The "super committee's" apparent failure to cut a deal to trim $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next decade is set to trigger blanket budget cuts, including $500 billion from the Pentagon's budget. In the face of looming cutbacks, maintaining cost-effective investments in the multilateral development banks (MDBs) -- World Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development -- is critical.
U.S. security hinges on the success of stability and counterinsurgency operations in weak or failed states like Afghanistan and Pakistan. As former General and current CIA Director David Petraeus reiterated in testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee last spring, long-term security requires far more than a military strategy; it requires confronting poverty and deprivation where despair breeds fanaticism and violence. Economic development counters bankrupt agendas of extremism with hope and opportunity.
The groundbreaking 2011 World Bank report on Conflict, Security & Development outlines the critical role that the MDBs can and will play in helping citizens rebuild economies and institutions, and forge confidence and cohesion out of crisis. Given their mandate and expertise, the MDBs are uniquely positioned to nurture stability in fragile and conflict-torn states, and confront poverty and deprivation around the world.