HOT BLAST: America's global image and what we get for our money
Jul 23, 2013 | 1745 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Critics of U.S. aid to foreign nations -- particularly nations in the Middle East -- often propose a shift in American foreign policy. Wouldn't it be better, they suggest, to spend that money on domestic issues?

Sometimes, those critics may have a point.

A National Public Radio blog post this week highlighted the fact that a large number of citizens of Middle Eastern nations who receive millions in U.S. aid do not think highly of America. (The data came from a new Pew Center report concerning America's global image.) The reporting looks at federal aid and polling data from nations such as Jordan and people such as Palestinians. The NPR report also makes it clear that one does not necessarily cause the other -- in other words, the U.S. aid hasn't been proven to cause ill feelings abroad.

That said, it's fascinating reading -- and a key topic for discussion. NPR wrote, "The findings raise questions about what the U.S. is getting for the $50 billion or so it sends out to the rest of the world in annual assistance. This ranges from food aid in drought-stricken lands to military hardware in countries embroiled in war. The U.S. provides aid for many reasons, and winning popularity may be nice, but it's not the main goal. The U.S. tends to provide assistance in places it considers strategically important, and they are often volatile as well."

-- Phillip Tutor

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