President Obama’s most senior advisers convened last month to consider changes to the way the United States provides security aid to foreign nations, as a long-running struggle for control between the State and Defense departments intensifies.
Gordon Adams, a former White House budget official who is a fellow at the Stimson Center, said the seemingly arcane bureaucratic competition had wide-reaching effects.
“Who owns the ball matters here because it colors the way the U.S. engages overseas,” he said. “If American engagement wears a uniform . . . that’s one form of interaction. If it involves the ambassador and the [U.S. Agency for International Development] and people doing governance work, it’s a different set of missions and there’s a hugely different perception.”
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