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Should development assistance be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa?

  • We need to attack the roots

    In order to reduce terrorism we need to attack the roots which are hunger and poverty. In order to help hunger we need to provide food and to help with poverty we need to stabilize the government. If we put in military aid over development assistance this will just cause more instability and just increase terrorism. Ya get me?

  • Of course it should

    The people there need the development of trees to survive that way the people survive. I think that the development is better than the military aid because when the military aid comes than there might be less survivers than there were before. Its not like military aid come 24/7. Ya know what i mean

  • More weapons will only create more violence

    Sending more weapons is not going to solve anything. It will only create more violence and more death. Military "aid" is a waste of resources, it will only create more problems. The region needs more food and infrastructure to create stability. Just throwing some bombs there will only create more violence.

    Posted by: be9k
  • Saving the Most Lives

    In the Sahel, 300,000 children die yearly from malnutrition. That is compared to only 3,000 who die yearly in the region due to terroristic violence. It is our obligation, as donor countries to save the most lives. Development aid in the Sahel has the ability to decrease this 300,000 statistic, a far more pressing concern, and thus should be prioritized.

  • Conflict fuels terrorism

    This question asks weather we should feed a man a fish, or teach a man to fish. The military joint company comprised of Algeria, Mali, Niger and Mauritania had been designed to tackle terrorist threats across the Sahel region. While I do find the threat of terrorism in Sahel apparent, I do not see it as prominent as the millions of people in the area suffering a weak infrastructure. The fact of the matter is, these military threats are not as catastrophic as it usually is. In Fareed Zakaria’s “Post American World”, He explains that the terrorism has actually gone down considerably in many regions of the world, including Africa. Yet everyday we get the same “breaking news” headline telling us that a French mall in Mali has been captured by an Al-Qaeda backed organization, or terrorist raids in Sudan- tragic events to be sure, but often with death tolls under ten. In fact, according to the International Journal of Security and Stability, Sahel is the least violent region in the entire continent.
    However, Many U.S. citizens fail to recognize the annual death of 300,000 children due to malnutrition in the area, or the thousands of women today that simply cannot receive education because it is not backed by their government. The region has staggering rates of poverty, which is the real issue in the area. The United States has an obligation to tackle terrorism wherever it may be. But before we are a “international police force,” before we are a “Global leader in military support” before we are the “ vanquisher in the war on terror,” we are first a loving friend and a caring brother.

  • Even if we stop the terrorists

    People could still die because of malnutrition and disease. It won't help to stop one threat even though the other one could kill just as quickly. If we put in more military that would drain the resources they have now because the people in the military need food and water just like the people who live there.

  • Disease and Hunger have always been the biggest killer in any nation/civilization's survival

    In almost every war or military struggle most people die due to fighting, however most people tend to not think about what happens after. If all the farms are destroyed in an area then hundreds of thousands and possibly millions will die of starvation and disease will finish off those who were able to survive the lack of food. While it is true that stabilization of a nation or region is essential in securing long last peace places like the Sahel region have multiple issues that have been ongoing for decades and any type of military aid or intervention is going to take decades to see lasting stable improvement, which most nations do not have the desire to get into as can be seen with how America handled the whole Iraq occupation only lasting about 2 decades when it took the US three decades and billions of dollars to help Japan become stable again after WWII. By sending developmental aid we can insure that people are not starving or dying of disease while at the same time sowing seeds for later generations to finally take the necessary steps to improve themselves instead of America or the UN forcing it on others and possibly leading to an increase in all the violence due to issues with traditions, religions, politics, tribalism and drastic changes in government type. At the end of WWI the Allies forced democracy onto Germany, which failed miserably because the people were unused to it and had no idea how to run a democracy, which was a factor in Hitler's rise to power (among other more prominent factors). Nations cannot be forced to accept changes they are not ready for and until the people in the Sahel region start standing up for themselves and fighting against the warlords, corrupt governments, and terrorist groups instead of trying to hold onto life we cannot hope to see and achieve a lasting stability in the area.

  • Okay so Yes

    Development assistance will create a much needed infrastructure within the Sahel region. It is lack of education and staggering levels of poverty that is the real issue here. Obviously terrorism and other such attacks are a huge problem- but let me ask you, will giving an underdeveloped region guns and soldiers do anything but cause anarchy? Even if it stops the terrorism, the area will remain impoverished and unstable. On the other hand, giving a region development assistance will increase all ends of their quality of life. Including educational and technological advances, and other things that will ultimately assist them in becoming an area stable enough to overcome the terrorist acts. There is no security in giving a corrupt and unsteady government armies. And as soon as they're out of ammo, they're sitting ducks. Give them something renewable! Help them stand on their own two legs, so that they don't need continuous supplies. Invest in giving them a stable enough future that they can fight their own battles. Clearly it is still important to give them military aid- I'm no pacifist hating on gun power-, but in the long run, it is obvious why development assistance should be prioritized over simple ammunition. Without being given proper development, guns are simply adding fuel to the fire.

  • OECD's definition provides a clear explination

    Look at OECD's definition of Military Aid. "military aid - The supply of military equipment and services, and the forgiveness of debts incurred for military purposes, are not reportable as ODA. On the other hand, additional costs incurred for the use of the donor’s military forces to deliver humanitarian aid or perform development services are ODA-eligible."

    Stabilizing an area so you can build bridges, restore land etc... Is considered developmental aid. OECD's definition is already being used for our Definition by the Sahel (as instructed by NFL) so using their definitions for DA and MA makes sense.

  • Oh yeah this is good

    IF we are able to help these countries now, then in the long run we will be helping ourselves. They will be able to sustain themselves and eventually become a superpower some day. This is due to their strategic location. Because we cannot pinpoint the exact location of these people since they are spread out this just shows us how easily we can inject ideas into this culture that could benefit us as a society in the future. This life is a race, a race to become the biggest best and richest. This is why I stand affirmative.

  • We need to stabilize the region

    Simply building schools and giving crops may help the region for a few years but these are unstable governments. There are coups almost every year. This would not be a safe environment for development. According to the gaurdian over 50% of the foreign built schools in mali have been sacked or torched.

  • Military aid solves more of an immediate threat.

    For the average african what is more important: Building an economy and government, or protecting their own safety, and that of their families? While yes, an economy and government is necessary for long-term peace, african individuals are more in need of aid when it comes to the immediate, blatant threat to themselves, that needs to be solved as quick as possible.
    Please no copy-paste.

  • Development aid will cause political genocide

    If we support the Sahel Region via developmental aid, multiple problems will ensue. Perhaps the most dangerous of these problems is the effect of political genocide. Political genocide is the political form of a mass killing. Basically, a government indirectly massacres. By providing increasingly large sustenance for the Sahel region, the american government will be giving terrorists incentive for genocide. These terrorists already have control of the Sahel region. Without military support, the countries of the Sahel region will have no way to protect themselves from the terrorists coming in and taking whatever they want. People will die, supplies will be stolen, and families will be broken apart. The people of the Sahel will have no means of defense; therefore the american government will be wasting of all this aide. Our own american government will indirectly be killing all of these people, considering they cannot defend themselves. Because of the effects of this future political genocide, the american government NEEDS to prioritize military aid before developmental aid.

  • In order for development aid to be effective, military aid must be given first.

    What most people don't realize, is that the terrorist groups in this region control everything. In order for development aid to be implemented, enemy threats must be controlled first, or the development aid will be useless. On another note, America was founded on the premise of our founding fathers standing up to the corrupted British leaders. They rose up among themselves, and won their freedom. Until these people get this mindset, they will always be controlled by other people.

  • Supplies Might Never Make it without cleanup in the area

    This region is full of different tribal wars. These wars are very dangerous and if we send humanitarian aid down there before these wars are contained then there is a risk that these humanitarians may be captured, ransomed, or even killed. Then, the aid that we have spent millions of dollars on, would never reach the correct destination.

  • It would be a waste of money to prioritize development over military protection

    You wouldn't build a house in a highly fire prone area, so why start developing in a high terrorism area? We need to ensure that the development will be put to good use and not taken down by the terrorism in the area. It might actually promote terrorism. It would be a waste of money due to the instability of the area. Before the people can live safely in a home the area has to be safe first. After they secure the area they can then start to work on developing it for the people in the long term but in the immediate term you should focus on military.

  • Food aid which is a necessity is usually diverted

    If we (any country besides ones in the Sahel) provided food aid, then we have to suffer the consequences which may lie between the lines. One of the many consequences of providing food aid is the diversion of the food itself, Somalia example: “As much as half the food aid sent to Somalia is diverted from needy people to a web of corrupt contractors, radical Islamist militants and local United Nations staff members, according to a U.N. Security Council report from March 2010. The extremist and militants who receive the food would be one more threat that would endanger the emissary's we send to help devolope the Sahel region. With developmental aid comes food aid, with food aid extremists and militarys become more powerful, with more powerful forces emissarys we send would forfeit their lives to try helping people in the Sahel.

    However, if we provide military aid, then we would be able to protect the emissarys we send thus allowing us to provide the developmental aid without losing valuable lives due to foreign militarys and extremists. We gain this due to the fact that we have prioritized military aid instead of developmental assistance.

  • Will Become Dependent

    With the amount of developmental assistance now, specifically money, African countries have done nothing but become dependent on international handouts. For example, the budgets of Ghana and Uganda, are more than 50 percent aid dependent. With military aid being prioritized the Sahel region can work to stop terrorism and stabilize their country by becoming more independent.

  • U.N.Military aid may cost more then development but it will be more effective

    If there are criminals, and raiders, and pirates in the Sahel region obviously assistance will not be safe. Leaders will not just let this stuff go in to there countries they will try to stop it. Its common since that military will be needed for protection now I'm not saying we send in a whole army, or a huge force. I'm saying we should go by a plan a member of the U.N. Proposed that all the rich countries aid the U.S. In solving this problem. If all the countries send in a bit of forces to protect and assist the citizens there then what's the problem? Not only are we able to send in food,supplies, stuff like that for the citizens but we are protecting them at the same time.

    Conclusion: This way will not only allow supplies such as food, money etc. To be protected but it will help reduces the crime, and keep the peaceful areas that are left in the Sahel safe from criminal/terrorism corruptness from the neighboring countries, which in turn will allow us to stop the spread of this, and help end this problem at the same time. We will get a lot of public support if we do this as well.

  • Military Aid will pave the way for stability

    Developmental assistance cannot survive in a region ravaged by drug war and overall conflict such as the Sahel. However, military aid can bring about stability, which will pave the way for developmental aid in the region. Without prioritizing military aid in the Sahel, the effects of development assistance presented by the pro side will not be realized. Stability must be prioritized so that developmental assistance can work; however, developmental assistance cannot bring about stability, military aid on the other hand, can. Weapons in the hands of the justified can always solve problems, to quote V "Violence can be used for good," and by definition of military aid, it will be.


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