Last week, the House of Representatives cut the international affairs budget by 20% of the FY 2010 levels. While these are tough times, these cuts are disappointing given investments made in international affairs account for only 1 percent of the overall US Government budget. More plainly, these cuts affect the poorest and most vulnerable people around the globe.
A recent poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org/Knowledge Networks showed that most Americans support foreign assistance levels up to 10% of the budget.
Furthermore, such small cuts in spending will not solve the deficit problem. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has argued that investments made in development and diplomacy can help deter future needs for resources for defense and that America’s national security depends on the civilian diplomats and aid workers who also risk their lives every day to support our overseas interests.