Executive Director Stephen McInerney Quoted on U.S. Assistance to Tunisia, Egypt

In an article in BloombergView, POMED Executive Director Stephen McInerney is quoted on the United States’ foreign assistance levels to Egypt and Tunisia and the implied message in this funding. In addition, POMED’s recently released report The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa is cited in the article.

“Egypt is fundamentally headed in the wrong direction and Tunisia is heading in the right direction, but the messaging doesn’t reflect that,” said Steve McInerney, Pomed’s executive director.

Egypt is a much bigger country and more strategic, for sure. But the Obama administration’s focus on countries such as Egypt and their over-dependence on security-related assistance is preventing the U.S. from realizing the new relationship with the Arab world President Obama has been calling for since his famous Cairo speech in 2009.

“The administration is essentially doubling down on the existing approach, a very heavy, overly securitized engagement with the region,” McInerney said. “As a result, Tunisia becomes an afterthought. The only sure way for a country to get more attention from the U.S. is to fall apart and become a crisis zone, and that’s tragic.”

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