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Panel Discusses Foreign Policy at Founders Inn

By Amanda Morad | August 1, 2011

Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, VP of Advocacy, World Vision USA

Even with the national budget hanging in the balance, U.S. investment abroad is essential to national security and economic growth, according to a panel of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC).

Hosted by Regent University, the USGLC sponsored a foreign policy discussion on national and economic security Wednesday, July 27, at The Founders Inn. Key military and business figures joined local leaders for a dialogue about the United States' global engagement and its impact on Virginia families and businesses.

The USGLC advocates government funding for foreign assistance, which this year was $52.9 billion, or 1.4 percent of the total federal budget, according to the group.

Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, founder and chancellor of Regent, offered welcoming remarks followed by a conversation with Lt. Gen. Pete Osman, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.); former U.S. Congressman from Virginia Honorable Tom Davis; Barry DuVal, President and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, Vice President of Advocacy at World Vision USA. The panel was moderated by Emmy-award winning journalist David Brody.

Introducing the group, George Ingram, founder and chairman emeritus of the USGLC, stressed the importance of "global development and diplomacy for U.S. economic prosperity" before handing the discussion over to Brody.

Each speaking on behalf of their respective sectors—military, government, business and aid organizations—the panel presented a comprehensive view of the United States' involvement in the global community.

"We're trying to pull back when we should be reaching out more than ever because of the instability around the world," Osman said. He emphasized pairing diplomacy and development with defense in order to achieve global stability.

But one of the major challenges in maintaining America's international engagement is rallying support. "Educating the American public on a budget is difficult," Davis said. "They don't realize that today's economy is a global economy."

The panel also addressed the United States' role in international humanitarian efforts.

"Americans are very generous, but they need to feel prosperous at home in order to feel secure in their giving," DuVal said. "The best way to build support for investing abroad is to have prosperity at home, and we don't have prosperity at home."

The overarching sentiment of the panel was that, even though the national economy is struggling, investing in international development—in trade as well as in humanitarian aid—is well worth the allocated funds.

"We recognize that this is a moment of fiscal crisis," Taylor admitted. "These [international aid] programs save lives, provide American jobs and contribute to national security. Making cuts is not smart and not just."

Regent President Carlos Campo, who attended the panel, acknowledged the value of the university's involvement. "It's important for Regent to facilitate and participate in the insightful and timely global dialogues because our mission is globally focused and leadership is at the heart of who we are."

Learn more about the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition


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