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June 22, 2016

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Reconfiguring USAID for State-Building

Nation-building abroad has become a neuralgic term in American politics. Opposition to nation-building abroad is one of the few things that President Barack Obama and Donald Trump can agree on. And y…

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April 2, 2020

United States
Reducing Disaster Costs by Building Better

Although local communities decide where and how development occurs, the federal government pays for those decisions when disaster strikes. In the face of climate change, the federal government should…

An aerial view of a burned neighborhood in Paradise, California, on November 15, 2018.

February 19, 2014

Yemen
Countering Terrorism: An Institution-Building Approach for Yemen

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker argue that the ECB's bank stress tests will roil rather than calm markets if recapitalization funds are not set aside in advance, as they were in the case of the highly successful U.S. tests in 2009.

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January 14, 2020

World Trade Organization (WTO)
A Reset of the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body

The Trump administration has destroyed the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body, much to the dismay of those needing the certainty of a rules-based trading system. Three reforms could get it bac…

The WTO sign on a building against a stormy sky

May 12, 2014

United States
Curtailing the Subsidy War Within the United States

Read Edward Alden's accompanying blog post. Each year, U.S. state and local governments spend tens of billions of dollars to lure or retain business investment. The subsidies waste scarce taxpayer…

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April 9, 2015

Afghanistan
Why the United States Should Work With India to Stabilize Afghanistan

The international military presence in Afghanistan has shrunk dramatically, and even with a slower pace of troop withdrawal, the country's security situation has already worsened. Iraq's chaos provid…

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August 7, 2019

Women and Economic Growth
Investing in Girls’ STEM Education in Developing Countries

The education gender gap costs the world between $15 trillion and $30 trillion in human capital. U.S. aid programs need to equip girls and women to participate in the modern digital economy.

Students at a government school work on individual laptops, in Ahmedabad, India, on July 26, 2018.

June 27, 2019

Cybersecurity
Solving the Identity-Protection Problem by Bringing the Post Office Into the Digital Age

Revamping the U.S. Postal Service could help solve long-standing problems with validating identities in the digital realm and make email a true substitute for physical mail.

Low-angle view of post office against blue sky.

June 7, 2017

State and Local Governments (U.S.)
Creating a State Department Office for American State and Local Diplomacy

With the increase in subnational international activity, the United States should create an appropriately staffed office within the State Department to serve as a facilitator. This achievable bureaucratic reform would enable the U.S. government to appropriately facilitate activity already underway, enlist city and state leaders as allies in U.S. diplomacy, and prevent policy confusion.

Former San Antonio (Chennai Sister City) Mayor Julian Castro meets Chennai Corporation Mayor Saidai Duraiswami in Chennai, India, on January 25, 2013. (U.S. Consulate General, Chennai)

June 17, 2019

International Finance
Make the Foreign Exchange Report Great Again

The U.S. Department of the Treasury should transform its foreign currency report so it can be used as a tool to combat currency manipulation. This would be an important step toward a more balanced global economy with fewer persistent deficits and surpluses.

A man passes by a currency exchange shop in Hong Kong, on May 29, 2019.