“SCREWED!” That’s what Dick Morris says is what we get as the result of much of our foreign aid and relationships with struggling countries.
Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen, go into depth about America’s military and monetary responsibilities we have undertaken for the rest of the world and how such responsibilities have not only inhibited our ability to control our own problems, but more importantly have been used against us. “SCREWED!” consists of ten parts outlining our greatest obstacles including how international bureaucrats aim to cripple the power of the United States through treaty ratifications; one example is the “Law of the Sea Treaty” which would strip us of the right to control our own coastlines as we deem fit.
Additionally Dick addresses the most dangerous countries the United States is in relationships with: China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. In the post 9/11 world the United States h as honed in on advancing democracy in the Middle East by providing billions of dollars in aid as well as military assistance. But do these relationships make us safer in the long run as we intend? “Pakistan arrested five men for providing assistance to the US in its hunt for Bin Laden” and begs the question “is there anyone on the planet who really believes that the Pakistani government, military, and intelligence services didn’t realize that public enemy number one was living in an urban area around the corner from their equivalent of West Point?”
The US has lost the lives of over 2,200 troops in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001, and $10.9 billion dollars in aid just last year. The Congressional Research Service quoted an agency saying “up to 30% of contracted project costs can be attributed to corruption.” Transparency international, which ranks nations based on their integrity or corruption says that Afghanistan is t he second most corrupt nation on earth, exceeded only by Somalia. The United States is clearly the losing party in this relationship. Then there is Saud Arabia which Dick says is “our bargain with the devil.” All of this boils down to a frightening realization that foreign aid is nothing short of ‘biting the hand that feeds.’ Morris includes sobering statistics such as “The US gave away $58 billion in foreign aid to more than sixty-nine countries in 2009. Thirty-four billion was in economic aid and $11 billion was in military assistance. Add $13 billion in assistance from other government agencies.”
But aside from the warm fuzzy feeling America may get when they contribute to the less fortunate, “the fact remains that there is no correlation between the massive outlays of foreign aid we have been making for decades now and any reduction in global poverty. The countries that have made real progress in breaking out of poverty-China, In dia, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore-have done it by selling us goods and services, not by taking our foreign aid.” Still not convinced? “Of the ninety-seven countries that got development aid from the US between 1980 and 2009: 23 had a net decline in per capita GDP over the period; 27 had only growth of less than 1 percent; 44 had growth of an average of 1 to 4 percent per year.
Only four had real economic growth of 5 percent or more. They were Bosnia, Serbia, Cambodia, and Botswana.” In sum, foreign aid does not help those countries, it hurts those countries. It creates a pot of money that ferments civil war and corruption. For more on Dick Morris’ book, SCREWED!, click here.