Foreign Aid A Strategic Investment

Writing at a Foreign Policy blog, Paul Miller discusses the current controversy surrounding foreign aid noting that many seem to think of aid as either national bribery — where we hope to win respect of those we aid– or charity. Miller proposes a third view of foreign aid, calling it a strategic investment: “Foreign aid helps countries, whose interests align with our own, increase their capacities. The United States gives money to help select countries — not the entire world — improve specific abilities, like their ability to provide public security, defend their borders, or buy and sell goods.” This view, he says, helps the U.S. prioritize which countries should get aid and what kind of aid. Miller also argues that this view of foreign aid would also help protect it from the kind of cuts Republicans are proposing by framing aid as weapon the U.S. can use to strengthen allies and itself.