The Deficit, Foreign Policy and Defunding USAID

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

Last week a group of 165 Republicans in the House of Representatives called for ending support for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This would be an extraordinary move with extraordinary consequences as ending funding for USAID would severely hamper the ability of the U.S. to pursue much its foreign policy. Without USAID, U.S. foreign policy would largely be limited to defense, direct government assistance to foreign countries and diplomacy. Eliminating USAID would leave the U.S. with even fewer options in international politics, strip the country of much of its soft power and terminate programs which deliver effective foreign assistance in everything from health care to support for civil society organizations. Additionally, the savings would not be very substantial as the entire USAID budget for 2010 was around $1.5 billion.


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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
October 28, 2011