Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
The Oakland Institute

APRIL 28, 2006
2:48 PM

CONTACT: The Oakland Institute
Anuradha Mittal at or call (510) 469-5228

A New Policy Brief on the Recent Overhaul of the U.S. Foreign Aid Playing Politics With Aid
The Unholy Trinity of Defense, Development and Diplomacy in the War of Terrorism

OAKLAND, California - April 28 - In light of recent changes in the way U.S. administers foreign aid, the Oakland Institute's new policy brief, Playing Politics With Aid: The Unholy Trinity of Defense, Diplomacy and Development in the War on Terrorism, challenges Bush administration's efforts to bring the administration of aid under the control of the State Department and tie foreign assistance to U.S. strategic military interests. At a time when the U.S. foreign aid has been made a central team member of the Bush administration's war on terrorism, the policy brief advocates that it is in the interest of the United States to ensure that each dollar of development aid is invested in building self-reliant societies abroad instead of subjecting them to its short-term foreign and military policy goals.

"The 9/11 Commission Report recommended that the U.S. government should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treating people humanely... and be generous and caring to our neighbors. Unfortunately, foreign assistance as the third pillar of U.S. national security policy, along with military power and diplomacy, is shifting aid away from poverty-focused assistance to poor countries," said Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Institute and the author of the report.

Today development assistance constitutes only 30 percent of the U.S. foreign aid budget, while military and economic aid for strategic allies constitutes more than half of the same budget. The 2007 foreign operations budget further reduces poverty-focused development assistance programs, including cuts in Child Survival and Health Fund, Development Assistance, Disaster and Famine Assistance, by over $400 million.

Playing Politics With Aid: The Unholy Trinity of Defense, Diplomacy and Development in the War on Terrorism evaluates the recent overhaul of the U.S. foreign assistance programs, including the centralization of foreign aid, "forward deployment" of diplomats which will relocate hundreds of foreign service positions from Europe and Washington to the Middle East and Asia in an effort described as transformational diplomacy. "The unstated implication of these moves is that the pro-Bush administration policy advocates will replace the more traditional aid experts and coordinate closely with the U.S. military through political advisors," said Mittal. "The end goal being, to ease the process of aligning foreign assistance programs with foreign policy goals." The policy brief proposes that it is time for Bush administration to step back and rethink its development strategy and the role of foreign assistance in the war on terrorism.

The Oakland Institute is a policy think tank whose mission is to promote public participation and fair debate on critical economic, social, and foreign policy issues. Playing Politics With Aid: The Unholy Trinity of Defense, Diplomacy and Development in the War on Terrorism is a publication of the Oakland Institute's Aid Watch, a research center, information clearinghouse, and early warning system for activists, policy makers, journalists and the public on international aid operations.


Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.