Foreign aid makes us safer
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.