The Foreign Service Journal - March 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2018 17 put domestic muscle behind the effort. Not long ago I mentioned to old Korean colleagues that some Americans claim that economic assistance does not “work.” They were incredulous and amused. Massive help from us and others was key to their country quickly becom- ing the economic power and vibrant democracy that it is today. Undeniable Benefits Other countries that have benefited include Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Botswana, Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco, Cabo Verde, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, those spawned from the former Yugoslavia and many former members of the Soviet Bloc. Further, in assessing economic assis- tance one must consider results even in countries that remain poor. For example, onchocerciasis (river blindness) has been substantially eliminated in several poor African countries through joint efforts with foreign donors. Throughout the developing world dis- eases have been reduced and pandemics avoided, potable water systems built, chil- dren inoculated, women helped, literacy increased, infrastructure improved, small businesses stimulated, financial markets improved, electricity provided and climate warming addressed. Hundreds of millions of people have benefited. Of course, there have been and continue to be economic assistance disappointments and failures, just as in other complex human undertakings. In my experience, most of these are due to faulty and failed foreign policies rather than to ill-designed or ill-managed assis- tance projects and programs. My team created and carried out perfectly sound activities in Congo/Kinshasa, which were subsequently ruined during civil wars. Due to failed policies our country wasted vast sums in Vietnam, and we are continuing to do the same today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blame the failed poli- cies, not the aid. Raymond Malley is a retired Senior FSO who served with the State Department and USAID. A life member of AFSA, he is also a retired U.S. Air Force Reservist and a retired member of the Halla Business Group, Korea. He has published three books and teaches in the Dartmouth College Osher Extended Learning Department. He currently resides in Hanover, N.H., and McLean, Va. n