Fiscal Year 2009 Appropriations and Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East
President Bush recently submitted his budget request for fiscal year 2009 to the Congress, the final such request of his eight-year tenure.
As the House and Senate debate appropriations levels for various programs, it is worthwhile to examine the levels of funding for democracy and governance programs for the Middle East, as well as the various bilateral foreign assistance packages to the region.
What are the most significant changes in these portions of the budget request, as compared with budget requests and appropriations from previous years?
How would this budget impact US efforts to support democracy in the Middle East and North Africa? How will the funding levels ultimately approved by Congress likely compare with this request?
And which democracy and governance programs established or expanded during President Bush's tenure are most likely to receive continued support by the next administration?- Project on Middle East Democracy
Andrew Albertson is the Executive Director of Project on Middle East Democracy.
Amb Edward Gabriel
Amb. Edward Gabriel, President and CEO of The Gabriel Company, LLC, where he advises multinational corporations on international affairs and domestic policy, and former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco.
Stephen McInerney serves as POMED's Director for Legislative Affairs and Editor of the POMED Wire blog. He has more than six years experience in the region, including graduate studies of Middle Eastern politics, history, and the Arabic language at the American University in Cairo and the American University of Beirut.
He has spoken on Middle East affairs before the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Network of Arab American Professionals, the WESPAC Foundation of New York, and with numerous media outlets including MSNBC and CBS News.
He originally developed an interest in the Middle East while teaching mathematics in Qatar after earning an M.S. in math from Stanford University.
Jennifer Windsor is Executive Director of Freedom House and former Deputy Assistant Administrator and Director of the Center for Democracy and Governance (now the Office of Democracy and Governance) at the U.S. Agency for International Development.