A recent estimate by Brown University put the cost for our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at about 3 to 4 trillion dollars. We also give Israel about $3 billion in direct foreign aid every year. I mention these things to illustrate that we are spending a fortune to help countries that are located on the other side of the world, with questionable benefits.
Meanwhile, our next-door neighbor Mexico gets only a little more than $400 million in aid from us each year. This is despite the fact that Mexico’s problems spill over the border and become our problems too. Illegal immigration, for example, wouldn’t be a problem if Mexico had a healthier economy. And the Mexican drug cartels generate violence and corruption in this country too. Furthermore, a wealthier Mexico would mean more customers for our products.
Since it’s so obvious that a more prosperous and safe Mexico would be a wonderful thing for us too, you have to wonder why helping Mexico isn’t one of our nation’s primary foreign policy objectives.
I’ve often discussed this situation with Mexican-born Americans and asked them what they thought about it. Their replies have always been the same. They say the reason we don’t help Mexico more is that a more effective Mexican government would be a threat to American corporate interests in Mexico.
I don’t know if I buy their conspiracy theory. A lot of Mexicans are still angry about losing the Mexican-American War and seem to want to always assign ulterior motives to our actions. But since this belief seems to be popular in Mexico, I won’t dismiss it either. My personal opinion is that we virtually ignore Mexico because they are mostly brown people.
But whatever the reason, it’s ridiculous that U.S. foreign policy isn’t focused more on Mexico.
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