Snap Fact #161

President Obama's  Foreign Aid Investments Are A Less Expensive And More Effective Way To Win A War!

Foreign diplomacy is a multilevel game of incredible complexity. Those who see it in one dimensional terms are certain to make the glaringly foolish mistakes like George Bush, who didn't understand that there were two factions locked in a life and death struggle in the Muslim world. That blind ignorance about the Shiite and Sunni tug of war that has raged for 1300 years was a significant part of the uninformed miscalculation that led this country into the costly and ill-advised Iraqi adventure. 

Our loss was not only the obvious outpouring of human, moral, and financial resources, we also destroyed the strategic Sunni/Shiite balance that existed between Iraq and Iran that we are faced with now and will pay dearly for in the future. The fact that the previous administration was blind, deaf, and dumb to the situation is only equaled by the scary thought that the people who want to replace Mr. Obama in the White House have the same uninformed, simplistic, and one-dimensional mindset that has cost America so dearly.

Our current President - the Grand Chess-Master - is informed and alert to the complexity of global politics. He understands the subtle nuances as well as the obvious. He is able to see the long term picture that so many of his critics are blind to because their focus is on the short term. Today's SNAP-FACT is one example of how the President combined America's natural generosity with shrewd long term geopolitical foresight.
An horrendous flood decimated Pakistan in the summer of 2010. Thousands lost their lives, millions lost their homes, and the country lost a significant amount of its infrastructure including much of its agricultural base. Beyond the normal human element that directs America's big-hearted response to disasters, here was an opportunity to win a war for the hearts and minds of a people without invading their country.

On August 19, 2010, the United States sent a $60 million fund to Pakistan in order to assist the flood victims. The United States cooperated with other countries in the United Nations to send an initial relief package of $460 million to help Pakistan after the natural disaster. After that, the United States still keeps sending support to Pakistan in order to assist in repairing the damages caused by the disaster.

The program was conducted by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton under the support of President Obama. “Beyond our immediate response, the United States is committed to the long-term goal of working with Pakistan to improve conditions in the country,” Clinton said. “We demonstrated that commitment with a multi-year $7.5 billion nonmilitary assistance package authorized by the Congress and agreed to by the president.

A footnote to this SNAP-CAP is that U.S. foreign aid expenditures amount to about 1% of our total budget. Check this out in the links with www.politifact.com* and www.worldpublicopinion.org** below. Most Americans believe that our foreign aid expenditures are dramatically more than they are. According to the survey cited below the public believes that 25% of our budget is spent on foreign aid. The survey also asked people their opinions of what a proper percentage would be. The median response was 10%. These expectations contrast with the actual number of around 1%.