Tuesday, December 01, 2009

“Development is a goal, not a tool”

--- Sheila Herrling, Center for Global Development, quoted in a story by Jesse Zwick in The New Republic, "The Downside of 'Smart Power'", 30 November 2009, second page

Quote in context:

“Smart power,” of course, is a perfectly reasonable idea. But foreign aid is a zero-sum game. Elevating it into a central strategic instrument of our foreign policy means that something else--something noble and altruistic, something embedded in the historic mission of foreign aid--could soon be lost. Sheila Herrling of the Center for Global Development puts it succinctly: “Development,” she says, “is a goal, not a tool.” A longtime foreign aid observer relays that Clinton, aware of some of the simmering discontent at USAID, asked a group of aid experts before her confirmation what she could say or do to make the agency’s career civil servants excited again--to inspire them. She could start by making a difficult admission: that “smart power,” whatever its merits, comes with a genuine downside.