War & Peace

Money Talks: The Implications of U.S. Budget Priorities

According to a recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations, “[T]he average American believes we spend 18% of the federal budget on foreign affairs, while thinking we should spend only 6%. In reality, foreign affairs spending, the bully pulpit of America’s strength overseas, is now only 1% of the federal budget–a little more than one penny of every federal tax dollar.” 1

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War in the Congo

Congo is being torn apart by a stalemated war, and the stability of the entire Central African region is endangered. This war flows from the failure of President Laurent Kabila—whose rise to power in 1997 depended on support from Rwanda and Uganda—to consolidate power and to satisfy the expectations of his backers, both Congolese and foreign. Background factors influencing the outbreak of the war and the course it is taking include resources (land and minerals) on the one hand and the logic of “the enemy of the enemy is my friend” on the other.

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Environment and Security Policy

U.S. foreign policy and national security policies have significant domestic and international environmental impacts, and the increasingly precarious state of the global environment presents important new challenges to U.S. national interests. Day-to-day military operations, together with arms production, testing, deployment, and trade, are resource intensive and ecologically damaging. Although such activities are subject to growing environment-related legal and political constraints, most peacetime military activities and foreign operations are still not subjected to rigorous periodic environmental assessment.

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