Proposed Cuts To Foreign Aid Threaten U.S. National Security Interests
The Atlantic: What Trump’s Foreign Aid Budget Means to the Rest of the World
Andrew Natsios, executive professor at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service and director of the school’s Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs
“…Today, the notion that threats to American national security interests don’t merit a robust foreign aid program is preposterous. The spread of infectious diseases, such as Ebola and Zika; the threat of radical Islamist terrorist movements across North Africa, which are destabilizing to our friends and allies; the mass-migration crisis that is changing the face of American and European politics; an aggressive and expansionary Russia that’s preying on weak states, such as Ukraine; and the growing number of fragile and failing states are all direct threats to the national security interests of the United States. … When federal spending must be cut, the least painful reductions politically are in the foreign affairs budget, because the immediate pain is felt by people who do not vote in American elections. Yet a feast or famine approach to aid spending never lasts very long. When new threats confront the United States abroad, policymakers invariably turn to the State Department and USAID to confront them. Then, the foreign aid and diplomacy infrastructure has to be rebuilt, a process that cannot happen overnight. … This is why 121 retired generals and admirals wrote to Congress, which will soon be crafting its own budget, urging the cuts be reversed. It’s also why powerful Republican senators and a few House committee chairmen announced that the proposed aid cuts were, in the words of Senator Lindsey Graham, ‘dead on arrival'”(4/4).