- By Josh Rogin
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.
The entire international affairs budget will be exempted from the spending freeze that President Obama will announce in his State of the Union speech Wednesday night.
When the news broke about the pending freeze, people in the aid community were worried that programs such as global health or food security initiatives might fall under the "non-security discretionary funding" designation that makes programs subject to the freeze. But those programs are safe from this particular threat.
"The entire 150 account will be exempted," from the three- year freeze, Rob Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget said on a conference call Tuesday.
The “150 account” refers to the international affairs budget request, which will be the basis for the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. This includes spending on global economic, diplomatic and humanitarian programs by the State Department, USAID, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, among others.
Of course, foreign-aid programs could be cut anyway; there’s no guarantee. Or they could receive only modest increases due to the shift of Iraq and Afghanistan obligations into the foreign ops accounts. Most insiders expect that when the budget request comes out on Monday, the foreign affairs topline will look like a big increase, but non-war related accounts will get little new money.
On the larger picture, the freeze doesn’t mean all non-exempted departments will feel the pain. "Not every agency that is subject to the freeze is being frozen," Nabors said. He also brushed off the reservations of some lawmakers, who will surely want to test the boundaries of the freeze.
"I understand the appropriators’ initial reaction," said Nabors. "But there’s a lot of time before these bills start moving."