Ideology or Pragmatism? U.S. Economic Aid, Military Assistance, and Foreign Military Sales: 1950-2007
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
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As long as there are challenges to the United States national interests, Security military assistance, or the transfer of arms and the providing of economic assistance for security reasons, will remain at the forefront of our national security and foreign policies. Security military assistance serves our interests by assisting allies and friends to acquire and maintain the capability for self defense1 The National Security Council NSC, created by the 1947 National Security Act, gives the Executive Branch of government the most direct influence over U.S. Foreign Policy. More specifically, it grants the president greater oversight and control of U.S. foreign policy. Economic aid, military assistance, and Foreign Military Sales FMS are but a few of the more significant means available to the Executive Branch when exercising foreign policy. Economic aid and military assistance fall within the Foreign Aid program and comprise approximately 50 percent of the foreign aid budget. All three of these foreign assistance instruments and their respective budgets are Congressionally authorized and directly support the Presidents national security strategy.2 This article analyzes the influences on the Executive Branchs foreign policy decisions regarding the use of U.S. economic aid, military assistance, and FMS from 1950-2007 against events occurring throughout this same period. A detailed examination of the levels of aid provided to Ethiopia and Somalia is conducted as a means of further testing the notion that Executive Branch pragmatism influences Presidential Administrations more often than ideology when determining the typequantity of economic aid, military assistance, and FMS provided to countries.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics