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Foreign Aid: Are We Increasing Stability

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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In the contemporary environment, in which fiscal responsibility is a priority, each United States government USG organization must do more with less. The Department of Defense DOD is compelled to conduct military operations across the globe with fewer service members, and the Department of StateDOS and the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID are both being asked to conduct interventions with less capital, fewer foreign service officers, and fewer field representatives. Expectations concerning positive results have not been commensurately adjusted. This research has identified which sectors of U.S. foreign aid monies were allocated between 2011 and 2015 and what effect aid is having on creating stable sovereign nations and ultimately avoiding the onset of conflict. First, using multivariate regression models, the researchers analyzed which World Development Indicators have the strongest negative correlation with the onset of state internal conflict around the world. Following this analysis, there searchers examined which sectors of foreign aid in DOD, DOS, and USAID have had the most significant correlation to the onset of internal conflict. The models considered the level of violence as well as the cost and number of projects performed in a given country to determine the probability of internal conflict. The results of the research show that the USG is not increasing stability through reducing internal conflict. In fact, it appears the USG is provoking internal conflict through foreign aid. Therefore, it is incumbent on the USG to thoroughly analyze which areas and types of foreign aid should be disbursed to achieve desired stability and reduced internal conflict.

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