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  • Foreign Aid Does Not Guarantee Security (Human or Otherwise)

    In the midst of Congress’s roaring debate over budget cuts, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz weighed in last week to decry any talk of cutting foreign aid in a letter he titled “Human Security Is National Security.” Civilian and humanitarian foreign aid, he argued, supports our national security interests and “reinforces our nation’s role as an international leader.”

    Schwartz compared President Obama’s desire to boost foreign aid to that of President Reagan, citing Reagan’s famous line describing America as a “shining city upon a hill.” Schwartz said Reagan understood “that we serve our national interest best when we help to bring stability to others in their hour of need.”

    In other words, Reagan wouldn’t cut foreign aid; we shouldn’t either. But this isn’t exactly a fair analogy.

    Ronald Reagan used foreign aid to support freedom fighters and democracy advocates around the world and undermine communism. He intensely opposed large government that can take control of every human domain. He believed that human rights and dignity are ours by nature, not by government, and that governments that oppress their people have no legitimacy. He also knew that a nation without a strong national defense puts its people at risk. If the nation is secure, the blessings of liberty will flow for the people.

    But the Obama Administration sees it differently. While it is determined to make deep cuts in defense, the Administration is seeking to preserve and boost foreign aid. In her March 1 testimony on the State Department’s budget, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress:

    We are making targeted investments in human security. We have focused on hunger, disease, climate change and humanitarian emergencies because these challenges not only threaten the security of individuals—they are the seeds of future conflict. If we want to lighten the burden on future generations, then we must make the investments that will leave them a more secure world. Our largest investment is in global health programs … Our budget builds resilience against droughts, floods and other weather disasters, promotes clean energy and preserves tropical forests.

    Clinton’s understanding of human security reflects that of the United Nations, as a 2006 Heritage study shows:

    • Human security is defined in the U.N. Development Program’s (UNDP) 1994 Human Development Report as including economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, and political security.
    • In 2006, UNDP called the “notion” of human security “an operational approach to people-centred security that is able to identify priorities and produce important conclusions for national and internal policy.”

    In other words, people wouldn’t have problems if governments and institutions controlled and distributed economic and environmental resources. Unfortunately, history shows that foreign aid and social entitlements do not secure human rights and advance freedom. Rather, they usually wind up inhibiting and restricting them for most people.

    As Ronald Reagan said, “a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got.” Congress would do well to remind the Administration that the federal government’s first obligation under the Constitution is to provide for the common defense; otherwise, it should leave people free to pursue their own happiness.

    Scott Nason is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Foreign Aid Does Not Guarantee Security (Human or Otherwise)

    1. Pingback: Foreign Aid Does Not Guarantee Security (Human or Otherwise)

    2. Pingback: » Financial and World News Update – 03/07/11 NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter

    3. Norma, Mo. says:

      foreign aid is just part of the plot to create a one-world government.

    4. Mark Green, Washingt says:

      Just as Asst. Sec. Schwartz's testimony may have been an overstatement, I would suggest, respectully, that Mr. Nason's dismissal of the potential role that smart development/diplomacy can play in national security is an overstatement as well. Poverty does NOT cause terrorism, to be sure, but poverty can lead to despair, and despair is a condition that extremists know how to exploit. If we can be visibly on the side of those who are fighting despair — by seeking to alleviate poverty or enhance democracy — then that can be a boost to our national security interests.

    5. Ron says:

      The only thing foreign aid will gaurantee is bankruptcy.

    6. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      How much of our foreign aid actually makes it to the people who really need it? If it could be shown to be a relatively high percentage, and we were running surpluses, in these days of extra-Constitutional expenditures, I might be willing to accept it. Regardless of its efficiency, those countries should be weened off of the federal tit as people of this country need to be too. With a record $200+ billion deficit for February alone, this country can ill-afford charitable giving to anyone including U.S. citizens.

    7. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Scott, I am mad as a hornet about Foreign Aid when as an American I have no Capital and damned little Liberty here at home. Somebody worthy of it perhaps, Israel, India, Mexico but other than maintenance, we cannot afford Foreign Aid right now. Our whole Federal Budget is busted on all that hidden Foreign Aid as we Defend the World at the same time we lose our Liberty to card carrying Communists at Home! The Fall of America will be catastrophic to the World, so actually our money would be better utilized here at home. How about we not go under and save the World that way!

      Quantitative Easing is the exact opposite purpose for which the Federal Reserve was created! That is Sorcery! The Fed was made to defend the value of the U.S. Dollar, not to starve the World with inflated Food Prices! (Caused by Petro Dollars and Ethanol. Gee thanks! You dumb Democrats!) The Dollar is worth two cents! How can you possibly Inflate it further? What? Is it QE4 now?

      The Federal Reserve is a Crime Against Humanity in progress! Nationalize them! Seize their Assets! Now! Put it back the way the Founders intended, call it Bank of the United States Treasury – BUST! Because you Demolition Plutocrats are Busted! For High Crimes! If you see the Damage but can't see the Crime? That's Sorcery! How can you not see it?

    8. Wes in cincy says:

      Save our country ! Do not elect Democrats until the party

      dumps it's far-left leadership.

    9. Joyce A. Luna says:

      So many people say they are Christians, even polticians. The first thing a christian is take care of his own.
      If there is anything left he shares it with his neighbors . If you don't work you don't eat, but if you have someone taking our jobs away then we cannot work. We have to make our own jobs. Most people are trained in public schools do not know how to work for themselves. They depend on the government to make jobs for them, that is called "dumbed down." This country gives away too much, so why not just cut it down a
      little at the time and let the other nations rely on themselves. WE can grow our own food if the the government keeps their nose out of it. So pray to God that we get a President in that has common sense and get the longtimers out of Congress.

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