Week 6

This week’s readings all revolved around the USAID, their ulterior motives, and their consequences to providing aid in African countries (and I would assume just about anywhere else). The first two articles by Alice Hill, and Jeremy Presholdt, sang to a similar tune; both articles highlight the hidden agenda to the aid which is being provided by the US, using “development” as a front for fighting their war on terrorism (a Trojan horse, as Hill’s article is so aptly named). Presholdt argues that this hidden agenda is causing adverse harm to certain groups of people within Kenya and in hindsight we can see a similar pattern across the globe, the alienation of the Muslim population is not confined within Kenya’s borders.

The third article by Jeremy Keenan, while difficult to follow, did not surprise me in its message. He discusses the US-Algeria relations and how both governments had skewed intelligence and at time constructed false facts, acting rather suspiciously in order to make the presence of the US in the region seem legitimate. This is not the only time the US has construed and manifested false facts (Hello Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq) so that they could “get their way”.

But after reading these articles I reflected upon the situation the US is on the world stage, not to say that their actions are acceptable but they are certainly in a position where they are “damned if they do, and damned if they don’t”. So from a (somewhat) realist perspective, if the most powerful country in the world is required to do something why would they not do it in a way which benefits them? Can you really expect the US to be altruistic in their actions? is it reasonable to believe that governments should be transparent or are their some things which should not be made known to the public?

Jen D

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