Archive - March 21, 2020

1
Glenn Blumhorst’s letter in the Chicago Tribune
2
Ending the Peace Corps program in China is not smart says Lex Rieffel (India)

Glenn Blumhorst’s letter in the Chicago Tribune

  Commentary: Peace Corps evacuated all 7,300 of its volunteers due to coronavirus. They need immediate help. by Glenn Blumhorst in the Chicago Tribune 02/21/20 01:24 PM EST • Imagine, if you can, a scenario in which the Department of Defense saw the need to recall for emergency security purposes the entirety of its service corps in one fell swoop. That’s essentially what happened over the past week, when the U.S. Peace Corps agency made the difficult and unprecedented decision to suspend its programs indefinitely, evacuating all 7,300 volunteers serving in more than 60 countries — including 280 from Illinois — due to the coronavirus outbreak and informing them their service has ended. As the virus spread rapidly worldwide, travel restrictions quickly tightened, risks to the personal health of volunteers rose rapidly and the window to bring America’s “grassroots diplomats” home was closing swiftly. Understandably, the top priority of the agency was . . .

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Ending the Peace Corps program in China is not smart says Lex Rieffel (India)

BY LEX RIEFFEL, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR 02/21/20 01:00 PM EST   Last month, before the corona virus outbreak, the Peace Corps informed the Congress that it would begin terminating its program in China in Sen. Marc Rubio (R-Fla.) applauded the decision, noting that China no longer is a developing country and, echoing the sentiment, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told reporters: “I’m glad the Peace Corps has finally come to its senses.” I beg to differ. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in India (1965-67) and I’ve done research on what America gains from allocating funds in the federal budget for the Peace Corps. Measured against our country’s long-term national interests, pulling the Peace Corps out of China now looks like a dumb move. Let’s start with a few facts. The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President Kennedy in the midst of the Cold War with the Soviet Union when the U.S. was competing . . .

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