Less Developed Countries


Less Developed Countries Essay, Research Paper

The United States has for a long time been involved in international affairs, either by pioneering and implementing foreign policies, or by providing financial support. The latter has been accomplished either through participation with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, in which the U.S. gives significant amount of money, or through U.S. led international programs. Have military deliveries and aid risen or decreased to LDCs as time has elapsed after the cold war is a question debated over and over by scholars? The following lab reflects U.S. military deliveries to selected less developed countries (LDCs) from 1991 to 1996.

The data was taken from the Central Intelligence Agency?s statistical database, which are provided, online at http://www.odci.gov/cia. This particular data was of interest because of the growing economies seen in the time period and because of the world?s separation from communism and its potential threat. As mentioned, the Cold War was over and the U.S. could once again concentrate on spreading democracy to those countries in need, the less developed ones. It was of interest to see how much the U.S. spent on military aid to these specific countries because the U.S. has long advocated the improvement of LDCs and their implementation of Democracy. It is well known that these measures are taken in order to influence these countries to not only ally themselves to the U.S. but to accept and apply democratic policies within their governments. Another reason why I chose to review this particular data was solely due to the fact that we as citizens facilitate such spending. Other factors for selecting this variable include determining if the economic gains worldwide tend to have an impact on such spending. For example if we help out those nations in need, will they be apt to helping the U.S. under critical circumstances or is it all about themselves?

Before putting the dollar amount into a graph, I assumed that military aid in any form had indeed increased. I justified the assumption by focusing on the growing global economy and on the termination of the Cold War, which also sparked a proliferation of nuclear arms that were left behind by the old Soviet Union. Naturally, I expected to see an increasing trend throughout the six years covered. As one of the major powers in the world, we would be expected to support those countries in need and despair. As countries develop and start to expand, money is needed, so as more and more countries take that step to development more and more money is necessary.

With the data taken from the CIA?s statistical tables, one was able to determine how many millions of US dollars were distributed to a selection of LDCs, as well as to the particular country with every year covered. Mentioned by the CIA is that the dollar amounts reflect all kinds of military assistance, such as Military Assistance grants. In examining each year?s figures, some fluctuation was seen in dollar figures. For example, fiscal year 1992 saw a decrease of 131min military deliveries than in FY 1991. Furthermore, there was a significant jump of 2,588m from FY 1992 and FY 1993. After FY 1993, though, the figure decreased by 1,723m for FY 1994. The next two years increases of 2,296m between FY 1994 and FY 1995, and 896m between FY 1995 and FY 1996. To explain this, we would have to examine the individual LDC in order to come to a conclusion as to why the fluctuation and not a steady increase as one would have imagined. The fluctuation noted in the graph to a degree contrasts with my initial assumptions of a constant increase, although the overall data does agree with the assumptions of an increase of aid to LDCs.

After examining the graph and its dollar figures I predict that the assistance to the U.S. gives to selected LDCs will actually increase in amount given, such as between FY 1995 and FY 1996 (896m). The reasons for these predictions might include globalization and the world?s economy. Although the global economy is not as stable as one may desire, the continuity of globalization will permit LDCs to emerge from their status as such, and perhaps finance their own military expenditures. Of course, the reverse might be true and U.S. military deliveries may decrease.

Scholarly opinions and research have been done on this complicated and diverse topic. Scholars (Lobe 1998; Bauer 1950; Friedman 1950; Bartlett 1997; and Johnson 1997) seem to agree that Military Aid is not benefiting the United States. Instead of being a beneficial act towards other countries, it has no positive influence on the US. In general scholarly research had come to a vital consensus that foreign aid is a failure. Researchers (Bartlett 1997) have come to the conclusion that military aid and foreign aid seem to increase consumption and expand the size of the government without conferring any benefits on the poor. As many people would think, ?foreign aid supports and advances U.S. interests overseas and helps gain influence with countries around the world and that foreign aid is necessary to gain foreign support for U.S. policy.? Such countries include India, Laos, Mexico, Colombia and other such countries. In general of the ten largest U.S. foreign aid recipients six voted against the U.S. more than half the time. All false (Johnson 1997) would be the answer. Research and an examination was done on the U.N. voting records of aid recipients and what was revealed was that 68 percent of all recipients voted against the U.S. in the U.N. So the belief that aid helps and influences the united states is false. Another problem with aid to LDCs is that half most of the help and aid is headed towards eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and East Asia (Lobe 1997). Much research and examinations has been done on this topic, and all the findings seem to be substantial.

To conclude, the graph clearly forecasts that the military deliveries to LDCs will continue to increase in quantity and fluctuation is possible. My hypothesis was backed up with scholarly research found from databases, governmental websites and scholarly literature. As far as this scholarly literature all is reliable, due to the fact that studies have been done to a certain extent. I would take this information to be very somewhat reliable, but valid when speaking about the above topic. The reason for this information being somewhat reliable in my opinion is due to the fact that CIA information may not be updated and not have correct statistical information. If we wanted to we could look at statistics from the United Nations or Department of Defense to be more exact.

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