Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 6 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   


By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

Foreign lobbyists are exploiting America’s post-9/11 fear to obtain billions of dollars in U.S. military aid – and a substantial part of it is being sent to countries that routinely violate human rights, participate in ‘extraordinary renditions,’ and recruit and deploy child soldiers.


These are among the conclusions of a year-long study by a team of seasoned reporters – known as the Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) --under the aegis of the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Public Integrity (CPI).


The ICIJ report, titled “Collateral Damage”, concludes that “the influence of foreign lobbying on the U.S. government, as well as a shortsighted emphasis on counterterrorism objectives over broader human rights concerns, have generated staggering costs to the U.S. and its allies in money spent and political capital burned.”


“Deals to provide military aid to what are perceived as often corrupt and   brutal governments have set back efforts to advance human rights and the rule of law,” the ICIJ report says.

Since 1950, the US government has provided over $91 billion to militaries around the world from a single fund. There are a number of additional funds, so total is substantially higher. Most of the money comes from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State (DOS). 

Joanne Mariner, Director of the Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program for Human Rights Watch, told us, “It's difficult to know (the precise total amount of military aid funding) because there's covert funding as well, which is thought to be pretty high. We're concerned that US military aid is, in some cases, showered on repressive governments.  In our view aid should be more carefully conditioned to ensure that abuses are not carried out with American funding.” 

In their investigation, 10 ICIJ reporters on four continents explored American counterterrorism policy since the 2001 terrorist attacks. They found that post-9/11 U.S. political pressure, Washington lobbying and aid dollars have reshaped policies towards countries ranging from Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, to Pakistan and Thailand in Asia, Poland and Romania in Europe, to Colombia in South America.


The ICIJ report documents substantial increases in U.S. military aid since the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The 2008 budget presented to Congress by President George W. Bush requested an increase of more than a billion dollars for military and security assistance, particularly to key ''front-line'' states in the ''war on terror".


But the ICIJ report notes that many of the recipients of this aid are countries believed to be guilty of human rights abuses.

For example, the report highlights the continued use and recruitment of child soldiers by governments and government-supported paramilitaries, militias and other armed groups in eight countries. The U.S. provides military assistance to six of those eight countries: Afghanistan, Chad, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda. 

It charges that countries receiving military aid from the U.S. have also participated in “extraordinary renditions” – kidnapping suspected terrorists or transferring prisoners to countries known to practice torture and other inhuman and degrading practices. 

Reliable data shows that airplanes chartered by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made at least 76 stopovers in Azerbaijan, 72 in Jordan, 61 in Egypt, 52 in Turkmenistan, 46 in Uzbekistan, 40 in Iraq, 40 in Morocco, 38 in Afghanistan, and 14 in Libya. Most of these countries are recipients of U.S. military assistance.


The British Government recently disclosed, and the U.S. acknowledged, that CIA aircraft had touched down on Diego Garcia, a U.K. territory in the Indian Ocean. It is believed that CIA flights included hundreds carrying prisoners to the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba.


Until North American and European media exposed the practice, the U.S., along with countries reportedly receiving rendered prisoners, denied that “extraordinary renditions” were part of government policy.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

WILLIAM FISHER Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)


Liberties Lost Since 9/11

The Silence of the Sheep


Law Professors Outraged by Senate Vote on Indefinite Detention

Feel Safer Now?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend