For­eign aid makes us safer

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

FROM: BAI­LEY BROOKS WAR­WICK

Think­ing of 9/11, as young as I was, I can­not seem to shake the thought of how it must have been to have been trapped in one of those build­ings. I could not shake the thought of how it must feel to know a loved one had just died at the hands of ter­ror­ism. To this day, I can­not imag­ine what would drive some­one to do some­thing so treach­er­ous.

Af­ter act­ing upon my cu­rios­ity, I came across the tactics that ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions uti­lize to get fol­low­ers. They take ad­van­tage of com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing in poverty. They of­fer ed­u­ca­tion, food, clean wa­ter, etc. in ex­change for ser­vices. I also found that less than 1 per­cent of our bud­get goes to such aid. Now many of us might find this crazy since the av­er­age Amer­i­can es­ti­mates that ap­prox­i­mately 20 per­cent of the fed­eral bud­get goes to for­eign aid. This is, how­ever, not the case.

Ac­cord­ing to The Bor­gen Pro­ject, 84 per­cent of our mil­i­tary wants more aid given to those in need over­seas. Ter­ror­ists and crim­i­nals can over­take what our brave men and women have fought even af­ter a bat­tle is won. Even though a bat­tle is won, a com­mu­nity can still be left in poverty if there are no devel­op­men­tal ef­forts tak­ing place. Com­mu­ni­ties must be equipped with the means nec­es­sary to de­fend them­selves and to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies once our troops leave, so that these com­mu­ni­ties are not vul­ner­a­ble to the prom­ises and ill will of ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions.

U.S. Sen. Lind­say Gra­ham once said “The worst nightmare for al-Qaeda is to come into a com­mu­nity that feels sup­ported and has hope.” In or­der to win the fight against ter­ror­ism, we must seek to de­stroy the con­di­tions that drive peo­ple into a state of desperation. I would urge the Amer­i­can peo­ple to reach out to your sen­a­tors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives in an ef­fort to pass leg­is­la­tion that makes our aid more ef­fec­tive.

In a coun­try that was founded upon jus­tice and free­dom for all, we must con­tin­u­ally fight against those who seek to de­stroy, op­press and con­trol. The prob­lems we ig­nore now be­come the prob­lems we face later.

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