US News and World Report opinion editorial by former Senate Majority Leaders Daschle and Frist: “At a time when many Americans are frustrated w...
Promoting Proven Initiatives that Save Lives Abroad and Enhance US National Security
The United States over the past 15 years has made significant investments in fighting AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in the poorest countries in the world. The benefits have been enormous. Not only have the investments saved lives and made people healthier, they have also helped the U.S. achieve foreign policy goals. They have made the U.S. — and the world — safer.
Supporting strategic health initiatives for millions of people throughout the developing world — people afflicted with preventable, controllable, and even curable diseases — is one of the most effective tools to help the U.S. gain the trust of citizens of other nations, improve our standing in the world and enhance our national security.
The investments we have made in the past have worked. We need to do more.
Of course, there are humanitarian, economic, and foreign policy benefits to global health interventions. These efforts not only save lives and prevent pain and suffering, but also improve economic productivity and reduce the hopelessness that leads to social disruption and violence.
Since the launch of the US President’s Emergency Response Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, the American government has benefited from increased friendship and respect, stronger markets for its goods and services, and better security environments in some of the world’s poorest countries. Both the Bush and Obama administrations are responsible for these successes, but with increased education, research, and advocacy directed at policy makers and the public, much more can be achieved in the future.
A movement of policymakers, academics, and business and civic leaders is growing to demonstrate that global health is an enormously valuable diplomatic tool and accomplishing both short- and long-term objectives in global economic development, national security and foreign policy.
Strategic Health Diplomacy efforts deliver a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer: more productive, stable and peaceful populations.