Sunday, July 07, 2013

Unintended Consequences of Foreign Aid

I'm not so naive as to think we can just cut all foreign aid and all will be well, but the current mess in Egypt has exposed a significant unintended consequence of foreign aid.

Brit Hume made an excellent point on Fox News Sunday, which is that whether US policy makers decide to continue or to cut aid to the Egyptian military, the decision isn't whether or not to exercise US influence, but how to exercise US influence. "Two sides of the same coin", as Hume said.

Again, there is a good argument for continuing aid in this case, which is the preservation of peace between Egypt and Israel by placating the Egyptian military.  But make no mistake, we find ourselves being forced --one way or the other-- to exercise what some might describe as imperial power due to a policy of significant and seemingly perpetual foreign aid.

Perhaps we should remember this dilemma when considering our other foreign aid commitments.

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