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  • Winning the Peace: An American Strategy for Post-Conflict Reconstruction (CSIS Significant Issues, No. 26) (Csis Significant Issues Series)
    Winning the Peace: An American Strategy for Post-Conflict Reconstruction (CSIS Significant Issues, No. 26) (Csis Significant Issues Series)
    by Robert C. Orr
  • Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World
    Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World
    by Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart
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    The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (Vintage)
    by Rupert Smith
  • Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization
    Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization
    by John Robb
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    Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places
    by Paul Collier
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century
    State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century
    by Francis Fukuyama
  • When States Fail: Causes and Consequences
    When States Fail: Causes and Consequences
    Princeton University Press
  • Building States to Build Peace
    Building States to Build Peace
    Lynne Rienner Publishers
  • Making States Work: State Failure And The Crisis Of Governance
    Making States Work: State Failure And The Crisis Of Governance
    United Nations University Press
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Entries in Gates Foundation (2)

Friday
Feb052010

D3 Weekly Link Roundup

Baba Tim over at Free Range International properly eviscerates 60 Minutes and Lara Logan for a lame ass piece of reporting on Special Forces (who don’t come out looking too hot themselves) in Afghanistan.

 

DOD releases the Quadrennial Defense Review.  The Atlantic Council has an analysis.

 

Republicans take on the Military over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen (who was nice enough to once give me a coin) is an American Hero.

 

Foreign Affairs has a nice compendium on what to read on foreign aid along with a breakdown of the three main competing approaches to foreign assistance.

 

State & USAID’s FY11 Budget Request is released, increasing the size of both organizations and expanding the foreign assistance budget.  The folks at the Center for Global Development see it as a strong signal for development.   Some in Congress fear that with 10% employment and other urgent issues here at home, it will face a “difficult political environment.”

 

The Economist reviews the Bill Gates’ 2010 Annual Letter on development.

 

The State Department’s dueling Twitterati.

 

Henry Kissinger pens an op-ed in the Washington Post advising the Obama Administration to focus his Iraq policy on more than just troop withdrawals.  

 

John Robb on a “Byzantine”  grand strategy for American foreign policy. (Hint:  Avoid COIN like the plague). 

 

Some Haitians want the U.S. to take over.  Also, who’s paying for Haiti?

 

Mountain Runner who is a must read for all things related to public diplomacy highlights an article by former U.S. Information Agency Associate Director Walter Yates entitled: “The Voice of America: Origin and Recollections.”

 

And finally, the proposed Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia is rejected because his name when translated into Arabic means “biggest dick.” 

 

Tuesday
Jan262010

The Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private philanthropic organization in the world.  It has an endowment of over $35 billion and to maintain its non-profit status has to drop about $1.5 billion a year on programming. 


Gates just released his 2010 Annual Letter in which he discusses some of the more important activities the foundation takes part in and his thoughts on the role the foundation plays in development . . .


Melinda and I see our foundation’s key role as investing in innovations that would not otherwise be funded. This draws not only on our backgrounds in technology but also on the foundation’s size and ability to take a long-term view and take large risks on new approaches. Warren Buffett put it well in 2006 when he told us, “Don’t just go for safe projects. You can bat a thousand in this game if you want to by doing nothing important. Or you’ll bat something less than that if you take on the really tough problems.” We are backing innovations in education, food, and health as well as some related areas like savings for the poor.


He also has a blog called The Gates Notes.


What got me started on  Gates tonight  was watching this cool interview of him on my favorite television news program, The Daily Show (the only other one worth watching is 60 Minutes).  He mentioned that about 18 months ago he quit his day job at Microsoft in order to dedicate all his time to the foundation's work.

 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Gates
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is not perfect or without its share of criticism. Those problems are outweighed by the sheer scale of its philanthropy and its unique focus on supporting niche projects which don't receive government support or for which there are no pre-existing markets to drive innovation (like energy). 


I suspect by the time he's done, Gates will go down in history as the greatest philanthropist the world has ever seen. 


And at least he's nothing like this guy . . .