By: Murat S. Aruta
To: Prof. Cyndy Handerson
Hum 127, Critical Thinking
United States Foreign Aid
One of the most controversial subjects in todays United States is Foreign Aid, which is the aid given to other countries by the United States from the U.S. revenue, that is based on the tax dollars of American citizens. Most foreign aid goes through the United States Agency for International Development. There are three main kinds of foreign aid: military aid, food aid, and financial aid. The countries that the U.S. provides financial aid to can be categorized into three groups: Countries that are recovering from war, developing countries, and countries that hold strategic importance to the United States. Currently some American citizens have concerns regarding foreign aid. The majority of the population wants to know why the U.S. should keep funding countries that they believe hate them while the economy in the U.S. is already suffering. Even though these concerns are valid and to the point, it doesn’t change the importance of continued U.S. foreign aid on humanitarian and political grounds. Foreign aid is a necessity if the United States wants to keep its position as the strongest country in the world, a position the United States has held since the World War II, because when you are the strongest country in the world you will have strong enemies. In this case you will need strong alliances to protect your country and balance of nations through out the world. 2
Also, even though we don’t like to hear about it, world politics do turn around oil and to have a say in this planets future your country must have a considerable influence on world oil reserves. Other then these facts of course there is the humanitarian side of foreign aid which is every developed nations duty to humanity to help their fellow man kind to survive in the time of need.
Being the strongest nation in the world certainly comes with its disadvantages and responsibilities in addition to its advantages. Oftentimes you will have more enemies then you have allies. In a situation such as this, it is important to retain the alliances you have and build new ones in any way you can. Foreign aid plays an important role in this matter. Think about your childhood, the person that you loved the most in your family was oftentimes the one that got you the most presents. World politics are not that simple, but human basics are still the same. Race, religion, and ethnicity play a huge role in choosing allies, however when you work around these issues, the rest is pretty simple. Countries base their alliances on what will profit them most now or in the future. This is where foreign aid comes into play.
According to DAGI’s report every year, the U.S. spares 1% of its budget on foreign aid, which is approximately $ 51 billion annually (Development). 75% of this money is spent on military and financial aid to countries that hold strategic importance to U.S. like Israel, Turkey and Jordan. These countries are either in a critical war zone or they are very close to large oil reserves or are a source of stability in the region. Even though it’s hard to accept, today’s politics revolve around oil, since it provides for at least 45% of the energy for countries like the U.S., Japan, U.K, Germany, and Russia. 3
When oil is so crucial for leading industrial countries, of course it’s normal for these countries to find themselves in need of controlling oil reserves. The reason that U.S. citizens don’t ever hear the nation’s politicians talk about this is that, to politicians, controlling oil reserves is one of the taboo subjects like racism or ethnicism that should not be talked about even though it obviously exists. Even under these circumstances, in 2012 President Obama talked about what foreign aid does for the U.S. over a press conference; “It's not just about strengthening alliances, or promoting democratic values, or projecting American leadership around the...
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