Preserve Programs that Promote Democracy Abroad
By MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT, JOHN PODESTA, VIN WEBER and DANIEL F. RUNDE (Politico)
In recent years, we have seen citizens and activists calling for change, for increased freedoms, for democratic institutions to supplant autocratic political systems around the world. But even as new constitutions are written and some governments work to increase transparency, U.S. financial and political support for promoting democracy and accountable institutions is increasingly beleaguered at home.
Every aspect of federal spending is under tight scrutiny in Congress. And in the wake of the Iraq war, some politicians and policymakers on both sides of the aisle have assumed falsely that the small amount of money we devote to democracy promotion abroad is synonymous with armed interventions and “regime change” imposed by Washington.