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When our foreign policy is based on carrots and sticks – it sounds like we are training donkeys or working with a stubborn, obstinate mule – or that we are trying to get a group of donkeys and mules to comprehend that they are dumb animals who have to do what we want.

If I could get any one thing out of Washington that would help the most to encourage World Peace, it would be for the “carrots and sticks” statement to never be said again, to never be used in describing foreign or domestic policies and to never be considered an adequate approach to anything that involves other people. It is disrespectful. It is arrogant. It is insulting. And, it is not descriptive of the basic principles of partnership, mutual respect and efforts that we are all making together for the world to be a better, safer place with prosperity, security, hope, democracy, equality and intellectual growth throughout the United States and across the countries of the world.

– cricketdiane, 10-10-09


From the book –

“Getting to Yes – Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In”

by Roger Fisher and William Ury

of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Penguin Books; New York, NY; 1981

pp. 145-146

(under the heading – )

Lock-in Tactics

This tactic is illustrated by Thomas Schelling’s well-known example of two dynamite trucks barreling toward each other on a single-lane road. The question becomes which truck goes off the road to avoid an accident. As the trucks near each other, one driver in full view of the other pulls off his steering wheel and throws it out the window. Seeing this, the other driver has a choice between an explosive crash or driving his truck off the road into a ditch. This is an example of an extreme commitment tactic designed to make it impossible to yield. Paradoxically, you strengthen your bargaining position by weakening your control over the situation. (maybe, – my note)

[ . . . ]

But lock-in tactics are gambles. You may call the other side’s bluff and force them to make a concession which they will then have to explain to their constituency.

Like threats, lock-in tactics depend on communication. If the other truck driver does not see the steering wheel fly out of the window, or if he thinks the truck has an emergency steering mechanism, the act of throwing the steering wheel out the window will not have its intended effect. The pressure to avoid a collision will be felt equally by both drivers.

(then it describes a couple of tactics that could be used in negotiations to confront this lock-in tactic – which are great but do not apply to the example cited above, – my note)


So, I was reading this examples to one of my daughters who is in her early twenties to describe a way of thinking about negotiating with someone that had been withholding her belongings and bullying her up in NY. She was sure that the only real solution to the two drivers was that one would yield and win by staying alive, while the other would win by forcing him or her to submit and to have yielded. But, I pointed out that there are more solutions on the menu beyond those two, where one is to crash head-long into each other or the other solution is to yield and concede in order to survive.

I pointed out to my daughter, that if it was me behind the wheel of one of those vehicles the chances are that I would be hopping into the back and throwing dynamite out of the vehicle, bracing for impact and just allow the damn thing to hit the son-of-a-bitch. Maybe . . .

And, I pointed out that if she were driving one of the vehicles, she would likely point the nose of that truck at an angle to drive the other truck off the road and down the cliff, leaving a racing stripe from the other truck down the side of hers.

And, if one of my other daughters were driving, she would probably grab one of the sticks of dynamite (or two or five or ten) – light them and hoist them at the other truck so that it would explode before it could get to her and then nudge it off the roadway and go on through – probably never missing a beat.

I think again about the choices and obviously, in that scenario talking between the drivers would not be on the list at all. But, shooting the tires out would be and putting my own truck in reverse would at least be on the menu of options at the moment I might have to consider doing something. That menu would include anything that would defuse, disarm and destroy the capacity of the other driver and the vehicles carrying dynamite from doing harm to anyone. If that means, putting it in reverse and letting the bastard push me, as the driver and my truck all the way down the mountain backwards until I could shoot or dynamite his engine block slap out of his truck – then that would be in the choices on the menu.

That is what I’m mostly trying to say, that “carrots and sticks” is not a foreign or domestic policy solution as the only choice on the menu. It just isn’t.

And, the capacity for human beings to be creative, to creatively and resourcefully problem solve, and to create new solutions which have never been developed before that moment can yield more options that could uniquely resolve those difficult foreign policy decisions we face, but only if they are allowed to be on the list.

As long as the narrow-minded and singular “carrots and sticks” answer is the solution to be followed, no other options can be motivated, can be considered, and can be utilized. And, it is increasingly arrogant and standoffish to set ourselves above every other player in the world by acting that way about it even while claiming “mutual respect” and “equality” among those players and ourselves.

It is true that systems of encouragement for the more desirable outcomes and discouragement of those things we find undesirable are one method that, while insulting to our international equals and the people they represent, has been used in a variety of settings, including foreign policy. But, it isn’t the only way to get it done. All-Win solutions can be hammered out to some extent even between players who would just prefer that the other side didn’t exist at all. It has been done. It has worked. It is another way to do it.

There will also be those that simply will not rest until somebody, some country, some people, some race or ethnic group, or something that they hate has been obliterated. Personally, I think that is a mental aberration and not negotiable. It is ignorant and psychotic. And, that is the part which needs to be fixed because negotiated settlements cannot occur successfully where ignorance and psychotically-based hatred, bigotry, prejudice and racism are setting the standards for winning in the minds of any of the parties involved. Those standards by their structure and basis are “no-win” solutions for everyone which reach far beyond the tables of negotiation.

Over the last few years, Saudi Arabia has found a way to re-program that equation by serving the extreme fundamentalists and terrorist cell members with the kind of programs used for cults, cultists, and for cult members / cult victims to be un-brainwashed and to begin healing from the cult brainwashing techniques. By doing that in a psychiatric, psychological and mental health understanding of the problem, those individuals have a chance to be co-opted into Saudi Arabian and Islamic society in productive ways. But, the idea does represent one possible solution to the problem of negotiating with those whose psychotic and often religious interpretations of their ideology leave no room for anything except obliterating everyone they hate. And, often – they hate everybody, just pick a reason.

In a way, I would like to know which simple-minded, short-sighted arrogant jackass came up with the “carrots and sticks” mentality for US foreign policy and then spread it every damn where. But, then didn’t they used to say the same things about slaves and women and blacks and Arabs and Jews and just about everybody else subordinate in their eyes due to station in life, status, financial means, education, background, race, gender, age, country of origin or whatever else? I seem to remember that in some writings prior to the Civil War among plantation owners describing to one another effective ways to get things done. And, it just never ends regardless of the reasons why one human considers themselves above others.

When I watched Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton on CNN’s Amanpour interview, I felt ashamed of our country when they started describing the “carrots and sticks” policy that our State Department, Department of Defense, USAID and other foreign policy professionals are using and intend to use on Iran and other countries in the world. I knew they had probably just never thought about it in the way I was thinking about it, but if I were in Iran or any of the other countries where the United States is trying to exert influence – I would’ve been insulted and likely, aggravated by that almost patronizing and pervasively arrogant mentality about it.

Aside from being thought of as “dumber than a mule” and as someone considered to be so far beneath them (in their estimation), I would be thinking about “who the hell do they think they are?” and of the umpteen reasons why my country stands among the highest scientific thinkers, has made the substantial contributions to mathematics, language and astronomy and why its better than anyone in the United States or in the US government knows. It would breed nothing short of contempt and derision before getting anything else done.

And, it just isn’t the only way to do it . . .

– cricketdiane, 10-11-09


And some of these USAID programs and funding are in need of revision for the same reasons –

United States Agency for International Development

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United States Agency for International Development
Agency overview
Formed November 3, 1961
Preceding agency International Cooperation Administration
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Employees 1,759 (2006)
Agency executives Alonzo Fulgham, Acting Administrator
Vacant, Deputy Administrator

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States federal government organization responsible for most non-military foreign aid. An independent federal agency, it receives overall foreign policy guidance from the United States Secretary of State and seeks to “extend a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country…”[3]

USAID advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade; health; democracy, conflict prevention, and humanitarian assistance. It provides assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa; Asia and the Near East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Eurasia. USAID is organized around three main pillars: Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade; Global Health; Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.



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[edit] History

USAID’s origins date back to the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe after World War II and the Foreign Assistance Act. In 1961, an executive order established USAID by consolidating U.S. non-military foreign aid programs into a single agency. To address rising deficits, aid was tied to the purchase of U.S. goods and services, effectively subsidizing the U.S. balance of payments; for example, aid-financed commodities were required to be shipped in U.S. flagships.[4]

As a part of the U.S foreign affairs restructuring laws enacted in 1999, USAID was established as a statutorily independent agency, as 5 U.S.C. § 104 defines independent establishment.

[edit] Organization

[edit] Leadership

USAID is headed by an Administrator and Deputy Administrator, both appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.

The immediate past USAID Administrator, under the administration of President George W. Bush, was Henrietta Fore, who concurrently held the position of Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance in the Department of State.

[edit] Bureaus

USAID’s office in Washington includes both geographical and functional bureaus, and well as those for major headquarter functions.

  • Geographical bureaus:
    • AFR—Sub-Saharan Africa
    • ASIA—Asia
    • LAC—Latin America & the Caribbean
    • E&E—Europe and Eurasia
    • ME—the Middle East
  • Functional bureaus:
    • GH—Global Health
    • EGAT—Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade
    • DCHA—Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance
  • Headquarter bureaus:
    • M—Management
    • LPA—Legislative and Public Affairs.[3]

Overseas, USAID offices are called “missions.” Mission staff include career foreign service officers (FSOs), personal services contractors (PSCs), foreign service nationals (FSNs), and occasionally civil service employees.

[edit] Budgetary Resources

Top Recipients of U.S. Foreign Aid, FY 2004[5]
Nation Billions of Dollars
Iraq 18.44
Israel 2.62
Egypt 1.87
Afghanistan 1.77
Colombia 0.57
Jordan 0.56
Pakistan 0.39
Liberia 0.21
Peru 0.17
Ethiopia 0.16
Bolivia 0.15
Uganda 0.14
Sudan 0.14
Indonesia 0.13
Kenya 0.13

President Marcos tries out a payloader, which was donated to the Philippines through the USAID

USAID’s budget is funded through the 150 Account, which includes all International Affairs programs and operations for civilian agencies. In FY 2009, the Bush Administration’s request for the International Affairs Budget for the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign affairs agencies totals approximately $39.5 billion, including $26.1 billion for Foreign Operations and Related Agencies, $11.2 billion for Department of State, and $2.2 billion for Other International Affairs.

The request under the FY2009 Foreign Operations budget, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies is:

  • $2.4 billion to improve responsiveness to humanitarian crises, including food emergencies and disasters, and the needs of refugees
  • $938 million to strengthen USAID’s operational capacity
  • $2.3 billion to help Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and West Bank/Gaza achieve economic, democratic, security and political stabilization and to advance their overall development
  • $2.1 billion for State Department and USAID programs in Africa to address non-HIV/AIDS health, economic growth and democratic governance needs and to help promote stability in Sudan, Liberia, Zimbabwe and Somalia in support of the President’s 2005 commitment to double aid to Africa by 2010
  • $4.8 billion for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, which directly supports the first year of the President’s new five-year, $30 billion plan to treat 2.5 million people, prevent 12 million new infections, and care for 12 million afflicted people
  • $550 million to support the Mérida Initiative to combat the threats of drug trafficking, transnational crime, and terrorism in Mexico and Central America
  • $1.7 billion to promote democracy around the world, including support for the President’s Freedom Agenda
  • $385 million to support the President’s Malaria Initiative to reduce malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in 15 target African countries by 2010
  • $94 million for the President’s International Education Initiative to provide an additional 4 million students with access to quality basic education through 2012
  • $64 million for the State Department and USAID to support the President’s Climate Change Initiative to promote the adoption of clean energy technology, help countries adapt to climate change, and encourage sustainable forest management
  • $4.8 billion for foreign military financing to the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and Eurasia, including $2.6 billion for Israel
  • $2.2 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation to improve agricultural productivity, modernize infrastructure, expand private land ownership, improve health systems, and improve access to credit for small business and farmers[6]

At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, most of the world’s governments adopted a program for action under the auspices of the United Nations Agenda 21, which included an Official Development Assistance (ODA) aid target of 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) for rich nations, specified as roughly 22 members of the OECD and known as the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The United States never agreed to this target but remains – in real terms – the world’s largest provider of official development assistance. However, relative to its economy, the U.S. is the second lowest provider with a 0.17% of GNI in aid[7]. Only Greece, among the DAC countries, provides a lower percentage of GNI in the form of aid.[8]

According to the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (DAC/OECD), the United States remains the largest donor of “official development assistance” at $23.53 billion in 2006. DAC/OECD reports that the next largest donor was the United Kingdom ($12.46b). The UK was followed (in rank order) by Japan ($11.19b), France ($10.60b), Germany ($10.43b), Netherlands ($5.45b), Sweden ($3.95b), Spain ($3.81b), Canada ($3.68b), Italy ($3.64b), Norway ($2.95b), Denmark ($2.24b), Australia ($2.12b), Belgium ($1.98b), Switzerland ($1.65b), Austria ($1.50b), Ireland ($1.02b), Finland ($0.83b), Greece ($0.42b), Portugal ($0.40b), Luxembourg ($0.29b) and New Zealand ($0.26b).[9]

[edit] USAID Bilateral Assistance in the News

[edit] Iraq

USAID has been a major partner in the United States Government’s (USG) reconstruction and development effort in Iraq. As of June 2009[update], USAID has invested approximately $6.6 billion on programs designed to stabilize communities; foster economic and agricultural growth; and build the capacity of the national, local, and provincial governments to represent and respond to the needs of the Iraqi people.[10]

Rebuilding Iraq – C-SPAN 4 Part Series In June 2003, C-SPAN followed USAID Admin. Andrew Natsios as he toured Iraq. The special program C-SPAN produced aired over four nights.[11]

[edit] Bolivia

In 2008, the coca growers “union” affiliated with Bolivian President Evo Morales “ejected” the 100 employees and contractors from USAID working in the Chapare region, citing frustration with U.S.[12] efforts to persuade them to switch to growing unviable alternatives. From 1998 to 2003, Bolivian farmers could receive USAID funding for help planting other crops only if they eliminated all their coca, according to the Andean Information Network. Other rules, such as the requirement that participating communities declare themselves “terrorist-free zones” as required by U.S. law irritated people, said Kathryn Ledebur, director of the organization. “Eradicate all your coca and then you grow an orange tree that will get fruit in eight years but you don’t have anything to eat in the meantime? A bad idea,” she said. “The thing about kicking out USAID, I don’t think it’s an anti-American sentiment overall” but rather a rejection of bad programs”.

[edit] Controversies and Criticism

USAID states that “U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world.” However, some critics[who?] say that the US government gives aid to reward political and military partners rather than to advance genuine social or humanitarian causes abroad. Another complaint[by whom?] is that foreign aid is used as a political weapon for the U.S. to make other nations do things its way, an example given in 1990 when the Yemeni Ambassador to the United Nations voted against a resolution for a US-led coalition to use force against Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Thomas Pickering walked to the seat of the Yemeni Ambassador and retorted: “That was the most expensive No vote you ever cast”. Immediately afterwards, USAID ceased operations and funding in Yemen. [13]

Although USAID defends that contractors are selected by their proven abilities, “watch dog” groups, partisan politicians, foreign governments and corporations contend that the bidding process has at times involved both the financial interest of its current Presidential administration and political motivation.[14]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Best Places to Work in the Federal Government
  2. ^ USAID: USAID History
  3. ^ a b USAID Official Website
  4. ^ Michael Hudson, Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance, 2nd ed. (London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2003), 235-38.
  5. ^ Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of U.S. Programs and Policy, http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/31987.pdf, Figure 4, Page CRS-13
  6. ^ Factsheet on International Affairs FY 2009 Budget, US Department of State, February 2008, http://www.state.gov/f/releases/factsheets2008/99981.htm
  7. ^ US and Foreign Aid Assistance, from globalissues.org, aid data from OECD
  8. ^ REPORT OF 2008 SURVEY OF AID ALLOCATION POLICIES AND INDICATIVE FORWARD SPENDING PLANS, globalissues.org, May 2008, p. 27, http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp
  9. ^ (PDF) FINAL ODA FLOWS IN 2006, DEVELOPMENT CO-OPERATION DIRECTORATE, DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE, 10 December 2007, p. 8, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/7/20/39768315.pdf (ANNEX, Table 1)
  10. ^ USAID Assistance for Iraq : Accomplishments, United States Agency for International Development.
  11. ^ C-Span: Rebuilding Iraq
  12. ^ Andean Information Network. “Bolivian coca growers cut ties with USAID”: http://ain-bolivia.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=128&Itemid=28
  13. ^ http://www.fff.org/comment/com0309q.asp Hornberger, Jacob “But Foreign Aid Is Bribery! And Blackmail, Extortion, and Theft Too!” September 26, 2003
  14. ^ Barbara Slavin Another Iraq deal rewards company with connections USA Today 4/17/2003

[edit] External links





Carrot and stick

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Carrot and stick (also “carrot or stick”) is an idiom that refers to a policy of offering a combination of rewards and punishment to induce behavior. Some claim that this usage of phrase is erroneous, and that in fact comes from the figure of a carrot on a stick. In this case, the driver would tie a carrot on a string to a long stick and dangle it in front of the donkey, just out of its reach. As the donkey moved forward to get the carrot, it pulled the cart and the driver so that the carrot would always remain out of reach.

The earliest citation of this expression recorded by the Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary is to The Economist magazine in the December 11, 1948, issue.


External links



Carrots, Sticks and Donkeys

Those who have some knowledge of American policy and strategy anticipated the sale of P3C Orions, F-16s and other sophisticated weaponry to Pakistan. What makes it all laughable is that the pretext is to aid Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts. These weapons will be used to intimidate or attack India. The daydreamers in India including respectable web-sites are mollified and crowing about two op-eds by former Ambassador Blackwill and former Senator Pressler recommending that America wholeheartedly embrace democratic India and overtly state its tilt towards it. The timing of these writings should make sensible thinking persons suspect that these were carrots hung in front of the donkey to fool the ass before it is to be struck by the heavy stick of arm sales to Pakistan. However well meaning these two persons maybe, they are currently out of power. One has become a lobbyist who gets paid to cash in on past influence and the other is on the board of directors of Infosys and has to proclaim a pro-India bias. The pie in the sky promises of Condoleeza Rice are just that. The hurdle of convincing the Congress and negotiating terms and transfer of technology in planes and nuclear reactors are slow and uncertain.

Let us consider why India was offered F-16s or F-18s. It was a sop to cover the sale to Pakistan. Furthermore, the technologies are a generation old and being phased out by replacement with the Raptor F-22 and the JSF F-35. It would be foolish for India to own the same model plane as Pakistan, even though modern air warfare is often beyond visual range. The reason Pakistan was offered the planes is to please Musharraf and his generals and defuse the widely prevalent public ill feeling towards America. This would consolidate Musharraf’s hold on power and obtain his co-operation, if Iran is to be attacked. This would calm the primary worry of America of Pakistani nuclear assets falling into the hands of Islamic terrorists. It is worth noting that there is no limit on the number of planes and I am sure that one of them will handed over to China for reverse engineering. This doesn’t worry America and India’s concerns do not matter a bit to America, as the timing of the sale and previous anointing of Pakistan as a key non-NATO ally prove.

There is another widely prevalent misconception amongst Indian analysts that we can cozy up to China. China has no interest in seeking a military alliance or partnership with India. It has designs on our territory, is economically and militarily stronger, and having India on its side does little to help it stand up against America in the Taiwan or any other future dispute. It fears Japan which has the economic might and technology to threaten it, if it escapes American domination. Thus it wants a pacific Japan relying on American protection. It has not forgotten Nanking and Manchuria. Presently it wants to trade with America to obtain foreign exchange, provide jobs for its roving unemployed and obtain western technology. Thus it voices protests but still pretends to co-operate with America with regards to North Korea. In the meantime it is becoming the largest trading partner of Japan, South Korea, the ASEAN group and it is making inroads into Latin America and former Soviet Republics and Iran. It will continue to hold Pakistan’s hand, support Bangladesh and Burma, while fomenting unrest in Nepal and the Indian northeast to cripple or slow India’s rise.

Japan’s interest in India is to police the Straits of Malacca, the bottleneck in the route of its oil supply. Until it abandons the American umbrella, there is no benefit to it of closer political or military ties to India. Only Russia, a dethroned superpower may have interest in a closer relationship. It is wooing Iran to counter American interference in Georgia, Ukraine etc. Its technology though good is not often superior to that of America, but it would be downright foolish of India to fight a war with America or even prepare for one as China is doing. Taiwan is the cause of that. If we fight a war with Pakistan, America may threaten or criticize us but it is not going to defend Pakistan as it may defend Taiwan.

Some of the technological gaps can be filled with the help of another country with whom we share a world-view. That is Israel. It has the technology as the refit of our MiGs, the Phalcon system, Green Pine radar, UAVs and Barak missile system purchase proves. In the meantime we should become a first rate military power by improving our economic might and that means trading with all and making it a point to negotiate transfer of technology in purchasing arms.

France and to some extent Britain are two such sources worth cultivating, while still giving preference to Russia and Israel with whom we currently have common interests, while avoiding open conflict with America and China, just as America did by placating Britain and France within a decade of its birth as a nation. We must also follow America’s example of not becoming the handmaiden of great powers, nor be beguiled by their grandiose proclamations or vague future promises.

Our current price advantage in back office work, BPOs, call centers and software services is ephemeral and undependable. It could vanish overnight if America is peeved or someone does it cheaper. This is why China chose to go the manufacturing route and not the service sector one. Another lesson to be learnt from Prithviraj and America is that war, economic or military, is not some chivalrous contest on a medieval battlefield where victors and vanquished have a peg or two like pukka sahibs in the officers’ mess, but a zero sum game where the victors make the rules and the vanquished get Nuremberg trials.

Gaurang Bhatt, MD
April 3, 2005