Foreign Aid

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Letter From,
Dorn Townsend

Afghanistan seems to be holding its breath. Business has ground to a halt and middle-class Afghans are eyeing foreign escape routes as they send their money out of the country. The sense of uncertainly is not just about who will be the next president, or whether the loser will accept the result. It’s about the precarious economy.

Marc F. Bellemare

Economic development has come to mean too many things -- so many things, in fact, that it now mostly serves to harm the world’s poor.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2013
Jose W. Fernandez

Investing in international infrastructure development, a $60 trillion dollar industry, is not only about dollars and cents, it is also a strategic imperative. Yet the United States has failed to become a significant player in the field. American companies need Washington’s help to get into the game.

Philippa Brant

In China, many players, often with competing interests, are involved in shaping and implementing aid programs. And that makes it difficult for aid officials to impose any coherent rules -- let alone Western ones. There is thus little prospect of a well-oiled Chinese aid machine replacing the West's.

Todd Moss

Africa's thriving democracies and economies, and its alarming transnational security threats, make it more important than ever to the United States. Obama, however, has largely ignored the continent. Regardless of who wins in November, Washington cannot afford to continue on the president's current path.

Nancy Birdsall, Milan Vaishnav, and Danny Cutherell

Earlier this year, the Obama administration requested that Congress establish a $770 million Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund to “support citizens who have demanded change.” If the results of similar efforts in Pakistan are any guide, however, Washington shouldn't expect much political leverage in return for its investments.

Evan A. Feigenbaum

China will not simply bail out Pakistan with loans, investment, and aid, as those watching the deterioration of U.S.-Pakistani relations seem to expect. Rather, China will pursue profits, security, and geopolitical advantage regardless of Islamabad's preferences.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2011
Joseph M. Parent and Paul K. MacDonald

The United States can no longer afford a world-spanning foreign policy. Retrenchment -- cutting military spending, redefining foreign priorities, and shifting more of the defense burden to allies -- is the only sensible course. Luckily, that does not have to spell instability abroad. History shows that pausing to recharge national batteries can renew a dominant power’s international legitimacy.

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer reflects on aid, his theory of accompaniment, and Haiti after the earthquake.

Marisa L. Porges

Yemen is now at the forefront of U.S. counterterrorism efforts. To combat al Qaeda effectively and prevent the country's collapse, the United States will need to balance its security objectives alongside political reform and development initiatives.

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