Recently, Trump proposed a nearly 21% slash to the foreign affairs budget, citing the importance of reducing our nation’s massive deficit. While on face value it may seem appropriate to cut aid to other countries first, there’s actually far more pragmatic justification for keeping the foreign affairs budget than you might guess.
In fact, when we consider the impact that international aid has on our national security, ally-ships and economic opportunities, it’s unclear why slashing the budget was ever suggested. Time and time again our nation has found that when we support the world’s most vulnerable countries, it leaves them much less susceptible to violent organizations and terrorist groups within their country. It’s no wonder the most dangerous countries in the world are also among the most impoverished.
The international affairs budget offers an opportunity to protect the national security of the United States without the burden of putting U.S. soldiers’ lives on the line. When we foster our ally-ships and help these nations build steady economies, it dramatically reduces our need for militarization there. As said by Adm. Mike Mullen, retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “The more we cut the international affairs budget, the higher the risk for longer and deadlier military operations.”
All of this being said, I encourage you to think critically about your opinion on foreign aid and consider reaching out to your congresspeople to show your support. An excellent resource for doing this is the Borgen Project, a nonprofit group focused on advocating for the protection of the international affairs budget.
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