What is the proper way to boost national security?

Why we should also depend on foreign aid when addressing national security

Foreign aid is possible to attain

Allie Wang

Foreign aid is possible to attain

Florence Wang, Guest Writer

When confronted with the issue of national security, the natural solution appears to be to simply invest in a stronger military. However, as the famous saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is precisely why the United States military and experienced politicians support investing in foreign aid. A cheaper, more effective and less violent solution to US national security issues, foreign aid appears to be the first logical step in managing our international relations. 

Foreign aid plays an integral part in preventing terrorism. In the late 1980s, Congressman Charlie Wilson unsuccessfully urged the US to invest in improving education and quality of life in Afghanistan, arguing that hopelessness and a lack of education will lead to susceptibility  regarding both brainwashing and extremism. He was right; in  upcoming years, radical groups such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda took control of the country, thus leading to the 9/11 attacks which killed nearly 3000 Americans. To quote Senator Lindsay Graham, “The worst nightmare for al Qaeda is to come into a community that feels supported and has hope.”

Contrary to popular belief, the US spends less than 1% of its annual budget on foreign aid. For some perspective, the average American spends more on things like jewelry and sporting events per year than they do through taxes on foreign aid. The US military recognizes that this money is necessary, as well as well spent. As Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Hearing this, I hope that you will invest in the security of our nation by supporting an increase in the budget for the International Affairs Budget. Simply visit https://borgenproject.org/action-center/ to email your congressional leaders on the matter. It prewrites your email for you, and takes less than a minute. Having spoken with congressional leaders and their offices, we have found that sometimes,  even just 7 emails will sway a congressional leader’s vote, so your email will go a long way in ensuring the prosperity of the US and the rest of the world.