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Cutting Military Medical Research Funding Would Jeopardize Health Of U.S. Troops, World’s Poorest

“In recent months, many politicians and presidential hopefuls have called for budget reductions, and many have specifically targeted military spending for cutbacks,” Peter Hotez and James Kazura, past president and president, respectively, of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, write in this Atlantic opinion piece. “[P]rograms such as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) often find themselves low on the priority list despite their crucial role in saving the lives of our troops on the battlefield and here at home,” they write, adding, “Today, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan still face formidable tropical disease threats. … For over 100 years, WRAIR has been the U.S. military’s premier institution for preventing these types of tropical infections.”

“We need a strong and active military medical presence in global conflict hotspots such as the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa,” Hotez and Kazura write. “Cutting WRAIR will deprive our troops and also the world’s poorest people of one of America’s greatest global health treasures. … Both our national and our global security depend on a strengthened and robust WRAIR,” they conclude (1/19).