Does progress on the Millennium Development Goals enhance American national security interests? The Obama administration apparently thinks so. They even included the MDGs and other development themes in their recent National Security Strategy:
The freedom that America stands for includes freedom from want. Basic human rights cannot thrive in places where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine they need to survive. The United States has embraced the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and is working with others in pursuit of the eradication of extreme poverty—efforts that are particularly critical to the future of nations and peoples of Africa.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight apparently disagrees with this premise. At a subcommittee hearing on the MDGs that I attended this morning he railed against the very idea that security threats could emanate from poor countries. After, all, he said, “Adolf Hitler came from a developed country!”
Touche, Congressman. Touche.