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Prevention Should Be Key Objective Of U.S. Foreign Assistance, National Security Strategy

CNN: What’s the real value of U.S. foreign aid?
Mina Chang, chief executive officer of Linking the World and international security fellow with New America

“…There are a lot of misconceptions about the value of foreign aid, at times seen as some form of naïve humanitarianism. But modern foreign aid is not charity. It is strategic and an investment in a stronger America abroad. … America has benefited from its leadership in the world, and in an increasingly interconnected society, we should continue to make investments in our shared future. An unstable world is not good for the United States. ‘America First’ must not be a zero-sum strategy. … A real cost calculus actually shows that cutting funds for resilience-building solutions would inevitably sacrifice more with blood, through military intervention, when a conflict hits a boiling point; or toward emergency and disaster response when there are food shortages, refugee influxes, and health epidemics. … Today’s funding challenges carry an opportunity to start the changes that practitioners have wanted for decades. Yes, we must win the wars we engage in and continue to have the strongest military in the world. But we cannot continue operating in civilian/military silos or relying on hard power alone. But for this to work, prevention must be the objective key part of our national security strategy. Then, and only then, will aid no longer be seen as charity — but as an essential, modern tool of U.S. national security, and an investment in our economic prosperity” (5/20).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.