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1) Discuss the main objectives, interests and strategies of US aid programs in the post-World War Two period, both during the Cold War and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Describe and asses both American assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels, including their efficacy and limits…
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Download file to see previous pages... Although it may be tempting to view US foreign aid in the post-war era as a type of benevolent gifting to the lesser developed regions of the globe, the fact of the matter is that each and every foreign aid decision in means by which loans, foreign direct investment, trade preference, or need was directed had a definitive purpose and goal in mind. As a result of the Second World War, the United States was placed in a unique position of authority in a newly differentiated bipolar global system. Undisputed dominance within the Pacific allowed the United States to extend trade to regions of the world that it had not fully integrated with previously. The presence of United States military personnel on outposts as diverse as Guam, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Norway, and a litany of others allowed for the formation of the new empire in which the United States would come head-to-head for a period of approximately 40 years with the Soviet Union. Within such a dynamic and such a level of understanding, the rationale and motivation for engaging in the Marshall Plan is readily seen. Again, although the Marshall plan has been incorrectly viewed by many historical sources as merely a means to rebuild Europe after the devastation of war, the ulterior motive that drove this was twofold. The first reason why the United States actively engaged in the Marshall plan was as a means to rebuild the economies of Europe that had been so devastated by the result of World War II. Although the Marshall plan called for unimaginable levels of foreign aid to be given to the governments of Western Europe, this level of money, although unprecedented, was seen, by and large, as a type of investment. Although the United States emerged from World War II is the most powerful nation on earth, it nonetheless required robust economies in order to trade with and derive economic benefit. Secondarily, the Marshall plan was instituted as a means of providing a solid bulwark against the encroachment and seemingly never-ending advance the Soviet Union was making into central and parts of southern Europe. Whereas the old dictum is true that it is impossible to buy your friends, the United States attempted to do just this, surprisingly successfully, by instituting a liberal policy of economic development within the shattered shell of a war ravaged Europe. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Cold War era, the United States approach to aid remained necessarily concentric upon trade, interests, and strategic rivalry. In such a way, even a cursory review of the level and extent to which the United States utilized foreign aid reveals a situation in which aid is invariably utilized as a leverage point. However, it must not be understood that the United States foreign aid is divisible into a single category. Rather, this analysis will briefly engage with some of the key functions and affects the different types of aid and appropriations had with regards to how developing nations have been affected as well as the key limitations in which such programs necessarily espoused. The second of these aid programs which will herein be discussed is known collectively as the Four Point Program. Instituted under Pres. Harry Truman, the four-point program was actually a reaction to social and aid programs that the Soviet Union had extensively developed around the world. As a function of showcasing and power of the Soviet ideal, the Soviet Union ridiculed the Western capitalist nations for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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