A Skeptic's View of Aid
The collapse of Soviet power in central and Eastern Europe may well have propelled the newly liberated countries there into an era not only of change but of uncertainty. Yet one implication of the revolutions of 1989 was immediately clear: the region would soon receive a "development assistance" program of foreign aid from the United States. Since the late 1940s, when the United States invented this utterly new form of statecraft, American policy makers have striven to promote self-sustaining economic growth and liberal democratic rule through long-term, government-to-government resource transfers in literally dozens of countries around the world.
At this writing, sure enough, the United States is attempting to fashion such an aid program for Eastern Europe's new governments. Though many of its details have yet to be formalized, or even announced, this program promises to be a major undertaking. It also proposes to affect a great number of people. Excluding eastern Germany (now the responsibility of the Federal Republic of Germany), the population of the region numbers nearly one hundred million. That total does not count Albania and Yugoslavia, though