The Impact of U.S. Foreign Aid on International Terrorism
Cottle, Stephen J.
While the post 9/11 body of literature on terrorism fails to provide a consensus on the roots of terrorism, there is consensus that U.S. foreign aid has been linked to the goal of reducing terrorism. In this paper, I examine the impact of U.S. foreign aid on international terrorism. I focus on U.S. foreign aid following the Cold War, using a two-way fixed effects model to examine the relationship between three different types of U.S. aid--military assistance, non-military security assistance, and civilian assistance--and four measures of terrorism in recipient countries. The models provide insight into the nature of the relationship between foreign aid and terrorism: civilian aid appears to consistently be associated with fewer terrorist incidents in recipient countries; military aid appears to have mixed results; non-military security aid appears to have a consistently positive relationship with terrorism in recipient countries. At a time when officials publicly fret about the impact of spending cuts on U.S. security, a better understanding of where U.S. funds are being used most effectively could help policymakers make cuts in a way that more efficiently serves U.S. security goals.
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