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18 March 2002

U.S. Views Security as Part of Development Strategy

(Poverty can breed terrorism, State's Larson Says) (320)
By Andrzej Zwaniecki
Washington File Staff Writer
Monterrey, Mexico -- The security provided by the United States to
different regions of the world is part of its contribution to
development, U.S. Under Secretary of State Alan Larson says.
Speaking March 18 to reporters covering the Financing for Development
conference in Monterrey, Mexico, Larson said that there is no
long-term economic development without security. He said that some of
the development in East Asia would not happen if not for security
ensured by the United States in the region.
Afghanistan is a good example of a country "where we can help
development through security measures," Larson said.
The Bush administration understands that extreme poverty can be
incubator for "disturbing developments", including terrorism, he said.
However, he added that the administration understands there is no
clear link between poverty and terrorism and does not view the fight
against terrorism as the main justification for development
Larson said that the United States makes a clear distinction between
humanitarian and development aid. That is why the United States was
the largest donor of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan even when that
country was ruled by the Taliban regime it "despised," Larson said.
Responding to a question during a later briefing for representatives
of non-governmental organizations, the under secretary indicated that
the security alone does not justify providing development assistance.
Larson justified U.S. military assistance to Pakistan because that
country has strongly supported the fight against global terrorism.
But, he added, development aid the U.S. administration offers to
Pakistan is not tied to security concerns but rather to a good poverty
reduction strategy the Pakistani government has implemented.
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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