. . . I doubt we have contributed very much to our own or to our nation's understanding of the U.S. foreign assistance program. . . . If you look at the list of amendments offered to the (foreign aid) bill, you will find that the majority deal with four issues: terrorism, family planning, narcotics and aid to actual or so-called democratic liberation movements. These are important . . . but they have remarkably little to do with what the U.S. foreign aid program can actually accomplish. . . . (T)he problems that are in fact of central importance . . . have been neglected.
We have not, for example, discussed the wisdom during this debate of devoting literally one-half of all U.S. foreign aid to two countries. We have not discussed the extent to which the U.S. foreign military sales program has contributed to Third World debt and to military instability in several regions. . . . We have spent little or no time talking about the effectiveness of the military and humanitarian assistance we do provide.
Have we, for example, really strengthened democratic institutions and gained friends for the United States through the hundreds of millions of dollars we have poured into the Philippines and South Korea in recent years? Are the millions of dollars sent by Americans to North Africa for famine relief being used effectively. . . ? Is our development aid program a match for the grinding human misery and political backwardness of a country like Haiti -- if not, should we be doing more, or should we give up? How much good can our foreign aid program do for the dozens of countries who have debt interest payments 10 times the amount we annually provide in assistance to them?