The Foreign Service Journal - July/August 2017
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Two Separate Things

President Donald Trump recently

admonished many of our NATO allies

for not meeting the target of spending

2 percent or more of GDP on military


But the shoe is on the other foot

when it comes to economic and social

development expenditures (foreign

aid). The United States is among the

worst in not meeting the Organization

for Economic Cooperation and Devel-

opment’s target of 0.7 percent of GDP

for such expenditures.

We are only at 0.17 percent, ranking

20 out of 28 member countries. Our rep-

resentatives at OECD, including myself

some years ago, attempt to justify our

poor record partly by stressing that we

meet our military obligations. But our

friends invariably reply that these are

“two separate things.”

Military expenditures represent hard

power. Development expenditures,

along with diplomacy, are soft power.

It is the latter—backed up from time to

time by the former—that are the best

tools for dealing with the conflicts of

our times. The bulk of our politicians

and citizenry do not understand that.

Raymond Malley

Senior FSO (State and USAID),


Hanover, New Hampshire


The June Talking Point on the 70th

anniversary of the Marshall Plan mis-

takenly states that Secretary of State

George C. Marshall received the Nobel

Peace Prize in 1949. He received that

award in 1953. We regret the error.