Kaylee DeLand, Livermore

The connection between poverty reduction and national security is not immediately apparent to many. The United States should invest in development not only on moral grounds, but also to bolster national security.

It’s no coincidence that some of the world’s poorest nations are also some of the most dangerous. Terrorists view impoverished communities as an ideal setting for recruitment and an easy target. Foreign aid can act as a deterrent for conflict and create more stable conditions worldwide. It is within the United States’ strategic interest to focus on development and diplomacy as a way of promoting national security.

The International Affairs Budget plays a key role in fostering stability and reducing poverty. In 2019, over 140 retired generals called on Congress to better fund the International Affairs Budget for this reason.

As a Borgen Project Ambassador, I am calling on my representatives to protect the International Affairs Budget. I encourage you to do the same.