Today I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me)
Yesterday I said I’d hoped to finish editing our upcoming report’s descriptions of all 109 existing U.S. military assistance programs and authorities (those, both edited and unedited, are sitting online here for the moment). “By lunchtime,” I said, those would be done. I was way off.
What I didn’t reckon was how big a number “109” is. Averaging 5 minutes to edit each one makes for 9 hours of nonstop editing. But I wasn’t in a chair for 9 nonstop hours. Mainly because I did some interviews about Colombia’s coca cultivation numbers in addition to expected meetings, I only managed to edit 17. So this is going to take a few days longer than hoped: with the schedule starting to fill up, I’ll be lucky to have 5-6 hours of pure writing time today and tomorrow.
Today looks like a pretty clear day for that kind of work, with just one interview and a lunch meeting with human rights groups on my calendar. But today is also when the Trump administration is giving the world a first look at a 2018 budget request that would cut foreign aid by 28 to 31 percent, while increasing defense spending and seeking $4.1 billion over 2017 and 2018 to pay for a border wall. Communications work around that will have to come first.