Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

U.S. foreign aid & immigration

The United States uses foreign policy to save money. Wars are expensive. A single Hellfire missile costs more than my annual salary. That’s one shot. It doesn’t include the operational costs to get the missile in place to fire it.

The superior firepower makes winning likely, but we don’t have a great track record of successfully leaving. We struggle making sure the country we invade is stable without our presence.

Afghanistan wasn’t stable with us there. We never invested enough forces to eradicate the Taliban. And even when we sent large forces, they mostly skipped over to other countries. Similar with Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya.

There used to be overwhelming numbers of Mexicans attempting to enter the US. How we trade there significantly reduced the numbers trying to come here. Better exports from there to the US improved job prospects, so the number of migrants dropped. Better foreign policy to improve trade improved the  border situation.

The news media talks more about walls, asylum seekers being given a court date & released, and increasing the staff of the border patrol than they do WHY people come. People seeking asylum are desperate. So, why is that?

Venezuela:

Maduro’s presidency has been marked by a complex political, social and economic crisis that has pushed millions into poverty and driven over 7.4 million people to migrate, increasingly to the U.S., whose economic sanctions in the name of democracy and human rights have been a major blow to Venezuela’s oil industry. Absent fair electoral conditions, Venezuela could be further alienated by the international community. Workers fed up with unfulfilled promises and a minimum wage that’s just enough to buy a gallon of water may choose to migrate.

Millions have fled Venezuela under President Maduro’s rule. Now he’s up for reelection (AP, 2024 Feb 14)

Maduro is the successor to a paranoid socialist dictator. They are dependent on oil on which we imposed sanctions. Inflation has been insane there for decades. I think the sanctions were about getting the people to do their own regime change. Is there a country that changed or overturned their oppressive leadership because of sanctions? No: North Korea, Iran, Iraq (under Saddam), Libya, Venezuela. How we restrict trade with this country influenced why so many seek asylum here.

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru:

A lethal mix of drugs, readily available firearms, and unemployed youth is fueling a wave of violence that has taken on epidemic proportions. Ecuador is now ground zero for the region’s gang brutality. Whether Quito succeeds in containing the violence will depend as much on how it manages corruption and political instability as it does on the brute force called upon to suppress organized crime.

A “PLAN ECUADOR” IS NEEDED: U.S. ASSISTANCE SHOULD DRAW LESSONS FROM THE PAST (War on the Rocks, 2024 Feb 5)

Colombia stopped with the aggressive cocaine eradication. Ecuador has a great port. So there is a ton of fighting of gangs for access, so this stuff can be shipped to Mexico and Albania. This is the Neverending 1980s War on Drugs still being a problem today. Making drugs illegal has just made them lucrative for gangs and cartels.

Basically, my point is that instability created the problem of people trying to migrate to the US. Fix the problems there with changes to trade, and we have a manageable immigration situation here.

Trade agreements to bolster foreign jobs so that unemployed get jobs will help. It may mean helping dictators we don’t like fixing the economy and securing their stranglehold on the country so that the people can survive.


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