Weekly Briefing (2/14/2011–2/18/2011)

February 15 The New York Times and CBS Evening News reported that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Monday that proposed Republican cuts to foreign aid would hurt national security. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Clinton wrote, “Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating to our national security, will render us unable to respond to unanticipated disasters and will damage our leadership around the world.” AFP cites that Clinton added the cuts would cause the State Department and USAID “to scale back their critical roles in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

February 17 Bloomberg News wrote that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton promised on Wednesday to increase support to civil society activists fighting repressive governments around the world. A fund managed by USAID to protect groups from government censoring will be increased from $1.5 million to $3.4 million.