U.S. Foreign Assistance After September 11th: Testimony for the House Committee on International Relations

December 22, 2009

The world has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Some traditional challenges have faded, but others have risen to take their place. September 11th made us all aware of the very real security threats from weak and failings states that can serve as breeding grounds for terrorism. Diseases such as HIV/AIDS claim millions of lives each year, exacerbate destabilizing tensions, weaken fragile economies, and threaten our interests and those of our friends and allies. The process of globalization has created tremendous opportunities, but at the same time poses significant challenges, particularly to those who start from a position of disadvantage. Partly because of these changes, new tensions have sprung up between rich and poor countries around the world.

To address these challenges, the United States requires an integrated foreign policy that promotes our values, enhances our security, and strengthens the global economic system. There are several interlocking components to such a policy, including diplomacy, defense, trade, investment, intelligence, and – the subject of our discussion today – a strong and effective foreign assistance strategy.

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