Richard Armitage on Darfur and Infectious Disease
Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.
Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense. In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.
Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.
Question: What issues don’t receive enough coverage?
Armitage: I think there are probably two. Darfur is the one that’s gotten me very unhappy because it has . . . It’s got everything. It’s got energy avarice. It’s got inhumanity. It’s got tribal and racial aspects. It’s just got inhumanity on a grand scale. And so I think we ought to step up and take a look at that. To some extent all of us are our brothers’ keeper. And the other is the question . . . the whole question of infectious diseases. In some ways in Africa, we . . . George Bush doesn’t get any credit. He’s put four times as much money into this as any other president, and he’s had some . . . some success in some of the infectious diseases. HIV/AIDS is still a real problem. And it . . . He doesn’t get enough credit for it, and therefore he doesn’t get enough . . . with the next administration, he doesn’t get enough sort of psychological award to really continue this great effort and this great struggle.
Armitage strongly argues that the Darfur and AIDS crises are too important to ignore.
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