Washington Memo Blog

The Washington Memo Blog offers quick updates on current issues and news relevant to work here at the MCC Washington Office. Here are some excerpts from recent blog posts:

Obama’s National Security Policy Towards Africa

January 29, 2010

“The budget of Africom (the U.S. military command for Africa) far exceeds that of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The United States must reverse this trend by revitalizing the capacity and resources of these critical agencies, rather than prioritizing military assistance and training programs. In addition to over militarizing underdeveloped African nations with limited infrastructure, investing in military programs diverts scarce resources from efforts to consolidate democracy, uphold human rights, and spur economic growth on the continent.”

National Criminal Justice Act Passes Committee

January 22, 2010

“Yesterday in a business meeting, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the National Criminal Justice Commission Act. The Act, introduced in March 2009 by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), would form a 14-member, bipartisan commission tasked with reviewing the entire criminal justice system….

“The criminal justice system in the United States has grown tremendously in recent history, with incarceration increasing by 500 percent in the last 30 years. At 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States now houses 25 percent of the world’s inmates. That’s 7.3 million men, women and children and 5 times higher than the international average incarceration rate. ”

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