Washington Post Editorial 02/24/11: A Broader Approach to National Security

Opinion article in the Washington Post, by Conor Williams, argues the importance of focusing on human security in the international arena instead of solely addressing national security in military terms.  The United States spends about one percent of the federal budget on foreign assistance, compared to the twenty percent spent on the military.  The new budget cuts could mean the United States will spend even less money on foreign aid in the future.

“As several of the world’s dictators have learned recently, political stability is about more than just military strength. Economic desperation and ineffective political institutions breed dissatisfaction that can eventually lead to uprisings.”

“It’s much cheaper to address desperate poverty and humanitarian crises before they lead to security challenges that involve military intervention. It’s also easier to help develop markets and trading partners than it is to slay all of America’s enemies. It’s in our national interest to promote human security across the globe.”

Politico Op-Ed on Foreign Aid Budget Cuts

Rep. Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, published an op-ed in Politico arguing that while foreign aid should not be immune to spending cuts, drastic cuts in foreign aid through the State Department and USAID could have serious national security implications.

“It would be senseless to let our response to a fiscal challenge create a national security crisis. Now we must sit side by side, not as a gracious gesture but to do the difficult job of balancing our long-term economic prosperity with security imperatives we can’t afford to neglect.”