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Foreign Aid Proposal Is Silver Lining to Perry Campaign

Author: Ryan Kaminski, Senior Program Manager for Human Rights, United Nations Foundation
January 24, 2012
Houston Chronicle


As the drama of the GOP primary continues, it may be time for the remaining candidates, and even the Obama administration, to take a second look at Texas Gov. Rick Perry's ill-fated presidential run. Among many lessons learned from Perry's campaign, the ground-breaking concept of strategic defensive aid appears most significant.

The short history of the term - SDA for short - began in a November 2011 debate, when Perry called for zeroing out U.S. foreign aid budgets for all countries. This naturally flowed from Perry's suggestion to engage in a "serious discussion" about defunding the United Nations just a month earlier. But after getting flak from threatening to eliminate all foreign aid, which many political analysts noted would include Israel's aid, Perry clarified his stance. Via Twitter, he called Israel a "special ally," hinting it would be exempted from aid cuts.

Subsequently, at a December 2011 Jewish Coalition event, Perry first enunciated the concept of strategic defensive aid in reference to Israel. In particular, Perry claimed "Strategic defensive aid, strategic aid in all forms, will increase to Israel," while calling Israel "the cornerstone of my larger global strategy."

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