Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bond Wants Peace Corps to Focus on Muslim World

Sen. Kit Bond wants the Peace Corps to have a bigger presence in Muslim countries.
But some say that would be a shift from the agency's mission.
National Journal notes that lawmakers are grappling with how to fund President Obama's pledged expansion of the 50-year old group. Bond is lobbying Sen. Patrick Leahy to support a $450 million plan, but Leahy is skeptical of whether the U.S. is getting the best bang for its buck abroad. Bond also sees the Peace Corps having a different mission.
From NJ: Sen. Christopher (Kit) Bond, R-Mo., who has lobbied Leahy to support the House's $450 million budget line, envisions the Peace Corps as an arrow in America's "smart power" quiver and wants a bigger Peace Corps footprint in the Muslim world. "Volunteers are needed in more strategic countries in the world, which is why I have urged for more volunteers in countries like Indonesia," Bond said.
Opponents of Bond's vision say using the Corps as a "vehicle for small-scale American diplomacy in geopolitical hotspots is a departure from President Kennedy's vision."

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