Saturday, August 28, 2010

Exploiting the National Security Fixation for Good

Blogger Jeb Koogler, pivoting off a Foreign Policy article and a John Kerry speech here argues that efforts to direct aid to flooding victims in Pakistan is too focused on security issues:
Our aid policy in the wake of this crisis should largely be constructed and justified based on a notion of shared humanity -- not merely on a narrow assessment of American interests. That Pakistanis are suffering and desiring of international aid should be enough to warrant our attention, our dollars, and our support.
This is simple enough. Of course he's right. But Americans just don't care that much about foreign aid, particularly in a tough economy. However, there is no amount of funding that appears to raise any questions in support of national security. So anyone with half a clue who wants to support a foreign aid effort is wise to cast it in national security terms. And it's not as if this is dishonest. I tend to think that on a dollar-for-dollar cost efficiency basis, foreign aid will in many cases do more for national security than investing in the military and national security industrial complex. And if that angle works, why not exploit it?

No comments: