Who Gets the Most U.S. Foreign Aid?
by Daniel Pipes
Translations of this item:
Israel, of course. Except it does not, not even remotely during the past decade. Totting up the most recent figures, 2002-11 from the U.S. government's own statistics and using constant 2011 U.S. dollars, one finds that the numbers for all economic and military aid look like this:
Further, these numbers substantially understate U.S. support for the economies and militaries of Afghanistan and Iraq, including neither the hundreds of billions spent on the U.S. war fighting effort in those countries, which purchased substantial amounts in the local market, employed many locals, and led to unspeakably vast amounts of graft; nor do the above numbers include the military equipment declared excess and donated to their armed forces.
(1) I have long opposed economic and military aid to Israel's mature economy that can stand on its own two feet. Its 2011 GDP was $243 billion, meaning that U.S. aid came to a paltry 1 percent – not worth the trouble in terms of political resentment and financial distortion.
(2) In contrast, to take the opposite extreme, Afghanistan's 2011 GDP was $19 billion, meaning that American aid alone made up 2/3s of the entire country's income that year, a sure recipe for political and financial havoc. I even more strenuously oppose such handouts – what used to be called development aid – which long before 2002 was known not to work as intended. More than ever, this latest experience vividly shows how it amounts to thrown-out money.
Total U.S. Economic and Military Assistance to Select Countries
All sums in millions, in constant 2011 U.S. dollars.
(July 24, 2013)
Jan. 25, 2015 update: The U.S. network ABC News prefers to stick with the old narrative, claiming that Israel received $2.38 billion in foreign aid in 2008, Afghanistan $1.96 billion, and Iraq a meager $600 million. In fact, that year Israel got $2.53 billion, Afghanistan got $9.46 billion, and Iraq got $8.09 billion. In Iraq's case, ABC is off by a factor of over 13.
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