Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Eight Times The Obama Administration Put Conditions On Foreign Aid

The current impeachment inquiry is based on the accusation that President Donald Trump attached the caveat of investigating the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, to a proposed aid package to Ukraine during a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
This “quid pro quo,” a promise of U.S. aid in exchange for desirable behavior on the part of a country, or the threat of removing aid unless a desirable behavior is adopted, is nothing new in the realm of U.S. foreign policy. Not only has the threat of removing aid been used throughout U.S. history to encourage desirable behavior, but it was also one of the favorite tactics of the Obama administration. Former President Barack Obama used the tactic several times during his tenure to pressure foreign governments into adopting or dropping policies that fit his political agenda.
Here are eight examples:
In September 2016, Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu negotiated the largest U.S. military aid package to Israel in history. As part of the deal, Israel was guaranteed $38 billion in military aid over a decade, but the generous package also came with a few conditions designed to keep Israel dependent on the U.S. for its defense capabilities. In exchange for the aid, Israel had to promise not to seek any additional funds from Congress for the duration of the aid package, and it had to relinquish a special arrangement that allowed Israel to use U.S. aid dollars on developing its own domestic defense industry instead of buying exclusively from America.
The Obama administration temporarily cut off military aid to Egypt after its democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi, who had strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood, was deposed in coup led by current president Abdeh Fattah el-Sisi in 2013.
Obama urged that Morsi’s opponents should use “legal, legitimate” processes to remove him instead of lining up tanks in front of the presidential palace. Though some in Congress, including Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, argued to completely cut off foreign aid to Egypt, Obama declined to fully describe Morsi’s ouster as a coup, and aid was restored soon after Morsi was removed from power and the coup leaders solidified their position.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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