The Middle Eastern country of Syria is rapidly becoming a flashpoint as sectarian strife continues, the use of chemical weapons is alleged and possible Israeli involvment is condemned as an act of war. The region is, at the moment, anything but peaceful - all this despite long-term US efforts to secure peace through pocketbook diplomacy.
Over the last six decades, the U.S. has invested $299 billion in military and economic aid for Middle East and Central Asian countries currently in turmoil. Egypt tops a list of 10 nations, receiving $114 billion since the end of World War II. Iraq comes in second, getting nearly $60 billion from the U.S. (over and above war costs).
Far outpacing those ten countries is Israel, an ally that got another $185 billion in U.S. aid in the same period. Its close neighbor Syria is near the low end of the aid spectrum, but is certainly taking center stage in world affairs today.
What did all that money buy the U.S.? Neither regional stability nor automatic support. In fact, some lawmakers want to pull back U.S. aid. Check out our infographic for more on where the money went. See “What Do Others Say” for more opinions on U.S. aid abroad, then add yours to the discussion below. How much should we be giving to troubled countries? What should we expect in return?