Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Israel | Money | National Debt | eu | palestine | pa

Make ROI Foremost Condition of Foreign Aid

Make ROI Foremost Condition of Foreign Aid
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Thursday, 01 February 2018 08:49 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The president in his first State of the Union Address made it clear that he is putting America and her interests above those we seek to help, or those seeking our help, wanting foreign aid. That is, there must be a return on investment, "I am  asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America's friends. As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries."

Today, America is facing the toughest economic challenges in our history. We are 20 trillion dollars in debt. We must rebuild a depleted military. We must rebuild our crumbling critical infrastructure. Additionally, we are engaged in an ongoing war against ISIS.

Now is exactly the time to put America first. And that includes rethinking, reallocating, and cutting back on foreign aid.

Take Palestine, for example. The U.S. and the EU provide the bulk of foreign aid. Over the past four decades the U.S. has doled out billions and billions of dollars to them. What have we gotten in return? Are we any closer to peace?

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is a city-state with a population of 1.5 million citizens. You would expect that with all the aid that has been given their streets should be lined with gold. They should have the finest of everything yet, they live in squalor and are consumed with hatred against their neighbor Israel. They are also plagued by government corruption and malfeasance.

Globally, the American people are the most charitable and generous. Having said that, we must now as a nation concentrate on our own economic wellbeing before we devote resources we can’t afford — to others.

Now is the time for other nations to pick up the slack, stepping up to the plate  and step up to the plate, being as helpful — just as we have been. It's about time that global communities assist more, looking to the U.S. less.

The United States has done more than its fair share for others since our birth as a nation.

According to the Council of Foreign Relations — America doled out nearly $49 billion in foreign aid to 200 countries in 2015. This represents approximately 1.3 percent of our annual budget. The biggest recipients of U.S. foreign aid have gone to 5 countries that received in excess of 1 billion dollars: Afghanistan ($5.5 billion), Israel ($3.1 billion), Iraq ($1.8 billion), Egypt ($1.5 billion), and Jordan ($1.1 billion).

American foreign aid is given in four main categories:

Long Term Development (38 percent) — Health programs and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, and the U.N. Development Program.

Military and Security (35 percent) — Assistance to allies in purchasing U.S. military equipment, training of foreign military, and funding peacekeeping missions. Counternarcotics programs and nonproliferation and counterterrorism.

Humanitarian Aid (16 percent) — Funding of short-term crises, such as famine and natural and manmade disasters.

Political Aid (11 percent) — Support of political stability, free market economic reforms, democratic institutions, justice system reforms, human rights, peace talks, and treaty implementation.

At this critical time for our nation’s financial and national security wellbeing, it's imperative that we curtail our support to others.

Many want from America, but the test for assistance should be need and whether assistance is in U.S. national interests.

We need to come together as a nation, vowing to solve our own problems, and doing so  before we seek to solve the problems of others. We have a long and proud history of helping others. We should be proud of that. But, when times are tough in America, I do not see others rushing to our side. One reason is because many countries themselves are in the same boat economically as we are.

Now is a time for national sacrifice and responsibility. All Americans must be prepared to do their part to restore America to her greatness. Many of the problems we face are self-inflicted. There is no one to blame but us. We kick the can down the road but never seem to solve problems.

So let’s not cast blame — let’s seek solutions. Some politicians seek to pit us against one another. But, our renewal requires shared sacrifice as well respect for all.

We are one nation. A strong and prosperous America is important to the stability and prosperity of the world. A weak America — be it economic, political or national security — means a more dangerous — and less secure world.

America gives more in foreign aid than any other country on the planet. While we will continue to give we cannot give what we cannot afford.

"America First" is not selfish it is imperative to our very survival.

Bradley Blakeman was a member of President George W. Bush's senior White House staff from 2001 to 2004. He is also a frequent contributor to Fox News and Fox Business Channel. He currently is a Principal with the 1600group.com a consulting company. — Click Here Now.

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BradleyBlakeman
The U.S. has done more than its fair share for others. We have a long and proud history of helping others. We should be proud of that. But, when times are tough in America, I do not see others rushing to our side. "America First" is not selfish, it's imperative to our very survival.
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Thursday, 01 February 2018 08:49 AM
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