David Frum asks an interesting question:

The U.S. government spends some $2 trillion a year. President Bush’s $87 billion request for reconstruction aid amounts to less than 5% of the total. Why should this one-time investment in a more secure Middle East raise more questions than, say, a huge and ever-expanding federal commitment to pay for the prescription drugs of non-poor senior citizens?

True. One can certainly argue the merits of the $87 billion expenditure, let alone make a pretty good case that providing drugs for the elderly is a better use of the money than a possibly nebulous peace in the Middle East. But arguing about the money per se is rather odd.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Norbizness says:

    ONE-TIME investment? More secure what now? Pass the Kool Aid, Senor Frum!

    Substitute “homeland security”, “infrastructure”, or “fiscal solvency” for “prescription drug privilege” and see where Frum stands.

  2. whatever says:

    I am for the increased funding in Iraq, but I think we need to look at the WHOLE Middle East funding and perhaps take some from here and there.

    For example, we supply over $5 billion a year to Israel , the largest recipient of U.S. government aid. This is mainly to provide stability in the region, but as a democratic, capitalistic society, I think they can get by with less aid, especially if things stabalize in the region when Iraq stablizes.

    Egypt gets another $2 billion a year. It goes on. I think we need to look at a “Middle East” budget, not one for Egypt, one for Israel, one for Iraq, etc. Then look at the numbers we were supplying BEFORE the war and see where we could shuffle a few percent here and there. Increase the budget, but reduce spending where it makes sense, therefore reducing the total increased amount.