The Conservative Case for Foreign Assistance

February 26, 2010 By Mark Green

As a former Republican Congressman and a conservative, I know the pressures facing lawmakers to stretch every dollar and cut waste wherever they can. But it would be a serious mistake to slash foreign assistance programs, as Andrew Sullivan’s “Chart of the Day” on February 25th argues is popular among my fellow conservatives today.

When I was U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, I saw first-hand every day how America’s foreign aid helps make crucial a difference. And whether it’s providing bed nets to families to prevent malaria in Tanzania, supporting our military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, responding to international disasters such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, or more generally advancing U.S. interests in key countries and regions throughout the world, our development and diplomacy tools have never been more vital to our national interests.

There’s no denying the fiscal challenges that our elected leaders have on their plate, but there’s also no denying how much of a difference our foreign assistance programs are making in key parts of the world.

Mark Green is the Director of the Malaria No More Policy Center and a board member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. To read his recent op-ed on this topic, click here.