Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Thursday, November 12, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
CNN reports:
American taxpayers doled out $5.9 billion in foreign military financing in 2014, according to the government's Foreign Assistance report -- that's roughly the GDP of Somalia. But where did the money go?
To the usual suspects, mostly -- Israel ($3.1B) and Egypt ($1.3B) received roughly 75% of all foreign military aid money handed out by the U.S. last year.
This map from the cost-information website shows the relative size of countries based on how much U.S. military aid they receive.

There are a lot of problems with this story, geared to make it look like Israel is taking the lion's share of the US budget spent overseas.

Here's what is not being said up front: The US government, for whatever political or bureaucratic reasons, uses two departments to hand out foreign aid, both military and non-military: the State Department and the Defense Department. Yes, the Defense Department sends out non-military aid as well.

The thinktank quoted by CNN decision to  discuss only military aid  and only from the State Department budget. not total aid. The same document they link to shows over $50 billion in foreign aid in 2014 when you include non-military aid so Israel's percentage goes down from more than half to around 6%.

The second issue is that the vast majority that the US spends overseas is not from the State Department budget, but from the defense budget. The amount directly earmarked for foreign military and economic aid is about another $56 billion,

But that is what is directly spent. Far more is spent indirectly. For example, there are 150,000 US troops stationed in South Korea, the EU and Japan. The best estimate I could find for the cost of each soldier is $112,000 a year for each soldier - in 2004.

That comes out to over $16 billion directly defending other countries and being mostly spent in other countries. (This doesn't count US active combat troops who are far more expensive per soldier.)

The numbers also don't include how much the US defense budget spends on NATO in Europe, which is a difficult number to find but it seems also to be in the tens of billions annually.

The implication that the US spends huge amounts of its overseas budget in Israel is a complete fabrication, In reality, just based on the numbers I  documented here, it is probably closer to 1%.

This is an excellent example of how Israel-haters cherry pick statistics to make Israel look bad - and how lazy news agencies will parrot anything that looks and sounds good without bothering to do any real reporting.

(h/t Andrew)

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 22,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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