Congressional cuts on U.S. international affairs budget may cost the country its security, The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson argues.
Despite the Obama administration’s call for integrating development, diplomacy and defense to help promote national security, “[n]early every year the congressional budget and appropriations committees cut the international affairs portion of the budget from the president’s request by a higher percentage than any other appropriation,” Gerson notes.
“It is a tempting, easy political target,” he writes.
Some conservatives, Gerson claims, prefer to give funding to the Defense Department rather than to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development. Liberals, he notes, are “suspicious” of using development to further national security, “as though the use of public money was sullied by serving the public interest.”
“The worst challenges of our world – terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, criminal gangs, refugee flows, pandemics – generally emerge from weak states, ungoverned regions and hopeless parts of the planet. By encouraging hope and progress, health and good government, we add to the security of America,” Gerson argues.