Shoshanna Bryan writes at The Gatestone Institute
Since 1987, the U.S. has spent about $1.25 billion annually for arms plus about $250 million in economic support to Egypt. Additional millions were spent on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) between to help Egypt create civil society organizations to provide wider space for political parties and media.
Afghanistan is the recipient of buckets of money – nearly $3 billion annually in health, education, economic infrastructure and governance for the past six years, plus billions more for military training and equipment. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in an effort to bring tolerant, representative government to the Afghan people and rout the Taliban "radicals."
After a dozen years of our lives and treasure, American troops are supposed to adopt the cultural norms of seventh-century Afghans, rather than expecting the Afghans to show some 21st century tolerance for women and homosexuals, or aversion to pedophilia.
Pakistan received $3 billion in FY 2012; $1.6 billion in security assistance and $1.4 billion for economic development. Since 2001, more than $20 billion, including $9 billion in reimbursement for expenses supporting US military operations.
Libya? What we achieved in Libya hardly bears asking the question.
The U.S. and its allies could not, similarly, overthrow the Soviet Union or liberate its colonies. But we did not pretend they were our friends, and we surely did not give them aid or political support. The best of the Cold Warriors – think John F. Kennedy, Henry M. Jackson, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Ronald Reagan – spurred the United States staunchly to defend its political beliefs as "better;" defend its friends militarily through NATO, COCOM and other joint efforts; guard as much as possible against communist expansion into free countries; and let the "captive nations" know through Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty that we were on their side.
That would translate today into unequivocal support for human rights, civil rights, minority rights and capitalism; support for Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq (because we are responsible for it now), the Central Asian "Stans," Tunisia (still) and Turkey (maybe); guarding against al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood expansion in Africa – including loudly denouncing attacks on Christians in Nigeria, Kenya and Mali; and expanded use of social networks to provide real information and hope for the future to those many people who want to be on our side, with America.
Read more here: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3519/american-influence