Friday Closers

Countries Where Bribery Is Important To Getting Ahead
Pew Research Global just released a survey examining attitudes in 44 countries toward bribery and how important it is to getting ahead in life.

It is not surprising that the country in which bribery is most commonplace is China, then Jordan and followed up by Russia.

In Brazil, El Salvador, and (somewhat surprisingly) Colombia are the nations where bribery is least common.

(The U.S. is near the low end of the scale.) 

“In China, bribery is a recurring issue, so much so that Communist Party officials focused their 2014 plenum on anti-corruption efforts, among other rule-of-law topics. One of the most popular acts of bribery in China is gift-giving to secure government contracts, according to a 2012 World Bank survey of the Chinese business sector,” writes Pew analyst George Gao.

Lessons From A Diplomat
After 33 years working in the foreign service, William Burns is leaving the State Department. But he is not doing so before he offers ten lessons he learned during his tenure.

Burns says the “real question is not whether the State Department is still relevant but how we can sustain, strengthen, and adapt the tradecraft for a new century unfolding” at the moment.

Among the key lessons he learned are to remain flexible and forward-thinking, to remember diplomacy is not always about the United States, and do not just identify the problem, but offer a solution.

Combating Terrorism Requires Foreign Aid Too
Gen. Anthony Zinni and Adm. James Stavridis, co-chairs of the National Security Advisory Council, make the case that any effective counterterrorism strategy must employ both hard and soft power, including a robust program of foreign aid.

“The important lessons we learned in our military careers is that countering the threats to our nation require comprehensive responses that utilize all our elements of national power – military and non-military. An indispensable part of the non-military toolkit is foreign aid – one of the least appreciated and yet vital means for advancing America’s interests around the world,” they assert.

International Crises Require A Global Response
The Islamic State and Ebola are the crises du jour, but a host of other national security threats are no less pressing. And combatting them will require global cooperation, argues Tim Roemer in Foreign Policy magazine.

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