Time for America to Review Its Foreign Aid Policies

The United States has been by far and away the most generous nation in the history of the world. Literally trillions of our nation’s wealth has been funneled to scores of nations at an increasing volume since the end of World War Two. But U.S. foreign aid policies don’t make sense.

The time has come to review these practices. The large bulk of this money is sent to nations who either do not agree with America’s values or outright despise us. The era of trying to buy other nation’s “friendship” is over.

Two glaring examples come to mind as presented by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. She cites Pakistan as a disturbing waste of this country’s generous foreign aid.

foreign aid policies to pakistan
foreign aid policies to pakistan

In 2017, Pakistan received nearly $1 billion in U.S. foreign aid. That amounted to the sixth highest amount of any country. Most of the monies bequeathed went to their military and what was left over to road, highway and energy projects to assist the Pakistani people.

Meanwhile, on all key votes at the UN, Pakistan opposed the American position an astounding 76 percent of the time. To add salt to that open wound, Pakistan is notorious for harboring terrorists who have killed U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Do they deserve American taxpayer money? Here’s another glaring example of total waste.

During 2017 again, U.S. taxpayers provided well over half a billion dollars to the people and government of South Africa. To put that in perspective, it was more than the entire U.N. system provided South Africa that year.

Most U.S. dollars went to preventing HIV/AIDS, a just cause. That is a gesture only a country like America could afford. One would think the South African government would be grateful for this gesture, but you would be wrong.

South Africa voted against the U.S. position at the United Nations 82 percent of the time. That voting record is among the worst in the world. It is also an extremely hostile voice against many critical U.S. interests.

Why do we waste our time and money on countries who have differing interests? Let them seek out that aid from the Russians or the Chinese. Good luck getting anywhere near the sum we provide without giving up a lot in return.

It’s time for Congress to hold its own full-scale review of U.S. foreign assistance policies. Already, the administration has restricted assistance to Pakistan, but there is much more to be done.

For too many years U.S. foreign aid policy has been a sort of rubber stamp affair. It has been on what could be considered auto-pilot.

There has been no consideration of the conduct of countries that benefit from our generosity. Foreign aid should not be some giveaway program. It must be linked with each country’s common endeavors with America.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.