For decades, the U.S. has been propping up regimes that support a designated terrorist entities. American taxpayer dollars have funded global syndicates whose paramilitary forces have participated in rape, torture, hate crimes and mass murder.
These aren’t some third world military dictatorships who have remained in power for towing the line and conforming with American interests. Rather, the U.S. has continued to support a powerless and corrupt United Nations General Assembly, thereby funding some of the most despicable regimes of the last half-century. U.S. President Donald Trump plans to put an end to that financial support by slashing the 2018-2019 UN budget by $285 million.
The buck stops here
The president campaigned on a promise to reduce American contributions to the UN, arguing that the intergovernmental organization has been increasingly at odds with American values and interests. A statement from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, drafted by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, explains the decision to slash the budget:
In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.
The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked. This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction. While we are pleased with the results of this year’s budget negotiations, you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests.
The U.S. currently funds an asymmetric 22 percent of the UN’s budget, or $3.3 billion annually. The next greatest contributor is Japan, who provides for just under 10 percent of the organization’s budget.
The General Assembly’s latest budget negotiations resulted in $5.4 billion allocated towards regular operations for 2016-2017. This regular budget is separate from the UN’s peacekeeping operations allowances which topped $8 billion in the year ending June 30th, 2016.
Disagreements between the 193-member UNGA and the U.S. came to a head last week after 128 members voted to reverse the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is unconscionable, especially in light of the fact that the General Assembly has consistently supported Hamas, the terrorist-designated regime which controls the Palestinian authority.
As part of the Security Council, the U.S. quickly reversed this resolution, but not before the diplomatic damage was done. Before the vote, Ambassador Haley promised that the U.S. would be “taking names” of those nations which opposed U.S. support for Israel, implying that international aid packages were at stake.
— State of Palestine (@Palestine_UN) December 18, 2017
History of failure and impotence
The Trump administration’s concerns with UN spending reflect the uneasiness that many conservatives and anti-globalists bear for an intergovernmental body that has failed at accomplishing its basic mandate, and in many cases has even exacerbated tensions in global hot spots.
In recent years, the UN has failed to prevent nuclear proliferation, had a United Nations Charter to intervene and prevent genocide in Syria vetoed by China and Russia, and failed to prevent ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and the Sudan.
UN peacekeeping forces deployed to Rwanda in 1994 to prevent mass genocide completely abandoned a school established to provide humanitarian aid after ten Belgian soldiers were killed, allowing the displaced Rwandans to be massacred by roving bands of Hutus.
Most significantly, wherever UN troops are stationed, populations that the organization is sworn to protect are subjected to shocking increases in child sex abuse.
Nations with some of the world’s worst records for human rights abuses have led the UN Human Rights Council. Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela and Cuba have all sat on the Human Rights Council despite the deplorable examples they set.
Yet, America continues to fork over more money to the UN than the next top three greatest contributors combined. Former Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) was among the U.S. lawmakers to call for a Brexit-style withdrawal from the UN, which the congressman argues has “become an anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-democratic, anti-freedom mob.”
“We need some type of alternative,” argued Franks. “A Covenant of Democratic Nations … We need to repeal and replace.”
Opposing American interests
The Trump administration is not the first to consider using financial disincentives to dissuade member-states from supporting America’s enemies. As far back as 1983, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick testified on how the U.N. could be “made a more effective instrument for problem-solving and peace-making among nations, an institution which helps resolve difference rather and exacerbate them.”
Like Haley, Kirkpatrick suggested targeting “voting behavior, in multilateral organizations like the United Nations … one of the criteria we employ in deciding whether we will provide assistance, and what type of assistance and in what amount.”
Since then, Congress began tracking the voting behaviors of individual nations within the UN to determine the level of support that countries that are the recipients of U.S. foreign aid exhibit. These reports, collected since 1984, demonstrate that the member states vote with the U.S. just 32 percent of the time on average.
These budget cuts represent the first step in finally standing up to international pressure that is overwhelmingly anti-Israeli, anti-American and undemocratic. For too long, successive presidential administrations have kept the UN from sinking into fiscal insolvency and complete impotence, only to be rewarded with policies that consistently oppose basic American interests. President Trump just declared that that stops now.