This is an extract from commentary by Connie Veillette and John Norris from the Center for Global Development.
Budget concerns will almost certainly put downward pressure on federal spending across a host of government programs for a number of years. Although some think it is almost heretical to point out the obvious, the international affairs budget will not be immune from this dynamic. In fact, international spending could take a disproportionate hit compared to domestic spending – despite the fact that discretionary international spending is a very small part of the overall budget puzzle.
International affairs, and more specifically foreign assistance, have rarely been popular budget items among the public or on Capitol Hill – despite consistently comprising only about 1 percent of the total federal budget. Even so, foreign aid and international engagement make good political targets for elected officials out on the stump...
Last fall, we set up a bipartisan working group to think through this question and look at how to reorient the international affairs budget during this current period of austerity. The resulting report, Engagement Amid Austerity, is now available.
This report outlines four big ideas as a framework for reorienting the foreign affairs budget:
We believe that programs can be better focused for greater impact. In short, we should be directing more resources into fewer countries... We recommend focusing economic assistance in 53 countries, and focusing security aid in 72 countries.
Others may reach alternative conclusions using this same data, and we have provided as much information to readers as possible so that they can do so...
Full commentary linked here.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
USA - Engagement during Austerity
Posted by KNO at 11:54 PM