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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The aid for security dilemma: The distortive impact of U.S. national security interests on development assistance
by Mahanty, Daniel R., M.A., Georgetown University, 2010, 55; 1483131
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of U.S. Official Development Assistance in the context of national security policy has changed in many ways since 9/11, but in no way more important than a shift from "strategic bribery" to "development outcomes". The conventional Cold War purpose of using development aid to secure cooperation from developing countries has been abandoned in favor of a paradigm that emphasizes and advocates aid's importance and ability in mitigating national security concerns (e.g. terrorism) that stem from poorly governed and impoverished countries. But this new paradigm exists in tension with the prevailing wisdom of modern development economics that accepts certain maxims about the importance of selectivity (i.e. selecting the right countries for aid), predictability, and political will to the effectiveness of aid. Suddenly, variables that may not matter to the Cold War policy-maker when using aid as a blunt instrument of coercion or persuasion begin to matter when using aid to achieve real development outcomes. Therefore, national security policymakers, advocating a greater emphasis on development in poorly-governed countries, may actually be championing policies that have little chance of being effective - or could even prove to be detrimental by creating unreasonable expectations among foreign audiences, creating inefficiencies, and hurting the credibility of development assistance. A brief probe of US development policy and national security interests in Yemen assesses the approach of the U.S. government to a critical partner in the War on Terror, where indicators suggest development assistance may not have much chance of sustainable outcomes. Yemen provides a compelling example of how National Security interests may make it more likely that the United States will provide aid despite poor policy environments, and could expose aid policies to problems of moral hazard and instability.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sims, Jennifer
School: Georgetown University
Department: Security Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies, International Relations, Political science
Keywords: Aid, Development, National security, Yemen
Publication Number: 1483131
ISBN: 978-1-124-34810-0
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