Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

U.S. Aid

Hopefully this 2018 foreign aid budget request is dead on arrival in Congress

The Trump administration issued its 2018 budget request to Congress today. We’ll have a proper memo out about this tomorrow. For now, here’s a crude graphic that shows pretty clearly how radical and irresponsible the foreign aid part of the request is. The Homeland Security request, meanwhile, proposes to build 74 miles of border wall […]

Read More

U.S. Aid to Colombia in 2017

Here’s a graphic, and the appendix, of a piece I co-authored with WOLA’s Colombia senior associate, Gimena Sánchez, in advance of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’s May 17-19 visit to Washington. Read the whole thing here. Appendix: U.S. Aid to Colombia in 2017 The 2017 omnibus appropriation for Colombia approves approximately $450 million in assistance. It would go through […]

Read More

WOLA Podcast: The Central America Monitor

Congress appropriated $750 million in aid for Central America for 2016, and $655 million more for 2017. What’s in these aid packages? Which countries are getting what? What do U.S.-funded programs propose to do? Are they achieving their goals? Next Wednesday (May 17) my colleague Adriana Beltrán, who runs WOLA’s Citizen Security program will join […]

Read More

“Peace Colombia” aid is still in the 2017 appropriation

The table of aid to Colombia following this paragraph comes from the explanatory statement for the State Department and foreign aid part of the 2017 budget bill (PDF). It reflects the deal struck in Congress on Sunday to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, averting a government shutdown. And here is […]

Read More

White House proposes 38.9 percent cut in economic aid to Latin America

On Monday, Foreign Policy reporters Bryant Harris, Robbie Gramer, and Emily Tamkin shared a draft 2018 budget document (PDF) that they somehow obtained from the Trump administration. It’s a printout of a table showing how the White House would cut economic aid to the world in its 2018 budget request for the U.S. Agency for […]

Read More

Launched! “Putting the Pieces Together”

I’m delighted to announce that WOLA has just launched “Putting the Pieces Together: A Global Guide to U.S. Security Aid Programs.” This is an epic, sprawling, deep-in-the-weeds attempt to get a handle on all the ways that the U.S. government can work with, give weapons to, train, advise, or otherwise support about 160 countries’ militaries […]

Read More

A huge archive of U.S. policy toward Colombia—as it stood 10 years ago

Between 1999 and 2007, when I worked at the Center for International Policy (CIP), I made and maintained a huge online archive about Colombia. I was pretty intense about keeping a thorough record of what was happening. My Colombia page had copies of every report or document we wrote, everything I saw that a public U.S. official said […]

Read More

Podcast: “The Thing”

Here I talk about a new tool we’ve made for monitoring military aid programs, and why it’s important. Did you know that the U.S. government now has 107 programs that it can use to aid foreign militaries and police forces? Neither did I, before we started working on what turned out to be a huge report, […]

Read More

WOLA on the Trump budget proposal

WOLA put out a good statement this morning about the Trump administration’s dumpster fire of a budget proposal. “This budget plan, if enacted, would have disastrous results. By increasing military spending by $54 billion while cutting spending on civilian diplomacy and assistance, the Trump administration is militarizing foreign aid,” said Adam Isacson, WOLA Senior Associate […]

Read More

How would you even begin to cut foreign aid by 29 percent?

The Trump administration’s 2018 budget request is out. Though the next year’s budget request to Congress is normally due the first Monday in February, a new administration is traditionally given a few months (usually until sometime in April) to come up with the whole thing. The document that came out today is called the “skinny […]

Read More
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.