with the Nazi government of Germany)
12

CRS - Foreign Assistance Act of 1961: Authorizations and Corresponding Appropriations
Dianne E. Rennack
Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation June 16, 2010
A few programs are established outside the statutory framework of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and thus are not included in detail in this report.4 Reimbursable military exports, for example, are addressed in the Arms Export Control Act and subsequent Security Assistance Acts. Since 1985, the last year Congress passed a comprehensive reauthorization of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, both Congress and the President have promoted a variety of specialized authorities in freestanding legislation. Some freestanding laws that authorize foreign aid or apply new conditions to aid authorized in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 are shown in Table 2.
Arms Export Control Act:
—authorizes reimbursable military exports (arms sales, leases, loans)
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended:
—authorizes $1.5 million for fiscal year 2001, $3 million for each of fiscal years 2002 and 2003, $5 million for each of fiscal years 2004 and 2005, and $5.5 million for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007 in support of the Task Force also created by the Act (sec. 113);
—authorizes $10 million for prevention, $15 million for protection, and $10 million for prosecution for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2007 in bilateral assistance to combat trafficking (sec. 113);
—authorizes $300 thousand for voluntary contributions to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (sec. 113);
—authorizes funds for foreign victim assistance, assistance to foreign countries to meet minimum standards, and research (sec. 113).
Sudan Peace Act, as amended:
—authorizes $100 million for each of the fiscal years 2003 through 2005 to prepare the Sudanese population “not controlled by the Government of Sudan” for “peace and democratic governance, including support for civil administration, communications infrastructure, education, health, and agriculture.” (sec. 5);
—authorizes $100 million for fiscal year 2005, and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2006 and 2007, to support the implementation of a comprehensive peace agreement, and $200 million for fiscal year 2005 “to address the humanitarian and human rights crisis in the Darfur region and eastern Chad” (sec. 12).
Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002, as amended:
—authorizes $15 million for fiscal years 2003 through 2006 for urgent humanitarian needs, repatriation and resettlement, counternarcotics, and more (sec. 103);
—authorizes $300 million to establish an Enterprise Fund for Afghanistan similar to

those defined in the SEED Act (sec. 103);
—authorizes such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2005 and 2006 (sec. 108);
—authorizes drawdown under sec. 506 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 not to exceed $550 million (sec. 202).
United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, as amended:
—authorizes U.S. contributions to the Global Fund through fiscal year 2013 (sec. 202);
—authorizes funding for programs added to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 through fiscal year 2013 (sec. 401);
—authorizes “such sums as may be necessary for the fiscal year 2004 and each fiscal year thereafter to carry out section 1625 of the International Financial Institutions Act” (relating to debt relief for the most heavily indebted countries) (sec. 503).
Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended:
—authorizes “such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2004 and 2005.” (sec. 619)
North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004:
—authorizes $2 million for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008 for human rights and democracy programs (sec. 102);
—authorizes $2 million for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008 for actions to promote freedom of information (sec. 104);
—authorizes $20 million for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008 in assistance to North Koreans outside of their country (sec. 203).
Iran Freedom Support Act:
—authorizes financial and political assistance to “foreign and domestic individuals, organizations, and entities working for the purpose of supporting and promoting democracy for Iran.” (sec. 302)
Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006:
—authorizes “at least” $52 million in bilateral assistance for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007 to Congo (sec. 103).
3-4

CRS - Foreign Assistance Act of 1961: Authorizations and Corresponding Appropriations
Dianne E. Rennack
Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation June 16, 2010
4 Still other laws have been enacted to augment the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961—setting limited-term conditions for aid otherwise provided for in the Act. P.L. 109-159, for example, which provides for the transfer to the Republic of Korea of obsolete or surplus items with military application, is a freestanding law but draws on the President’s authority stated in sec. 516 of the Act to transfer excess defense articles. Similarly, Congress has enacted a series of laws to transfer excess or obsolete naval vessels to U.S. allies. Congress has a State, Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Guide to Component Accounts
Curt Tarnoff
Specialist in Foreign Affairs
Tamara J. Resler
Analyst in Foreign Affairs February 8, 2011

CRS - Foreign Assistance Act of 1961: Authorizations and Corresponding Appropriations
Dianne E. Rennack
Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation June 16, 2010
The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation provides annual funding for almost all of the international affairs programs generally considered as part of the 150 International Affairs Budget Function (the major exception being food assistance). The legislation has also served as a vehicle for Congress to place conditions on the expenditure of those funds, and express its views regarding certain foreign policy issues.


State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e988238:
[internal conditions for who can provide the aid (i.e., the contracts for providing the service in question]
consulting services
Sec. 7003. The expenditure of any appropriation under title I of this Act for any consulting service through procurement contract, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109, shall be limited to those contracts where such expenditures are a matter of public record and available for public inspection, except where otherwise provided under existing law, or under existing Executive order issued pursuant to existing law.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e988238:
prohibition against direct funding for certain countries
Sec. 7007. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance or reparations for the governments of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, or Syria: Provided, That for purposes of this section, the prohibition on obligations or expenditures shall include direct loans, credits, insurance and guarantees of the Export-Import Bank or its agents.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e988238:
coups d'etat
Sec. 7008. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree: Provided, That assistance may be resumed to such government if the President determines and certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that subsequent to the termination of assistance a democratically elected government has taken office: Provided further, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to assistance to promote democratic elections or public participation in democratic processes: Provided further, That funds made available pursuant to the previous provisos shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e988238:
limitation on assistance to countries in default
Sec. 7012. No part of any appropriation provided under titles III through VI in this Act shall be used to furnish assistance to the government of any country which is in default during a period in excess of one calendar year in payment to the United States of principal or interest on any loan made to the government of such country by the United States pursuant to a program for which funds are appropriated under this Act unless the President determines, following consultations with the Committees on Appropriations, that assistance for such country is in the national interest of the United States.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e988238:
prohibition on taxation of united states assistance
Sec. 7013. (a) Prohibition on Taxation- None of the funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act may be made available to provide assistance for a foreign country under a new bilateral agreement governing the terms and conditions under which such assistance is to be provided unless such agreement includes a provision stating that assistance provided by the United States shall be exempt from taxation, or reimbursed, by the foreign government, and the Secretary of State shall expeditiously seek to negotiate amendments to existing bilateral agreements, as necessary, to conform with this requirement.
(b) Reimbursement of Foreign Taxes- An amount equivalent to 200 percent of the total taxes assessed during fiscal year 2010 on funds appropriated by this Act by a foreign government or entity against commodities financed under United States assistance programs for which funds are appropriated by this Act, either directly or through grantees, contractors and subcontractors shall be withheld from obligation from funds appropriated for assistance for fiscal year 2011 and allocated for the central government of such country and for the West Bank and Gaza program to the extent that the Secretary of State certifies and reports in writing to the Committees on Appropriations that such taxes have not been reimbursed to the Government of the United States.
(c) De Minimis Exception- Foreign taxes of a de minimis nature shall not be subject to the provisions of subsection (b).
(d) Reprogramming of Funds- Funds withheld from obligation for each country or entity pursuant to subsection (b) shall be reprogrammed for assistance to countries which do not assess taxes on United States assistance or which have an effective arrangement that is providing substantial reimbursement of such taxes.
(e) Determinations-
(1) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any country or entity the Secretary of State determines--
(A) does not assess taxes on United States assistance or which has an effective arrangement that is providing substantial reimbursement of such taxes; or
(B) the foreign policy interests of the United States outweigh the purpose of this section to ensure that United States assistance is not subject to taxation.
(2) The Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations at least 15 days prior to exercising the authority of this subsection with regard to any country or entity.
(f) Implementation- The Secretary of State shall issue rules, regulations, or policy guidance, as appropriate, to implement the prohibition against the taxation of assistance contained in this section.
(g) Definitions- As used in this section--
(1) the terms `taxes' and `taxation' refer to value added taxes and customs duties imposed on commodities financed with United States assistance for programs for which funds are appropriated by this Act; and
(2) the term `bilateral agreement' refers to a framework bilateral agreement between the Government of the United States and the government of the country receiving assistance that describes the privileges and immunities applicable to United States foreign assistance for such country generally, or an individual agreement between the Government of the United States and such government that describes, among other things, the treatment for tax purposes that will be accorded the United States assistance provided under that agreement.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e988238:
reprogramming notification requirements
Sec. 7015. (a) None of the funds made available in title I of this Act, or in prior appropriations Acts to the agencies and departments funded by this Act that remain available for obligation or expenditure in fiscal year 2010, or provided from any accounts in the Treasury of the United States derived by the collection of fees or of currency reflows or other offsetting collections, or made available by transfer, to the agencies and departments funded by this Act, shall be available for obligation or expenditure through a reprogramming of funds that: (1) creates new programs; (2) eliminates a program, project, or activity; (3) increases funds or personnel by any means for any project or activity for which funds have been denied or restricted; (4) relocates an office or employees; (5) closes or opens a mission or post; (6) reorganizes or renames offices; (7) reorganizes programs or activities; or (Cool contracts out or privatizes any functions or activities presently performed by Federal employees; unless the Committees on Appropriations are notified 15 days in advance of such reprogramming of funds.
……
(f) None of the funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended for assistance for Serbia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Iran, Haiti, Libya, Ethiopia, Nepal, Colombia, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, or Cambodia and countries listed in section 7045(c)(2) and (f)(2) of this Act except as provided through the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4k4Ut:e945877:
democracy fund
For necessary expenses to carry out the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for the promotion of democracy globally, $120,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2011, of which $70,000,000 shall be made available for the Human Rights and Democracy Fund of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Department of State, and $50,000,000 shall be made available for the Office of Democracy and Governance of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, United States Agency for International Development.

A list of democracy fund projects can be found here.
http://2001-2009.state.gov/g/drl/rls/57669.htm

Something to keep in mind if the wording makes forms of assistance that prevent civil-military crises or coups topical is that IMET and other military training programs have even more stringent conditions.
See:
ISACSON AND BALL Director of Programs – Center for International Policy and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Internaitonal Development and Conflict Management – University of Maryland 2006
US Policy and Poorly Performing States ed. Birdsall et. al. p.
In fifteen of the listed poorly performing states, internal political conditions
or relations with Washington are poor enough to have forced a cutoff in U.S.
security assistance. The Foreign Assistance Act, which governs most U.S. military
and police aid, bans security assistance to states that commit gross
human rights violations against their citizens, that have a communist government,
that are governed by the military after a coup, that detonate nuclear
weapons, that support terrorism, that are in default on their debt, and that
fail to meet drug war certification conditions. The U.S. president can waive
these prohibitions if he determines that to do so is in the national security
interest. (Some of the largest aid recipients in the forty-seven-country sample
would still be on the list of banned countries had the war on terror not
occurred.)
Several of the fifteen banned countries listed are not completely cut off
from aid. The Defense Department’s budget, which is outside the reach of
the prohibitions in foreign aid law, can provide some forms of military and
police aid: chiefly, counternarcotics aid, Special Forces JCET deployments,
and education at Pentagon-run security studies schools. Significant amounts
of security assistance were given to some banned countries between 2000 and
2004, either because the aid cutoff took place after 2000 or because Washington
expected conditions to improve sufficiently to allow aid to resume
flowing in 2004 (see tables 13-10 and 13-11). The tables indicate a sharp
drop in assistance beginning in 2001, as bans to Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe,
Uganda, and Rwanda took hold. Estimates for 2003 and 2004 creep slightly
upward, as State Department estimates forecast a possibility of renewing aid
to some countries.
431



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stables
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 08:04:30 PM »

Many thanks to DSD for a fantastic post and some great contributions to the specific topic analysis.

I think the idea of bringing in content related alumni is absolutely fantastic and I would very much appreciate additional feedback and suggestions on this matter. There are a variety of ways that we benefit from working with the fantastic folks who have been trained in our community and then gone onto remarkable careers.

I also want to encourage folks to consider DSD's absolutely correct assessment about the way 'we' would respond to such feedback. Although we have had a few factual questions to consider, much of the topic work does evolve into a series of subjective assessments about the 'ground' or 'fairness' of specific wording approaches. I am very excited about the prospect of working with our alumni but also want to make we are willing to utilize their feedback in such a way that raises the quality of our discussion. To me, this is a further reason why defining the core topic around a central public policy controversy is an essential step in our process. This topic, for example, must begin why the demonstrations described as the Arab Spring are significant. If we can maximize the input from professionals who are world-class experts in these fields we would do well to learn from their insights. If, however, we primarily situate ourselves in how to divide ground for certain specific debate practices we may both be short-changing the value of their counsel and our enterprise in general.

I will have some other feedback over the coming weeks about building professional alumni into our season. For now let me reinforce the thanks for DSD's comments and encourage him and others to consider the specific ways that we can work best with our alumni.

Thanks
Gordon
 
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Gordon Stables
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
Ermo
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 10:35:55 AM »

If it turns out that there are lots of qualified former debaters we should be consulting about topic wording, and many of them are based in the DC area, then we should consider having the TC meeting in DC. This might be more helpful on some topics than others, but host arrangements need to be made well in advance of the topic area selection process.

Obviously, I'm not talking about the 2011 meetings...
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SteveMancuso
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 07:15:15 PM »

Here's an excellent source for the evolution of the phrase "democracy assistance" and the importance of precision!!!  It also proves matt's post about it going thru NGOs

What We Talk About When We Talk About Democracy Assistance: The Problem of Definition in Post-Conflict Approaches. By Richard Lappin
www.cejiss.org/issue/2010-volume-4-issue-1/lappin
This is a fantastic and extremely important article. While it does resolve the factual claim that democracy assistance can and often does go to NGOs, it highlights how very, very narrow of a policy implement that "democracy assistance" is.

Because of the way the article is written, offering an explicit definition that both includes and excludes, it will carry powerful weight in a debate. The very narrow interpretation it advances of democracy assistance -- post-conflict, not intended to develop economic institutions, etc. -- will tremendously limit the number of nations where DA will be appropriate policy for the Arab Spring.

If the intention of folks in voting for the Arab Spring topic was to debate "how can we best achieve democratic governments in an area of the world that is in various stages of discarding authoritarian governments" then the term "democracy assistance" will prove way too limiting to access that.

If your intention was to debate whether the narrow policy mechanism of "democracy assistance" (again, read this article for that interpretation) is the right policy mechanism to solidify democracies in nations that have already chosen democratic paths, then that's the right term to use in the topic.

Just as it turned out there was a big difference between debating a visas-only topic and extensive in-depth debates about the problems of illegal immigration, there is a huge difference between debating the achievement of democracy vs. the solidification of democracy -- the latter being a post-conflict situation where all sides agree that is the goal.

If your interest is in debating what American policy should be toward Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yeman, maybe even Egypt, then I'd recommend you take a close look at the policy mechanism and not just default into "democracy assistance."
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ScottElliott
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Posts: 148


« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 08:56:36 PM »

I posted that cite three weeks ago.
Here's an excellent source for the evolution of the phrase "democracy assistance" and the importance of precision!!!  It also proves matt's post about it going thru NGOs

What We Talk About When We Talk About Democracy Assistance: The Problem of Definition in Post-Conflict Approaches. By Richard Lappin
www.cejiss.org/issue/2010-volume-4-issue-1/lappin
This is a fantastic and extremely important article. While it does resolve the factual claim that democracy assistance can and often does go to NGOs, it highlights how very, very narrow of a policy implement that "democracy assistance" is.

Because of the way the article is written, offering an explicit definition that both includes and excludes, it will carry powerful weight in a debate. The very narrow interpretation it advances of democracy assistance -- post-conflict, not intended to develop economic institutions, etc. -- will tremendously limit the number of nations where DA will be appropriate policy for the Arab Spring.

If the intention of folks in voting for the Arab Spring topic was to debate "how can we best achieve democratic governments in an area of the world that is in various stages of discarding authoritarian governments" then the term "democracy assistance" will prove way too limiting to access that.

If your intention was to debate whether the narrow policy mechanism of "democracy assistance" (again, read this article for that interpretation) is the right policy mechanism to solidify democracies in nations that have already chosen democratic paths, then that's the right term to use in the topic.

Just as it turned out there was a big difference between debating a visas-only topic and extensive in-depth debates about the problems of illegal immigration, there is a huge difference between debating the achievement of democracy vs. the solidification of democracy -- the latter being a post-conflict situation where all sides agree that is the goal.

If your interest is in debating what American policy should be toward Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yeman, maybe even Egypt, then I'd recommend you take a close look at the policy mechanism and not just default into "democracy assistance."
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ScottElliott
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Posts: 148


« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 09:11:14 PM »

I am glad to see that the rest of the debate community is starting to come around to the point I have been making for a month...that democracy assistance has very limited use. Its not an issue of "Gee, Arab Spring is cool." The Issue the type of democracy promotion tools the community is going to allow Affirmative teams to use. If you (the voters or TC) want to just have Democracy Assistance, then you should, almost by definition, limit the countries to ones that are on the path to democracy....and, I would add, ones that the U.S. has for the past decade or more previously supported their authoritarian governments. This means that Egypt, Tunisia, and (as of tonight) Yemen would be on the table. However, Syria and Iran should not be on the table because the Aff would be doing democracy promotion or fometing revolution....turning the Arab Spring concept on its head....why, because, the democracy promotion programs would be an extension of current U.S. strategic policy to undermine those respective governments. Jordon and Saudi Arabia should not be on the table if we merely use democracy asssitance. Why? Because Democracy Assistance to entrenched authoritarian governments that are our allies only reifies those governments...again, defeating the purpose of promoting Arab Spring. Please go back and read the topic literature prior to September 2010. Almost all of it says that when we give DA to groups in countries where we support their dictatorships in other ways, DA is a waste of money (specifically, look at the lit on Egypt for example). I'd hate to see debates where the Aff. gives Dem. Ass. to Jordon or Saudi Arabia, concedes that it does zero to promote human rights or democracy, but it does serve to improve relations with the Kingdoms of Jordon or Saudi Arabia.
Here's an excellent source for the evolution of the phrase "democracy assistance" and the importance of precision!!!  It also proves matt's post about it going thru NGOs

What We Talk About When We Talk About Democracy Assistance: The Problem of Definition in Post-Conflict Approaches. By Richard Lappin
www.cejiss.org/issue/2010-volume-4-issue-1/lappin
This is a fantastic and extremely important article. While it does resolve the factual claim that democracy assistance can and often does go to NGOs, it highlights how very, very narrow of a policy implement that "democracy assistance" is.

Because of the way the article is written, offering an explicit definition that both includes and excludes, it will carry powerful weight in a debate. The very narrow interpretation it advances of democracy assistance -- post-conflict, not intended to develop economic institutions, etc. -- will tremendously limit the number of nations where DA will be appropriate policy for the Arab Spring.

If the intention of folks in voting for the Arab Spring topic was to debate "how can we best achieve democratic governments in an area of the world that is in various stages of discarding authoritarian governments" then the term "democracy assistance" will prove way too limiting to access that.

If your intention was to debate whether the narrow policy mechanism of "democracy assistance" (again, read this article for that interpretation) is the right policy mechanism to solidify democracies in nations that have already chosen democratic paths, then that's the right term to use in the topic.

Just as it turned out there was a big difference between debating a visas-only topic and extensive in-depth debates about the problems of illegal immigration, there is a huge difference between debating the achievement of democracy vs. the solidification of democracy -- the latter being a post-conflict situation where all sides agree that is the goal.

If your interest is in debating what American policy should be toward Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yeman, maybe even Egypt, then I'd recommend you take a close look at the policy mechanism and not just default into "democracy assistance."
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kevin kuswa
Sr. Member
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Posts: 345


« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2011, 09:34:46 PM »

Great post by DS...still working through the references, but the argument that we should strive to include more experts from the debate community is definitely true.  Folks are always welcome to post thoughts and contributions to the CEDA forum (and receive feedback), but it's admittedly more about getting the word out to the right people.  Someone should contact Cheshier at Ga. St. for instance given his expertise in the area.  Someone have his email?  More on the rest of DS's post eventually.

On the Lappin evidence that a few folks think makes democracy assistance ("DG" is a better acronym than "DA," also avoiding the 'DA=Disad' confusion) too narrow.  Go back and re-read the article.  Lappin is arguing that we should distinguish democracy assistance from other forms of democracy promotion.  Sure--that is a limit, but not as constraining a limit as some may think.  Lappin says that definitional precision means democracy assistance is NOT military action and it is NOT pure political conditioning (look at the chart he offers).  That's fine.  Despite the point that all aid is conditional on some level or another, it is still a good line to say that democracy assistance is action other than invading or threating to invade.  All the other actions we have been talking about are well within reach of democracy assistance: human rights, civil society, rule of law, elections, governance.

I would be fine with using "assistance for democracy" or even "democracy promotion," but I think "democracy assistance" is also a good term and is open for some great debates.  If we come up with some lengthy and well-reasoned lists of countries, we will be fine.

Kevin
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stables
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Posts: 334


« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 01:56:51 AM »

I welcome this most recent wave of discussion about the wording mechanisms. I don’t feel we are covering any new ground (as evidenced by the reposting of the Lappin cite) but perhaps more folks are reviewing the literature and providing their assessment.

The goal of starting with a common term like democracy assistance was to allow us to identify literature that would be used by scholars like Lappin and governmental agencies like the GAO (which has been repeatedly cited on this forum to discuss the meaning of Democracy Assistance). I enjoy this discussion because I believe it helps to reinforce the importance of using terms well-cited in the literature. As we explore all possible options I encourage everyone to make sure that our wordings are drawn from the literature and thus allowing these kinds of discussions.

Returning to this specific discussion I agree that there should be a clear understanding that the original move to narrow the broader set of foreign policy tools labeled ‘democracy promotion’ into the sub-category ‘democracy assistance’ was done for several reasons. First, it would allow a distinct set of policy mechanisms to be considered. These approaches have not been considered in recent years, as the focus is typically on economic or development assistance. Second, it would allow a focus on the types of institution building mechanisms that are in such great discussion as nations go through democratic transitions. The controversy paper makes an important claim that we cannot assume to be certain of the status of governance in each of the topic countries during the 2011-12 season. As such, we should expect that we want to pick mechanisms that will allow for evolution as historical events develop in the Middle East and North Africa. Third, a focus on an assistance mechanism would still provide some stable foundation for both sides to debate. There are certainly broader policy mechanisms but I do believe that engaging in the wisdom of those approaches requires some clear evaluation. Finally, using a term like democracy assistance would the uncluttered use of a term drawn from policy literature. No single term can perfectly mirror a rich body of literature, but by picking something from the literature we can allow the topic to develop in that context.  In addition to the term democracy assistance we also see a tremendous discussion about the democracy and governance initiative from the US assistance community.

None of this rules out a consideration of other wording mechanisms. What it does do is lay the foundation for how we should consider moving from the term democracy assistance to others approaches. I don’t think there is much dispute that the newly resurgent Lappin article does identify several policies that are understood to be part of the mosaic of policies that are democracy promotion. Between pages 187-189 there is a clear discussion of this list (which democracy assistance is included as one additional item).

1. Direct military action
2. Negative political conditionality (economic sanctions, suspending international membership, etc.)
3. Development assistance
4. International interim administrations (management of the region by an outside body)
5. Positive political conditionality (economic aid, increased trade, membership in international institutions, security guarantees).

I will apologize about being a little confused about some of the suggestions. If we agree that these are the broader mechanisms that are understood to be democracy promotion, but not democracy assistance, I am not sure what the community is asking to be included. In recent posts I have seen reference to direct military action and development assistance programs. I am not sure if these are the types of mechanisms that the community would prefer to see included in topic wording.

If you are of the opinion that you would like to see wording options that contain any of these five elements in addition to democracy assistance, please let us know.  We would also appreciate any suggestions about framing these approaches. Please remember we have an open policy of encouraging anyone in the community to submit wording papers. We are now only days away from the meetings, so please share your insights and perspectives and do it quickly so we can best review all of the ideas.

Thanks
Gordon
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Gordon Stables
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
SteveMancuso
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Posts: 9


« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2011, 07:33:38 AM »

One way to approach the Arab Spring policy debate is to start with the term "democracy assistance" and work your way out, to see which countries make the most sense to include in a democracy assistance topic.

An alternative process would be to figure out which countries are the most interesting/important in the Arab Spring debate, then decide which terms authorize effective solvency mechanisms. Here is an example of a wording like that:

Resolved: The USFG should substantially increase democracy promotion in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and Yeman. 

The two approaches are ultimately a matter of preference, and both are defensible. I agree with Gordon's concern that broader mechanism terms like "democracy promotion" would make it difficult to debate a long list of nations. The term "democracy assistance" does raise important debates and provides stability.

But there is risk on the other side of that, too. The term "democracy assistance," especially with the limits likely enforced by articles like Lappin, may not authorize strong enough foreign policy approaches to solve in very many nations. How close of a fit is the rigorously defined "democracy assistance" to the nations of the Arab Spring, many of which are nowhere near "post-conflict."

The "broad mechanism/small country list" approach is also less likely to be run over by the very fluid status quo. First, it gives the affirmative more flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. Suppose there is a military coup in Egypt in the next six months, would democracy assistance alone still be a viable policy prescription there? Second, by calling for more radical change, it lessens the chance that the status quo policy will evolve to be topical.

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