Two Thirds of U.S. Foreign Aid is Really Military Aid

Monday, December 26, 2011
Private contractor cash in Iraq
When some Americans complain that foreign aid is wasting taxpayer money abroad that could be put to better use at home, they may not realize that today’s version of foreign aid isn’t what it used to be. Call it the Pentagon-zation of U.S. foreign assistance.
Until a few years ago, the State Department was the leading U.S. government agency when it came to doling out foreign aid. But beginning in the second term of George W. Bush’s presidency, and continuing through the Obama administration, the Department of Defense has surpassed the State Department in supporting foreign initiatives, most of which have been military oriented.
For the past two years, the Pentagon has been given $10 billion more than the State Department for foreign aid projects. With $17 billion, Defense officials plan for the coming year to invest in foreign military and police training, counter-drug assistance, counterterrorism activities and infrastructure projects, among other programs,.
Among the expenditures included in the recently passed 2012 National Defense Authorization Act are $1.1 billion to the government of Pakistan for alleged counterinsurgency efforts and $415 million for two programs known euphemistically as the Combatant Commander Initiative Fund and the Commander Emergency Response Fund. Translated into everyday English, this means cash that can be handed out by U.S. commanders.
Gordon Adams of the Stimson Center told iWatch News that by shifting foreign aid to military programs “you end up strengthening those instruments which are least democratic fundamentally.”
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Pentagon is the Security Aid King in Washington (by Rachael Marcus, iWatch News)

U.S. Has Given More Than $14 Billion in Security Aid to Pakistan Since 9/11 (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


Jim Stratford 12 years ago
the pentagon found a disguise to pay commanders and specific military groups that do their dirty work. the soviet union did the exact same thing, except they openly awarded commanders who captured resources at the request of powerful politicians and businesses.
Brandt Hardin 12 years ago
the ndaa only goes to further stifle our constitutional rights without the approval of the americans, just as the patriot act was adopted without public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. a mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. the laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. you can read much more about living in this orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at

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