Obama pledges aid to Haiti

Obama pledges aid to Haiti

President Obama on Thursday promised $100 million along with more American troops for the relief effort in Haiti, vowing that the United States would stand with the impoverished nation as it grappled with the devastation of its capital city.

The Pentagon sent 125 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, N.C., and said that by the end of the week their number would grow to 3,000. Military officials said their primary mission would be to provide security as aid began to arrive.

Those Army troops will be supplemented in the coming days by 2,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., who are scheduled to arrive in Haiti by Monday. [continued…]

Editor’s Comment — How much is $100 million?

As much as the US Department of Defense spends in one hour, each hour, 24/7, 365 days a year. (In this case the DoD is of course making a major effort to help the people of Haiti so the US contribution will be more than $100 million.)

But since the United States is expected to spend over $880 billion on defense in 2010, it’s worth asking: Forgetting about the humanitarian imperative, which makes a more significant contribution to the US national security? A $100 million spent on relief work in Haiti or $100 million spent on the war in Afghanistan? (Before Obama announced his surge plan, the war was estimated to be costing $133 million a day.)

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