President Trump Should Address Looming Famine In Africa, Middle East Nations As National Security Threat
Financial Times: The famine abroad that Donald Trump fails to notice
Edward Luce, Washington columnist and commentator for the Financial Times
“…The cable channels are so busy feasting on President Donald Trump they have scant airtime for starvation. … The more time everyone spends reacting to his tweets, the less we focus on the U.S. president’s in-tray, including the largest famine since the second World War. Mr. Trump has said nothing on a crisis that spans Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, northern Nigeria, and threatens up to 20 million lives. Any of his predecessors, Republican or Democrat, would have made it a priority by now — George W. Bush perhaps more than any. The Trump administration has contributed nothing to the $4.4 billion U.N. emergency appeal. … Of the few people in place [in the Trump administration], James Mattis, the secretary of defense, is best placed to know what is at stake in Africa. A few years ago, General Mattis told Congress: ‘If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.’ … Mr. Trump has proposed increasing the Pentagon’s budget by $54 billion next year. Spending $1 billion of that on famine relief would achieve more on the ground in Africa for U.S. national security than a dozen new frigates. That is almost certainly the kind of advice Mr. Mattis is giving. Is Mr. Trump listening?…” (3/29).