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February 2006
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Tossing money to the winds

I haven’t seen much yet about the 2007 budget proposals from the administration (submitted to Congress yesterday), but this article in Asia Times talks about the foreign expenditures portion.
Of course, there’s a lot for continuing military operations, and especially the war on terror — now renamed “the long war” by the Pentagon.

By contrast, Bush’s proposed 2007 foreign-aid request will remain roughly the same as last year’s at some $24 billion, the equivalent of what Washington spends in less than five months in Iraq.
Moreover, the president is calling for a nearly 20% cut in development aid – from roughly $1.5 billion $1.26 billion in development aid – and similar cuts in disaster assistance and child-survival and health programs. […]
Apart from Bush’s pet anti-AIDS and MCA programs, the new foreign-aid bill calls for a 70% increase in anti-drug spending, to some $1.5 billion worldwide. Much of that will be spent in Afghanistan which, since the ouster of the Taliban in late 2001, has become by far the world’s biggest source of opium and heroin. “The drug war comes out a real winner in the budget allocation,” [research fellow Stewart] Patrick said.

Decreasing development aid and increasing drug war funding. Sure. That makes sense. If you’re playing Calvinball.

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