Reforming the U.S.’s foreign assistance system can help boost the country’s efforts to curb terrorism, Mark Green, managing director of the Washington-based Malaria Policy Center, says.
“Since fighting the threat of terrorism is one of this generation’s greatest challenges, we need to sharpen those tools that can help prevent violent extremism from spreading and growing,” Green writes in a blog post published by the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.
Improving the U.S. foreign aid system will allow the country to provide more and better opportunities to lift people out of poverty in the developing world, Green explains. He adds that there are at least two reasons why creating opportunities is important to the fight against terrorism.
First, poverty “can lead to despair,” which extremists can exploit to recruit members. It is then in the U.S.’s long-term security interest to help “sow seeds of hope in troubled lands,” Green argues.
Second, providing opportunities through foreign aid could counter the narrative that the U.S. is evil. Green explains that this narrative is the typical recruitment tool used by terrorists.