Prepared remarks for the hearing on 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act Oversight, Part I - Oppressors vs. Reformers in the Middle East and Central Asia
Johnson, R. W. Testimony at a Congressional Hearing, Prepared remarks for the hearing on 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act Oversight, Part I - Oppressors vs. Reformers in the Middle East and Central Asia, The United States House of Representatives Committee on International Relations' Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, Washington, DC, May 2005
Over the past twenty-five years, we have assisted countries making the transition from highly centralized regimes to systems where government is closer and more easily controlled by the people. These efforts are critical because while national elections may occur even in highly centralized systems, national elections alone do not provide citizens with sufficient influence over government services or accountability. Shifting some central authority to local control is essential to providing citizens the opportunity to influence the delivery of everyday government services such as water, sewers, streets, health, education and social welfare programs. Day to day, these are the things that matter to people, the things that define the quality of life.