President Obama says the United States should reallocate defense resources to foreign aid efforts. He also added that most Americans misunderstand how much of the federal budget goes to diplomacy.
"[I]f you look at our foreign assistance as a tool in our national security portfolio, as opposed to charity, and you combine our defense budget with our diplomatic budget and our foreign assistance budget, then in that mix there's a lot more that we should be doing when it comes to helping Honduras and Guatemala build an effective criminal-justice system, effective police, and economic development that creates jobs," Obama said in an interview with Vox.com, a liberal news site.
"So you're saying it would make sense to reallocate those resources?" asks Matthew Yglesias of Vox.com.
"Well, and part of the challenge here is just public awareness. Time and time again, when they do surveys, and they ask people what proportion of the foreign budget is spent on foreign aid, they'll say, '25 percent.' They're pretty sure all their hard-earned money that they pay in taxes is somehow going to other folks. And if we can say, it varies between 1-2 percent depending on how you define it," Obama responds. "And if we were to make some strategic investments in countries that really could use our help, we would then not have to deploy our military as often and we would be in a better position to work with other countries to stand down violent extremism."
The creation of a new Palestinian “national unity” government has raised a slew of questions in the United States. What should our policy be toward a government that has the support not only of the Fatah party but of the terrorist group Hamas as well? Should all aid to the Palestinians be suspended?
Last March the social--networking thickets caught fire, sparked by an online video called Kony 2012. Its creator, founder of the San Diego-based group Invisible Children Inc., was hoping to broadcast the misdeeds of the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. The short film was viewed tens of millions of times in just several days.