Do We Need Foreign Aid?

Op-Ed from the desk of IST editor

In these days of a worry about our national spending there has been a call for the suspension of all the US foreign aid to save some cash….many people are saying that we need to get rid of our spend thrift ways……I for one in the past has questioned the need for foreign aid….I have asked just what do we get in return…..but there are many that have NO idea what foreign aid is made up of…..they know the term and they know that it costs this country money…..but what it is is a mystery……maybe I can help…..

Here to help you visualize just how much the U.S. spends every year is a chart from the folks at Finance Degree Center.

Just How Much Does the U.S. Spend on Foreign Aid Anyway? This Chart Will Explain

Now I am saying that the suspension of foreign aid will NOT save much for the country……what we need to do is make country’s that qualify for aid use it for what it is intended, which happens very sparesly these days….take Israel…..the cash they get from the US is used to make war on its neighbors….we condemn any other country that does this…why not Israel?

Since foreign aid is basically “buy friends” then they should do as we wish or lose their cash cow…….call Israel out, for illustration, and the peace process would move along more smoothly…..but as long as we let them bully us and take our lunch money there will NEVER be a peaceful Middle East……..

Foreign aid is not going to solve many problems for this country….but it could be used to solve more international problems….that is if we make the aid on condition that it be used for the purposes it was given…..we can scream about wasted money but foreign aid is a fraction of what the Congress wastes every year……should we terminate their “benefits”?

My answer is YES!  Congressional “benefits” is wasted money…there has been NO return on our investment in them.

 

War Hawks Rejoice!

There has been very little for the Congressional war hawks to cheer about….diplomacy seems to be winning the day…..but they did great a minor boost from the Ukrainian situation….they can remake Russia into the beast it was during the Cold War…….

But this past week end they have more ammo to use for an increae in defense spending at least to make a good argument for it……..

Let’s see what happened to aid the hawks……

Iran has named a member of the militant group that held 52 Americans hostage in Tehran for 444 days to be its next ambassador to the United Nations.

The Iranian government has applied for a U.S. visa for Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s former ambassador to Belgium and Italy, who was a member of the Muslim Students Following the Imam’s Line, a group of radical students that seized the U.S. embassy on Nov. 4, 1979. Imam was an honorific used for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Can you hear that sucking sound?  It is John McCain’s head readying to implode……..

But wait there is more!

We have been told….over and over and over and …………about the evils that is North Korea….and now they just helped the case against them……

Having tried out mid-range ballistic missiles in recent weeks, North Korea said today it may conduct a “new form” of nuclear test, the New York Times reports. Pyongyang officials didn’t clarify, but the US and its allies have long thought North Korea wants to build small, sophisticated nuclear devices that can ride piggyback on its new missiles. A spokesman for South Korea’s foreign ministry said North Korea “will have to pay a price” if it ignores international concerns and carries out the test.

For its part, North Korea accused the UN of “turning a blind eye” to “US madcap nuclear war exercises” while denouncing North Korea’s, Reuters reports. North Korea also said it wants the ability to hit medium- and long-range targets “with a variety of striking power.” Tensions between North and South Korea eased last month, when elderly people separated by the Korean War were allowed short reunions, but the North has since returned to harsh rhetoric—and a paper by a nuclear expert cited the “disquieting possibility” that North Korea is building a network of tunnels to carry out regular nuclear tests with highly enriched uranium.

Damn…..a busy weekend and what else could go wrong?

Glad you asked.

South Korea has fired shells into North Korean waters after their rivals sent more than 100 rounds below the disputed sea boundary during a live-fire drill.

The heated artillery exchange was prompted by an unusual warning fax sent from the North to the South, informing them of their live-fire drill.

Though it is not unusual for the reclusive nation to practice at sea, South Korean officials were alarmed by the alert, which they claim ‘indicates their hostile intention’.

My, my….just when the hawks were at one of their lowest points….gifts from heaven…….what will we do?  (repeat for effect)……….

What To Do About Foreign Policy?

Inkwell Institue

Welcome to the Google-y World of Geopolitics

There is much being said about the US foreign policy now that Russia is strutting it’s stuff in Eurasia…….some say that the Prez and his posse are wimps….that he is basically giving Putin everything he wants….and then there are those that think we are preceding cautiously as we should as to avoid any overreaction that could lead to yet another war……

The truth is that the American people are war weary…..and at the same time do not want some upstart like Putin to get the upper hand in world affairs…….but what is really happening?

Americans seem to want a minimalist foreign policy……minimalist?  Basically is it means to advocate a moderate foreign policy…….simply put…. just to avoid the meltdown of my readers mental activity……..

President Obama seems to be giving Americans the foreign policy they want—a “minimalist” one that refrains from knee-jerk military intervention and requires nations to deal with their own problems, observes Robert Kagan at the Washington Post. So why, then, are his approval ratings on foreign policy so dismal, hovering as they are in the mid-30s? Kagan see a “paradox” at play: Yes, Americans “may may want a more narrowly self-interested American policy,” he writes. “But they’re not proud of it, and they’re not grateful to him for giving them what they want.”

Obama’s tough speech about Russia yesterday suggests that he may buck this very trend and rally the rest of the world in penalizing Moscow, but only time will tell whether he can do so in his remaining time in office. In general, America is adjusting to its reduced role as a world power, and Obama is the one leading that transition. The public may want it, “but it is not something they will thank him for,” writes Kagan. “To follow a leader to triumph inspires loyalty, gratitude, and affection. Following a leader in retreat inspires no such emotions.” Click for his full column.

For now everything we say and do will be from a point of moderation…..this could change once the Afghanistan thing has come t a close…….but Putin could be watching that same thing and could act before we pull out…….

Foreign policy will most likely play a roll in the next contest for the presidency……..will minimalist approach be a winner or will the hawks gain?