Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Ambassador Sanders Signs on to Letter Against U.S. Military Force on Civilains with 500+ Former Senior U.S. Officials

First published on June 5, 2020. Most recent update: June 11, 2020 at 6:09 p.m. ET by

          The below statement by former U.S. Ambassadors, Military Officers, Senior Officials Retired members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, many of whom had seen first-hand in non-democratic countries the use of the military as a tool to suppress public protest, were alarmed this week at what seemed steps in that direction on the streets of Washington. 
          The following letter expresses their concern at such measures and their support for the U.S. military’s proud tradition of staying outside of politics. It is addressed to national, state, and local leaders, and has been endorsed by 599 former officials from the diplomatic, military, and other services, as listed below. The letter follows below in alpha order of last names of former Ambassadors, Military Generals, and other former US senior officials:
The Strength of America’s Apolitical Military

The United States is passing through a period unlike any our country has experienced before. Our population, our society, and our economy have been devastated by the pandemic and the resulting depression-level unemployment. We deplore the brutal killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis which has provoked more widespread protests than the United States has seen in decades. As former American ambassadors, generals and admirals, and senior federal officials, we are alarmed by calls from the President and some political leaders for the use of U.S. military personnel to end legitimate protests in cities and towns across America. Many of us served across the globe, including in war zones, diplomats and military officers working side by side to advance American interests and values. We called out violations of human rights and the authoritarian regimes that deployed their military against their own citizens.

Our values define us as a nation and as a global leader. The professionalism and political neutrality of the U.S. military have been examples for people around the world who aspire to greater freedom and democracy in their own societies. They are among our nation’s greatest assets in protecting Americans and asserting American interests across the globe. Cities and neighborhoods in which Americans are assembling peacefully, speaking freely, and seeking redress of their grievances are not “battlespaces.” Federal, state, and local officials must never seek to “dominate” those exercising their First Amendment rights. Rather they have a responsibility to ensure that peaceful protest can take place safely as well as to protect those taking part. We condemn all criminal acts against persons and property, but cannot agree that responding to these acts is beyond the capabilities of local and state authorities. Our military is composed of and represents all of America.

Misuse of the military for political purposes would weaken the fabric of our democracy, denigrate those who serve in uniform to protect and defend the Constitution, and undermine our nation’s strength abroad. There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some. We are concerned about the use of U.S. military assets to intimidate and break up peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C. Using the rotor wash of helicopters flying at low altitude to disperse protestors is reckless and unnecessary. The stationing of D.C. Air National Guard troops in full battle armor on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is inflammatory and risks sullying the reputation of our men and women in uniform in the eyes of their fellow

Americans and of the world. Declaring peaceful protestors “thugs” and “terrorists” and falsely seeking to divide Americans into those who support “law and order” and those who do not will not end the demonstrations. The deployment of military forces against American citizens exercising their constitutional rights will not heal the divides in our society. We urge the President and state and local governments to focus their efforts on uniting the country and supporting reforms to ensure equal police treatment of all citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity. Ultimately, the issues that have driven the protests cannot be addressed by our military. They must be resolved through political processes.

Anne H. Aarnes Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley Ambassador (ret) Edward Abington Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Jonathan S. Addleton Ambassador, USAID (ret) Terry Adirim Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense James A. Adkins MG, US Army (ret) Cynthia H. Akuetteh Ambassador (ret) Karl P. Albrecht Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Leslie Alexander Ambassador (ret) Javed Ali Former Senior Director, National Security Council Craig Allen Ambassador (ret) Jay Anania Ambassador (ret) Claudia E. Anyaso Senior Foreign Service (ret) Ricardo Aponte Brigadier General, USAF (ret) Richard H. Appleton Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Hilda Arellano Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Raymond Arnaudo Senior State Department Official (ret) Kirk Augustine Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Liliana Ayalde Ambassador (ret) Alyssa Ayres Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel

Baer Ambassador (ret) Gary G. Bagley Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Jess L. Baily Ambassador (ret) Tom Baltazar Senior Executive Service, USAID (ret) Robert C. Barber Ambassador (ret) Donna Barbisch Major General, USA (ret) Denise Campbell Bauer Ambassador (ret) James A. Beaver Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Frederick Becker Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Robert Mason Beecroft Ambassador (ret) Rand Beers Former Deputy Assistant to the President Colleen Bell Ambassador (ret) William Bellamy Ambassador (ret) Daniel Benjamin Ambassador (ret) Eric D Benjaminson Ambassador (ret) John E. Bennett United States Ambassador (ret) Virginia L. Bennett Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Jenna Ben-Yehuda Former Senior Military Advisor, Department of State Rob Berschinski Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Bever Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) John Beyrle Ambassador (ret) J.D. Bindenagel Ambassador (ret) Jack R. Binns Ambassador (ret) James Keogh Bishop Ambassador (ret) Rebecca Black Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Stephen J. Blake Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Ronald R. Blanck Lieutenant General (ret) Beryl Blecher Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Peter W. Bodde Ambassador (ret) Barbara Bodine Ambassador (ret) Michael A. Boorstein Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Michele Thoren Bond Ambassador (ret) Eric J. Boswell Ambassador (ret) Paul L. Boyd Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Spencer P. Boyer Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Aurelia E. Brazeal Ambassador (ret) Pamela Bridgewater Ambassador (ret) Ken Brill Ambassador (ret) Carol Moseley Braun Ambassador (ret) Philip J. Breeden, Jr. Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Peter S. Bridges Ambassador (ret) Dolores Marie Brown Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Gordon S. Brown Ambassador (ret) Sue K. Brown Ambassador (ret) Steven A. Browning Ambassador (ret) Lee Anthony Brudvig Senior Foreign Service (ret) Judith L. Bryan Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Todd Buchwald Ambassador (ret) Craig Buck Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) David P. Burford Major General, USA (ret) Sandy M. Burkholder Senior Foreign Service (ret) Peter Burleigh Ambassador (ret) Nicholas Burns Ambassador (ret) William J. Burns Ambassador (ret) Former Deputy Secretary of State Prudence Bushnell Ambassador (ret) Patricia A. Butenis Ambassador (ret) Michael A. Butler Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Anne Callaghan Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Robert J. Callahan Ambassador (ret) Beatrice Camp Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Donald M. Campbell, Jr. Lieutenant General, US Army (ret) Piper A. W. Campbell Ambassador (ret) Glenn L. Carle Former Deputy National Intelligence Officer, CIA Lisa M. Carle Senior Foreign Service (ret) George Carner Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) James Carouso Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Steven A. Cash Former Intelligence Officer, CIA Ronnie S. Catipon Senior Foreign Service Special Agent (ret) John Caulfied Senior Foreign Service Officer, (ret) Carey Cavanaugh Ambassador (ret) Judith B. Cefkin Ambassador (ret) Robert F. Cekuta Ambassador (ret) Jeffrey R Cellars Senior Foreign Service (ret) Wendy J. Chamberlin Ambassador (ret) Peter R Chaveas Ambassador (ret) Karen L. Christensen Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Gene Christy Ambassador (ret) David A. Cohen Senior Foreign Service, USAID (ret) Herman J. Cohen Ambassador (ret) Maryruth Coleman Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Maura Connelly Ambassador (ret) Elinor Constable Ambassador (ret) Ellen M. Conway Senior Foreign Service (ret) Frances D. Cook Ambassador (ret) Frederick B. Cook Ambassador ret) Suzan Johnson Cook Ambassador (ret) Thomas Countryman Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Cindy Courville Ambassador (ret) Ertharin Cousin Ambassador (ret) Philip E. Coyle III Former Associate Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House Gene A. Cretz Ambassador (ret) Daniel Thomas Crocker Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Christopher D. Crowley Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

James Dandridge II Senior Foreign Service (ret) John J. Danilovich Ambassador (ret) Glyn T. Davies Ambassador (ret) John W Davison Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Luis C. deBaca Ambassador (ret) Kimberley J. DeBlauw Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Carleene Dei Senior Foreign Service (ret) Jeffrey DeLaurentis Ambassador (ret) Greg Delawie Ambassador (ret) Christopher W. Dell Ambassador (ret) Anne E. Derse Ambassador (ret) Joseph M. DeThomas Ambassador (ret) Richard T. Devereaux Major General, USAF (ret) James Dickmeyer Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) John Dickson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Elizabeth L. Dibble Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Dirk Willem Dijkerman Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Anne Chermak Dillen Senior Foreign Service (ret) Robert S. Dillon Ambassador (ret) John Dinger Ambassador (ret) Kathleen A. Doherty Ambassador (ret) Shaun Donnelly Ambassador (ret) John Douglass Brigadier General, USAF (ret) Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Mary Draper Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Audrey B. Dumentat Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret.) David Dunford Ambassador (ret) Polly Dunford Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Morton R Dworken Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Renee M. Earle Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Paul D. Eaton Major General, USA (ret) William A. Eaton Ambassador (ret) Alan W Eastham Ambassador (ret) Luigi Einaudi Ambassador (ret) Harriet L. Elam-Thomas Ambassador (ret) Susan M. Elliott Ambassador (ret) Nancy H. Ely-Raphel Ambassador (ret) Larry Emery Senior Executive Service (ret) Ellen Connor Engels Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Tom Engle Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Andrew Erickson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) John M. Evans Ambassador (ret) John Ewers Major General, US Marine Corps (ret)

Kenneth Fairfax Ambassador (ret) John Feeley Ambassador (ret) Gerald M. Feierstein Ambassador (ret) Lee Feinstein Ambassador (ret) Robert J. Felderman Brigadier General, USA (ret) Dan Feldman Former Special Representative for Afghanistan/Pakistan Jeffrey Feltman Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Judith R. Fergin Ambassador (ret) Jose W. Fernandez Former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Susan F. Fine Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Jon Finer Former Chief of Staff, Department of State Thomas Fingar Former Assistant Secretary of State Mark Fitzpatrick former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Lauri Fitz-Pegado Former Director General, Foreign Commercial Service Stephen J. Flanagan Former Senior Director, National Security Council Paul Folmsbee Ambassador (ret) Jim Foster Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Stephenie Foster Former Counselor, Office of Global Women’s Issues) Anita Friedt Senior Executive Service (ret) Laurie S. Fulton Ambassador (ret) Julie Furuta-Toy Ambassador (ret)

James I. Gadsden Ambassador (ret) Larry Garber Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Janet E. Garvey Ambassador (ret) O.P. Garza Ambassador (ret) Walter E. Gaskin Lieutenant General, USMC (ret) Mary Ellen T. Gilroy Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Mark Gitenstein Ambassador (ret) Robert A. Glacel Brigadier General, US Army (ret) Fred S. Glass Rear Admiral, JAGC, USN (ret) Edward W. Gnehm Ambassador (ret) Robert Goldberg Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Christopher E. Goldthwait Ambassador (ret) Rose Gottemoeller former Undersecretary of State Colleen Graffy Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gary A. Grappo Ambassador (ret) Thomas P. Gratto Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Gordon Gray Ambassador (ret) Mary A. Gray Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas F. Gray, Jr Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Ronald Greenberg Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Douglas C. Greene Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Kevin P. Green Vice Admiral, USN (ret) Theresa Grencik Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Ken Gross Ambassador (ret) Charles H. Grover Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Michael Guest Ambassador (ret)

Nina Hachigian Ambassador (ret) Anne Hall Ambassador (ret) Danny Hall Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Suneta L. Halliburton Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Pamela Hamamoto Ambassador (ret) John R. Hamilton Ambassador (ret) William P. Hammink Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) David Harden Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Robert A. Harding Major General, USA (ret) Keith M. Harper Ambassador (ret) Grant T. Harris former senior director, National Security Council Douglas A. Hartwick Ambassador, (ret) Patricia M. Haslach Ambassador (ret) William J. Haugh Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Patricia M. Hawkins Ambassador (ret) John Heffern Ambassador (ret) Samuel D. Heins Ambassador (ret) Douglas Hengel Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Christopher R. Hill Ambassador (ret) William H. Hill Ambassador (ret) Catherine Hill-Herndon Senior Foreign Service (ret) Joseph Hilliard Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Jim E. Hinds Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense John L Hirsch Ambassador (ret) Eric L. Hirschhorn Former Undersecretary of Commerce Richard E. Hoagland Ambassador (ret) Heather Hodges Ambassador (ret) Karl Hoffmann Ambassador (ret) Christopher J. Hoh Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Laura S. H. Holgate Ambassador (ret) J. Anthony Holmes Ambassador (ret) James H. Holmes Ambassador (ret) Jim Hooper Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Samuel M. Hoskinson Former Vice Chairman, National Intelligence Council Thomas C. Hubbard Ambassador (ret) Franklin Huddle Ambassador (ret) Vicki J. Huddleston Ambassador (ret) William J. Hudson Ambassador (ret) Arthur H. Hughes Ambassador (ret) Marie T. Huhtala Ambassador (ret) Thomas N. Hull Ambassador (ret) Cameron R. Hume Ambassador (ret) Ravi R. Huso Ambassador (ret)

Dorothy Senger Imwold Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Karl F. Inderfurth Former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Ambassador (ret) David R. Irvine Brigadier General, USA (ret)

Susan S. Jacobs Ambassador (ret) Tracey Jacobson Ambassador (ret) Jeanine Jackson Ambassador (ret) Jeffrey A. Jacobs MG, US Army (ret) Morris E. “Bud” Jacobs Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Les Janka Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Bonnie Jenkins Ambassador (ret) Charles J. Jess Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Dennis Jett Ambassador (ret) David T. Johnson Ambassador (ret) Karen E. Johnson Senior Foreign Service (ret) Kathy A. Johnson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Susan R. Johnson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) L. Craig Johnstone Ambassador (ret) Elizabeth (Beth) Jones Ambassador (ret) Deborah K. Jones Ambassador (ret) James R. Jones Ambassador (ret) Mosina H. Jordan Ambassador (ret) Robert W. Jordan Ambassador (ret)

Carol Kalin Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Sid Kaplan Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (ret) Steven Kashkett Senior Foreign Service (ret) Theodore Kattouf Ambassador (ret) Allan J. Katz Ambassador (ret) Richard D. Kauzlarich Ambassador (ret) David J. Keegan Senior Foreign Service (ret) Craig Kelly Ambassador (ret) Ian Kelly Ambassador (ret) Stephen R. Kelly Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Barbara Kennedy Senior Foreign Service (ret) Laura Kennedy Ambassador (ret) Susan Keogh Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) David Killion Ambassador (ret) Scott Kilner Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Lawrence J. Klassen Senior Foreign Service (ret) Hans Klemm Ambassador (ret) Michael Klosson Ambassador (ret) John Koenig Ambassador (ret) Mary Ellen Noonan Koenig Senior Foreign Service (ret) Donald W. Koran Ambassador (ret) Ann K. Korky Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Eleni Kounalakis Ambassador (ret) Lt. Governor of California Roland Kuchel Ambassador (ret) Eric A. Kunsman Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) June H. Kunsman Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Daniel C. Kurtzer Ambassador (ret) Harold Hongju Koh Former Legal Advisor, Department of State Christopher Kojm Former Chairman, National Intelligence Council Jimmy Kolker Ambassador (ret) Karen Kornbluh Ambassador (ret) John C. Kornblum Ambassador (ret) Thomas C. Krajeski Ambassador (ret) David J. Kramer Former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Mary A. Kruger Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Lisa Kubiske Ambassador (ret) Elisabeth Kvitashvili Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Mark P. Lagon Ambassador (ret) Joseph E. Lake Ambassador (ret) David J. Lane Ambassador (ret) Joyce Leader Ambassador (ret) Barbara A. Leaf Ambassador (ret) Richard LeBaron Ambassador (ret) Michael R Lehnert MG, USMC (ret) Michael C. Lemmon Ambassador (ret) Christopher J. Le Mon Former Senior Advisor, National Security Council Steven J. Lepper Major General, USAF (ret) Barry Levin Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Suzi G. LeVine Ambassador (ret) Jeffrey D. Levine Ambassador (ret) Melvin Levitsky Ambassador (ret) Dawn Liberi Ambassador (ret) David C. Litt Ambassador (ret) Hugo Llorens Ambassador (ret) Carmen Lomellin Ambassador (ret) Edward Loo Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Lewis Lukens Ambassador (ret) Douglas Lute Lieutenant General, USA (ret)

Ambassador (ret) Buff Mackenzie Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) John F. Maisto Ambassador (ret) Deborah R. Malac Ambassador (ret) Eileen A. Malloy Ambassador (ret) Steven R. Mann Ambassador (ret) Randy Manner Major General, USA (ret) Nicholas J. Manring Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Edward Marks Ambassador (ret) Niels Marquardt Ambassador (ret) Dana Marshall Senior Foreign Service (ret) Frederick H. Martin Major General, USAF (ret) Carlos E. Martinez Brigadier General, USAF (ret) Vilma S. Martinez Ambassador (ret) Dennise Mathieu Ambassador (ret) Jack F. Matlock, Jr. Ambassador (ret) R. McBrian Senior Executive Service (ret) Deborah McCarthy Ambassador (ret) Jackson McDonald Ambassador (ret) Nancy McEldowney Ambassador (ret) Stephen G. McFarland Ambassador (ret) Kevin J. McGuire Ambassador (ret) James F. McIlmail Senior Executive Service, Defense Intelligence Agency (ret) John F. McNamara Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas E. McNamara Ambassador (ret) John Medeiros Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Joseph V. Medina Brigadier General, USMC (ret) Thomas O. Melia former Assistant Administrator, USAID James D. Melville Ambassador (ret) James Michel Ambassador (ret) Leo Michel Senior Executive Service, Department of Defense (ret) Kevin Milas Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Richard Miles Ambassador (ret) Katherine J.M. Millard Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Henry Miller-Jones Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Gillian Milovanovic Ambassador (ret) David B. Monk Senior Foreign Service (ret) Alberto Mora Former Navy General Counsel David A. Morris Major General, USA (ret) William J. Mozdzierz Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Kevin J. Mullaly Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Peter F. Mulrean Ambassador (ret) Cameron Munter Ambassador (ret) Allan Mustard Ambassador (ret) Desaix Myers Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Larry C. Napper Ambassador (ret) James D. Nealon Ambassador (ret) Richard W. Nelson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Susan B. Niblock Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas M. T. Niles Ambassador (ret) Brian H. Nilsson Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Crystal Nix-Hines Ambassador (ret) Edwin R. Nolan Ambassador (ret) Walter North Ambassador (ret) Suzanne Nossel Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Gary Oba Senior Foreign Service (ret) Karen Ogle Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Eric T. Olson MG, US Army (ret) Richard G. Olson Ambassador (ret) Adrienne S. O’Neal Ambassador (ret) Robert M. Orr Ambassador (ret) Ted Osius Ambassador (ret)

Susan D. Page Ambassador (ret) Beth S. Paige Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Larry L. Palmer Ambassador (ret) Alexi Panehal Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Maurice Parker Ambassador (ret) Norma Parker Senior Foreign Service (ret) Michael Parmly Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Lynn Pascoe Ambassador (ret) David Passage Ambassador (ret) Robert Pearson Ambassador (ret) Willard J. Pearson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Edward L. Peck Ambassador (ret) Eric Pelofsky former Senior Director, National Security Council June Carter Perry Ambassador (ret) William Perry Former Secretary of Defense Pete Peterson Ambassador (ret) James D. Pettit Ambassador (ret) Nancy Bikoff Pettit Ambassador (ret) Laurence M Pfeiffer Former Chief of Staff, CIA Annie Pforzheimer Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) John R. Phillips Ambassador (ret) William M. Phillips III Senior Intelligence Officer (ret) Daniel W Piccuta Senior Foreign Service (ret) Thomas R. Pickering Ambassador (ret) Stephen Pifer Ambassador (ret) H. Dean Pittman Ambassador (ret) Joan Plaisted Ambassador (ret) Lynne Platt Senior Foreign Service (ret) Gale S. Pollock Major General, USA, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN (ret) Michael C. Polt Ambassador (ret) Marc Polymeropoulos Senior Intelligence Service, CIA (ret) Karyn Posner-Mullen Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Eric G Postel Former Associate Administrator, USAID Phyllis M. Powers Ambassador (ret) E. Candace Putnam Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Monique Quesada Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Azita Raji Ambassador (ret) William C. Ramsay Ambassador (ret) David Rank Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Stephen J. Rapp Ambassador (ret) Scott Rauland Retired SFS officer Charles Ray Ambassador (ret) Evan Reade Consul General (ret) Frankie A. Reed Ambassador (ret) Helen Reed-Rowe Ambassador (ret) Susan Reichle Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Arlene Render Ambassador (ret) Markham K. Rich Rear Admiral, US Navy (ret) Kathleen A. Riley Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Gary D. Robbins Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas B. Robertson Ambassador (ret) Brooks A. Robinson Senior Foreign Service (ret) Harold L. Robinson Rear Admiral, CHC USN (ret) Terri Robl Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Donna G. Roginski Senior Foreign Service (ret) Peter F. Romero Ambassador (ret) Fernando E. Rondon Ambassador (ret) John V. Roos Ambassador (ret) Frank Rose Former Assistant Secretary of State Gerald S. Rose Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Doria Rosen Ambassador (ret) Sara Rosenberry Senior Foreign Service (ret) Christopher W.S. Ross Ambassador (ret) Richard Allan Roth Ambassador (ret) Leslie V. Rowe Ambassador (ret) Stapleton Roy Ambassador (ret) Nancy Rubin Ambassador (ret) Daniel Rubinstein Ambassador (ret) William A. Rugh Ambassador (ret)

Melinda D. Sallyards Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) John F. Sammis Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Robin Renee Sanders Ambassador (ret) Janet A. Sanderson Ambassador (ret) Andrew H. Schapiro Ambassador (ret) Richard J. Schmierer Ambassador (ret) James Schumacher Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) John M. Schuster Brigadier General, USA (ret) Teresita C. Schaffer Ambassador (ret) Thomas Schieffer Ambassador (ret) Brenda Brown Schoonover Ambassador (ret) Jill Schuker Former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Deborah Schwartz Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Eric P. Schwartz Former Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Schwartz Ambassador (ret) John F Scott Senior Foreign Service (ret) Kyle Scott Ambassador (ret) Rick Scott Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Stephen A. Seche Ambassador (ret) Theodore Sedgwick Ambassador (ret) Mark Seibel Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Raymond G.H. Seitz Ambassador (ret) Mike Senko Ambassador (ret) Daniel Serwer Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. Ambassador (ret) Daniel Shapiro Ambassador (ret) Mattie R. Sharpless Ambassador (ret) John Shattuck Ambassador (ret) David B. Shear Ambassador (ret) William F. Sheehan Former General Counsel, Department of Defense Sally Shelton-Colby Ambassador (ret) Wendy R. Sherman Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs A. Ellen Shippy Ambassador (ret) Sandra Shipshock Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Douglas A. Silliman Ambassador (ret) Lawrence R. Silverman Ambassador (ret) Mark Silverman Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Paul Simons Ambassador (ret) John Sipher CIA Senior Intelligence Service (ret) Kristen B. Skipper Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas F. Skipper Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Emil Skodon Ambassador (ret) Kenneth N Skoug Jr. Senior Foreign Service (ret) Walter Slocombe Former Undersecretary of Defense Dana Shell Smith Ambassador (ret) Paul R. Smith Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Alan Solomont Ambassador (ret) Tara D. Sonenshine Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Daniel Speckhard Ambassador (ret) John Spilsbury Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Madelyn E. Spirnak Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Thomas H. Staal Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Derwood K. Staeben Senior Foreign Service (ret) Sylvia G. Stanfield Ambassador (ret) Karin Clark Stanton Ambassador (ret) Donald K. Steinberg Ambassador, USAID (ret) Monica Stein-Olson Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Andrew Steinfeld Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Barbara Stephenson Ambassador (ret) Kathleen Stephens Ambassador (ret) Richard W. Stites Senior Foreign Service (ret) Cynthia Stroum Ambassador (ret) Arsalan Suleman Former Special Envoy to the Islamic Conference Joseph G. Sullivan Ambassador (ret) Howard J.K. Sumka Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Paul R. Sutphin Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) William L. Swing Ambassador (ret) Christopher J. Szymanski Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Strobe Talbott Former Deputy Secretary of State Mary Tarnowka Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Francis Taylor Brigadier General, USAF (ret) Former DHS Under Secretary Paul D. Taylor Ambassador (ret) Richard W. Teare Ambassador (ret) Mary Jane Teirlynck Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Mark Tesone Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Patrick H. Theros Ambassador (ret) Harry Thomas Ambassador (ret) Daphne Michelle Titus Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Mark Tokola Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Kurt W. Tong Ambassador (ret) Gregory F. Treverton Former Chair, National Intelligence Council Michael S. Tulley Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Andrew Turley Major General, USAF (ret) Robert H. Tuttle Ambassador (ret)

Michael H. Van Dusen Senior Congressional Committee Staff Member (ret) Alan Van Egmond Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Elizabeth Verville Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alexander Vershbow Ambassador (ret) Melanne Verveer Ambassador (ret) Philip L. Verveer Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Shari Villarosa Ambassador (ret)

David G. Wagner Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Marcelle M. Wahba Ambassador (ret) Edward S. Walker Ambassador (ret) Howard K. Walker Ambassador (ret) Jenonne Walker Ambassador (ret) Jake Walles Ambassador (ret) Mark S. Ward Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Mary Burce Warlick Ambassador (ret) John Warner Senior Foreign Service (ret) Thomas S. Warrick Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Homeland Security Alexander F. Watson Ambassador (ret) Linda E. Watt Ambassador (ret) Earl Anthony Wayne Ambassador (ret) Janice M. Weber Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) William Weinstein Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Alice G. Wells Ambassador (ret) Melissa Wells Ambassador (ret) Mark Wentworth Senior Foreign Service (ret) Joseph W. Westphal Ambassador (ret) Former Under Secretary of the Army Bruce Wharton United States Ambassador (ret) Pamela White Ambassador (ret) Thomas J White Senior Foreign Service (ret) Jon A. Wiant Senior Executive Service (ret) Bisa Williams Ambassador (ret) Molly Williamson Senior Foreign Service (ret) Ashley Wills Ambassador (ret) Jonathan M. Winer former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Timothy E. Wirth Former Undersecretary of State Frank G. Wisner Ambassador (ret) John L. Withers II Ambassador (ret) Tamara Cofman Wittes Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John S. Wolf Ambassador (ret) Kevin Wolf Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce David T. Wolfson Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Burke M. Wong Attorney-Advisor, Department of Justice (ret) Mark F. Wong Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Brooks Wrampelmeier Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Kenneth Yalowitz Ambassador (ret) Susumu Ken Yamashita Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) John Yates Ambassador (ret) Mary Carlin Yates Ambassador (ret) Frank Young Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret) Johnny Young Ambassador (ret) Thomas M. Young Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Marie L. Yovanovitch Ambassador (ret) Alan Yu Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Joseph Y. Yun Ambassador (ret)

Uzra Zeya Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Jane Zimmerman Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret) Peter D. Zimmerman Senior Executive Service (ret) James Zumwalt Ambassador (ret) Peter B. Zwack Brigadier General, US Army (ret) David Zweifel Ambassador (ret)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

COVID-19 & Africa SMEs: Refocus, Reimagine,Regionalize & Revamp-Financing! By Dr. Robin Sanders

(published also in, June 12, 2020-
It's time to zero in and take an in-depth look at the impact of COVID-19 on Africa SMEs -- particularly the assistance they need in the midst of and following this pandemic. Now is the time to Refocus, Reimagine, Regionalize, and Revamp-Financing for Africa's SME! The sector, as most African countries currently appreciate, is a key catalyst  and driver for the region's economic growth, development, job creation, transformation, and growing the middle class. 
These four R's -- Refocus, Reimagine, Regionalize, and Revamp-Financing -- are fundamental to increasing assistance; offering more tools; expanding regional trade options; and ensuring there's more SME COVID financing. All with the goal of being transformative and helping small businesses weather the peri-COVID (as lockdowns ease), and post-COVID periods.

Where We Are:
As COVID-19 continues its march across the Africa Region, with over 267,000 people infected, and more than 7000 deaths (links are dashboard-live), experts from around the Continent are searching for different therapeutic solutions, including traditional remedies (Madagascar's Artemisia Annua) to this deadly virus. 
The impacts of the crisis range from reduced trade, vast unemployment, further underemployment, closure of schools and businesses (hitting SMEs hard), and an uptick in food insecurity (on top of East Africa's locust infestation). The World Bank has projected a negative (-2.1 to -5.1) Africa economic growth rate for 2020-2021, making this the first time in 25 years that the region will face a Continent-wide recession. The magnitude of the health crisis also exacerbates existing issues such as: weaknesses in country health and education sectors (i.e. 200 doctors per 1000 people, few with national healthcare systems); COVID mental health issues; and, nearly 243 million African children not in school out of a world-wide figure of 1.6 billion (World Bank, WFP).1 
Thus far, economic remedial responses have included: 
All of these are welcome initiatives. That being said,  McKinsey's Africa Division in a May 19, 2020, virtual brief (attended by CEO-FEEEDS) estimates USD$50 billion is required now to help Africa SMEs weather COVID. For African startups, the picture is even more stark as investments toward them have drop by USD$80 million. To date, only USD$20 billion has been dedicated overall to the sector, reflecting that more strategically needs to be done.2

There is a strong now-argument that long-term thinking, rather than short, temporary fixes need to materialize. We already see challenges in the region with short-term policies focused on 2-3- month temporary financing or benefits. But, hunger, and economic uncertainty continue to rise, along with the stark possibility that many SMEs may not bounce back. So, what to do and how to start addressing these issues strategically for the sector? Here is where the four R's come in and can have impact.

Refocus & Re-Imagine!
Africa SMEs like most small business sectors around the world, tend to be where creativity, innovation, and imagination thrive. Refocusing and Reimaging means supercharging what Africa SMEs are doing, can do, and opening up new avenues for their growth. If an African nation has SMEs in (or the potential to be in) sectors such as software/app development, digitization, healthcare, education, transportation, small scale manufacturing or farming, then help them (policies, financially) re-invent all or part of their businesses. This includes advancing any elements that can have "touchless," client action -- as this will be key in the peri-COVID and post-COVID periods. One can see with sites like Nigeria's "Okra," (links bank accounts to apps),  Jumia (Amazon-like shopping), and Sokowatch (Kenya-based merchant-supplier hub linking East Africa) all currently have increased usage as African consumers become more accustom and trusting of these services.3

More Africa nations should consider creating small business ministries (or dedicated agencies), so that SME policy and financial needs are not subsumed under a broader ministry like trade or industry. Presently, there are only three countries (Liberia, Republic of Congo, and South Africa) with standalone ministries of small, and medium size enterprises. South Africa was the last to make this change in 2016. FEEEDS has advocated for the key role of SMEs in nation building since 2011; for separate SMEs ministries with numerous Africa country leaders since 2017; and in Sanders' book Rise of Africa SMEs; and, in a range of business articles from Nigeria's Guardian to

If establishing a SME ministry is not possible then increasing the existence of separate SME agencies, functioning like small business administrations where policy, financing, support, training and credit can all be housed. Basically, a SME one-stop shop handling across-the-board needs, is what is missing. There are some good examples of the "agency-like," option in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda. But, whatever is done -- more SME ministries, or agencies -- the result must be an Africa vision and version, localized for country needs.

The U.S. has the Small Business Administration (SBA), servicing some 30 million US small businesses. Interestingly, 80 percent of U.S. small businesses are female-owned, similar to Africa where women mostly run micro, small, and informal businesses. Unfortunately, the similarities continues in other not so positive areas. An April 28, 2020, "CNN-Quest Means Business," broadcast estimates that 50 percent of U.S. small businesses (mostly female-owned) may not be able to bounce back post-COVID.  The numbers are equally as high for Africa SMEs, meaning the livelihoods of women are the most affected.5

One silver lining though, reflective of the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses, and female-owned ones in particular, are the numerous examples of reimaging already underway during COVID by SMEs world-wide, such as ATM-like structures in Vietnam dispensing rice to combat hunger, and great Africa SME solutions such as:6
  • Burkina Faso & DRC: pedal-powered or automatic, water-conserving handwashing machines in front of supermarkets.
  • DRC: fashion designers such as Hanifa Designs, using 3D-printing, avatars, and 3D animation models to launch runway Internet fashion show.
  • Egypt: bakeries moving from traditional baking to ready-made, untraditional boxed baking mixes (Cairo's Nola Bakery).
  • Kenya: small businesses, manufacturers, and technical institutions retooling from school uniforms (DEKUT), garden cloths, fashions and textiles to making regular and surgical masks; app-driven independent delivery services (GLOVO); Zoom-like virtual meeting platform (Gumzo); "boot" groceries shops (conversion of car trunks to small stores); (Sokowatch).
  • Nigeria: social enterprise radio programs for e-learning, given lack of computers and Internet/broadband access, broadcasting in 12 states (ACE Charity).
  • Tanzania: "The Corona-Check App" using artificial intelligence so one can self-check symptoms and personal data is reportedly protected; ExamNet app to assist students prepare for year-end exams (in English and Kiswahili). 
  • South Africa: low-pressurized, self-sustaining COVID health pods; low pressure reduces spread, better protects healthcare workers, and helps patients breath; Saloodo! cargo app (eliminates face-to-face bookings), addressing Zimbabwe-Botswana-South Africa border backlogs.
  • Senegal & Madagascar: conversion to more manufacturing of traditional remedies like Artemisia Annua (Natura-Bio Dakar, Zahana Madagascar).  
  • Sudan: converting mini buses to field hospitals, or  ambulances.
  • Rwanda, Uganda, & South Africa: setting up bleached-laced handwashing stations at super markets and transport sites.
Despite these praiseworthy examples, challenges remain in permanently (not temporarily), moving the needle forward on strategic comprehensive, long-term support to Africa SMEs. The answers lie in regionalizing and revamping the approach to financing.

Regionalize: Enter AfCTA - Its Supply Chains
First, hats off to the Africa Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), given that prior to COVID-19, it had already included in its various working groups a focus on Africa SMEs. Although, COVID-19 put the July 1, 2020, implementation on hold until late 2020 or early 2021, the new AfCTA Secretary-General, Wamkele Mene, said that he "saw the Agreement as being a key tool for Africa's post-COVID recovery," (6/10/20 virtual brief).
7   In addition the AfCTA has created an "Africa Business Council," which will be the vehicle for stakeholders businesses, particularly working with the Regional Economic Communities' (RECs) efforts to incorporate SMEs into various related aspects of the AfCTA and regional trade.8

That being said, we all know that Africa SMEs have historically struggled with barriers to regional markets, such as cross border trade of goods and services, high tariffs and taxes, and logistical impediments. More recently though, there is a double appreciation of both the economic value of Africa SMEs as they contribute 50% to the region's GDP (McKinsey 5/19/20 virtual) and because they cannot be left out of any trade discussions like AfCTA, or the current US-Kenya Trade negotiations as so underscored by Kenya President Kenyatta (6/18/20 virtual brief), which began July 7, 2020, and are ongoing. However, ensuring sustainable supply chains for SMEs must also be included in these discussions. Resolving and regionalizing supply-chains and value-additions will make the difference for small businesses (larger ones too) between surviving and thriving. A few recommendations for Africa SMEs or policy makers to consider:
  • Examine where SME past suppliers were; can they be localized, or regionalized.
  • Rethink procurement processes (digitalization).
  • Repurpose part of an SME business, keeping as many supply chain issues in-house or in-country.
  •  Use e-commerce whenever possible (i.e. Alibaba's Electronic World Trade Platform, or EWTP, created to advance SME world-wide e-commerce, has significantly helped Africa's sector sell its products).
  • Create an "Africa SME Continental E-Commerce Platform" to assist small businesses (as an alternative to EWTP), something the AfCTA or REC's could examine; this also allows SMEs to by-pass costly intermediaries.
  • Create more "touch-less," avenues in products themselves, or in product delivery options.
  • Ensure Special Economic Zones (SEZ) have a policy framework for small-large company partnerships; SEZ's can create an environment to build relationships and confidence between small and large businesses.
  • Take advantage of new COVID supercharged sectors (e.g. health, education software/app development, food security/agriculture, renewables, delivery, digitization etc.).
  • Help connect SMEs (locally and regionally) to expand selling potential, production capacity and partnerships.
Revamp-Financing: Toughest Area for Last!
Financing (credit, loans, access and investments) has always been a struggle for SMEs everywhere, but particularly in Africa. COVID-19, and  its aftermath, will continue to exacerbate these existing challenges.

What is clear from the above is that Africa should consider developing a continental policy and financial framework for Africa SMEs, not just for these COVID times, but beyond. Instead of each institution (domestic, regional or international), donor, company or government having their own "framework." This would provide a similar set of guidelines, SME definitions (as right now they are all over the map), and data, from which all could pull. One example could be what FEEEDS outlined in 2017 called the "Africa SME Strategic Plan," or Africa SSP (Rise of Africa SMEs, pp. 390-395). The Africa SSP listed seven overarching pillars for better long-term, structural and coherent support to the sector.  Below are an additional six recommendations added to the original seven points of the FEEEDS Africa SSP as a result of COVID-19:9

FEEEDS' COVID Additions To Its Africa SME Strategic Plan 
(Africa SSP)
  • More Africa-generated funds and initiatives raising monies strictly focused on COVID's impact on SMEs from the African private sector, AfDB, and African Union outside of their normal SME funding.
  • African-created SME clearing or payment settlement platforms (using blockchain), similar to what the Africa Export-Import Bank is creating for government use and the larger Africa private sector during COVID; this would help shore-up transparency and buyer confidence.
  • Increase Africa-generated initiatives that backfill the drop in remittances, on which many Africa SMEs depend, including informals.
  • Initiatives which focus on assistance to country Diaspora (similar to Senegal's), as many of them are now unemployed and may not qualify for third country assistance.
  • Multilateral institutions providing COVID impact facilities targeted for SMEs through their country governments (NB: as of July 2020, IMF still had USD$750 billion on its balance sheet  in its lending capacity still on the sidelines, which some could be tapped to help African governments better assist its SMEs).
  • Increase local financing power provided by facilities and guarantees receive from multinationals to better support SMEs with such things as:
      a.) credit and bank loan extensions
      b.) tax and royalty deferrals, or tax holidays
      c.) assist with more mobile banking tools

      d.) more un-bank SMEs to banked, using mobile banking tools (Nigeria alone has 60 million unbanked)
      e.) business rent and lease payment extensions
      f.) debt forgiveness
    • g.) special 2-3year interest rates for SMEs
      h.) fee waivers (on ATMs & mobile cash transfers)
      i.) increase daily cash transfers and withdrawals
      j.) increase grants and training

Some countries have stepped up, but overall efforts remain sporadic and piecemeal, instead of continental and strategic. Here are a few examples of what has been done in some countries:10
  • Kenya: Financial assistance to SMEs in key sectors such as farming, manufacturing, retail and VAT refunds. Targeting  informal sector in stimulus package civil works opportunities.
  • Nigeria: Selected banks offering more quarterly foreign exchange windows and amounts for SME importers.
  • Senegal: Payment assistance to Diaspora. Many have lost their jobs, reflective of the overall downturn in their ability to send remittances, which have dropped from $48 billion in 2019 to $37 billion since COVID-19.
  • Senegal: Three-month extensions on SMEs bank loans, tax adjustments; and assistance of $USD1.6 million to help small holder farmers.
  • South Africa: Assistance on rent/lease payments; $USD4.4 million for small retailers and manufacturers; and, $USD3,000 to help SMEs in the tourism sector.
In sum, COVID has required almost every sector and person to figure out not only how to survive during this period, but also how to come out the other end still being able to thrive. These four R's, Refocus, Reimagine, Regionalize, Revamp-Financing could apply almost to anyone, anywhere. However, for Africa SMEs, they will be key. A continent-wide approach not only addresses these four R's but would provide a much-needed coherent continental framework for stronger, sustainable support to the Africa SME sector. This will be important not only to helping the region climb out of recession, but also transform, allowing SMEs to get back to the business of contributing to the region's economic growth, development,  poverty reduction, and job creation.


1. Dr. Muhummad Ali Pate, Global Director Health and Nutrition & Population, World Bank, 4/28/20; USAID (virtual brief), 5/5/2020; WFP Director David Beasley, Atlantic Council, (virtual brief) 5/8/2020.
2. McKinsey Chief Africa Division, Ache Leke, CCA, 5/19/20, (virtual brief). "Quartz Africa," 5/4/2020 
3. "Global Business Africa," (Okra, Jumia, Sokowatch), 6/9/2020 (broadcasts)
4. The Rise of Africa SMES(pp160-166).
5. "CNN International - Quest Means Business," 4/28/20 (broadcast).
6.  "," 4/13/20 (Vietnam); CNN International," 4/27/2020 (Nigeria); "BBC Focus on Africa," 5/12/2020 (Kenya, Sudan); "Global Business Africa," 6/7/20 (Kenya-Gumzo), 5/8/2020 (South Africa); "Africa Live, CGTN," 4/27/2020 (Burkina), 5/1/2020 (Egypt, Kenya-GLOVO, Uganda), 5/20/2020 (Senegal), 5/28/2020 (South Africa-Saloodo!); 5/28/2020 & 6/8/20 (Tanzania-Moses Rogers Mbaga), 6/7/2020 (DRC-Dominic Kabula), 6/15/20 (DRC-Hanifa Designs by Anifa Mvuemba) (broadcasts).
7. AfCTA Secretary General, Wameke Mene, 6/10/20 (virtual brief), U.S. Chamber. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, 6/18/2020, (virtual brief), Atlantic Council. President Kenyatta, 6/26,2020 (virtual brief), Corporate Council on Africa Leaders' Summit.
8. USTR Assistant Trade Representative Constance Newman Keynote Speech, Annual FEEEDS-GALLUP Africa Program, "Update on Today's US-Africa Trade Relationship," July 23, 2020 (virtual brief) 
9. The Rise of Africa SMES, (pp 390-395); Africa Live, CGTN, 5/4/2020 (Nigeria) (broadcast); CFR, July 1, 2020, (virtual brief).
10. "Global Business Africa," 5/23/2020 (Kenya, Kenyatta speech); Africa Live, CGTN, 5/28/2020 Senegal), 5/19/2020, 6/4/2020 (South Africa) (broadcasts). President Uhuru Kenyatta, Atlantic Council (virtual brief) 6/18/2020. Polaris Bank and others, Nigeria, 6/17/2020 (emails & flyers to clients).

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