There are two reasons that the speech is virtually certain to focus on the domestic economy. The first is the actual state of the domestic economy and the politics that surround it. Obviously that's the subject that's most on the minds of the American people. But secondly, it also reflects the fact that by contrast, the world of foreign policy and national security is relatively calm. Even though American forces are in large numbers in Afghanistan and Iraq, mercifully, U.S. casualties are low. The attempted terrorist attack in the airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day did not succeed, which made it a several-day story but not a lingering one. Even the attention to Haiti is beginning to fade because what grabbed peoples' attention was the human emergency, but the long-term challenge of developing Haiti is not going to be a front page story. So again, the reason for the domestic economic focus is a recognition that foreign policy and national security have receded from the forefront of the American political conscience. And there is an awareness that economic issues remain paramount.
Please join us at the Inter-American Dialogue for a discussion on the situation in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck the country on January 12th. This discussion, jointly sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue and the U.S. Institute of Peace, will examine the damage that has been done to Haiti and its people and the challenges the country now confronts. We will particularly focus on how Haiti’s political and economic prospects have been affected and what can be done by the international community to help aid in recovery and reconstruction.
- Ambassador Albert Ramdin
Assistant Secretary General, Organization of American States
- Dora Currea
Caribbean Country Manager, Inter-American Development Bank
- Robert Maguire
Chair, Haiti Working Group, U.S. Institute of Peace
Former Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace
Associate Professor of International Affairs, Trinity Washington University