Question: Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict
Investing early to prevent war is 60 times more cost efective than military intervention after a crisis erupts. Yet Congress has cut funding even for small programs, like the Complex Crises Fund and Civilian Response Corps, that can help prevent violent conlict. Will you support full funding for State Department and USAID programs that help prevent war?
President Obama, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and congressional leaders of both major parties agree that the United States needs more than just military might to build security in today’s world. Even though international affairs spending makes up less than 2 percent of the federal budget, Congress does not adequately fund civilian tools like diplomacy, development and international cooperation. Years of underinvestment have crippled our country’s ability to prevent deadly conlict before the killing starts.
Instead of pouring billions of dollars into war-making, the United States should invest in programs such as the Complex Crises Fund and Civilian Response Corps. These funds are innovative tools that equip the U.S. Agency for International Development and State Department to help peacefully prevent deadly conlict.
In the absence of these types of rapidly available civilian tools, the military has been left to fund and direct many activities that should be civilian-led. If a crisis breaks out or a violent conlict erupts, civilian agencies have few resources available to engage in rapid preventive diplomacy or to launch crisis mitigation programs. The Complex Crises Fund and Civilian Response Corps are inexpensive tools that can help prevent deadly conlict so that costly military intervention is not needed.
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