What do Indonesia's General Suharto and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi have in common? Both were corrupt national leaders who stayed in office too long and finally lost power as a result of financial crises. These kinds of crises are ugly and painful, but bring about overdue reforms.
Ever since Putin gave up his office in 2008 because he had served the maximum two terms allowed by the Russian constitution, Russians have been saying that he'd be back. And as usual, Russian folk wisdom has turned out to be right.
September 11 removed us further from our liberal traditions, which had once considered undue government surveillance as a violation of civil liberties, while a previously unimaginable concept like torture suddenly became a topic worthy of "debate."
Should we exert force abroad for the national interest? (And how do we define national interest?) When and where should we use force for a humanitarian cause? Or should the U.S. withdraw from the international theater to focus on challenges at home?
The QDDR contains many positive elements. The InterAction community is hopeful that it will lead to greater collaboration between USAID and the Department of State to enable the U.S. to respond effectively to humanitarian emergencies and the needs of vulnerable people.