chapter  6
22 Pages


We have seen that foreign aid efficacy depends largely on mutuality of aims among donor actors and between donor and recipient. In Asia and Latin America, the effects of US aid have been similar in most cases to throwing hats in raging floods. In some areas, the flood was going the US course for a time-Taiwan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Chile. In other areas, the current was not so strong that it could not be redirected by mutual agreement to alter the course of the flood-El Salvador, Philippines, and Haiti. Elsewhere, US aid simply reinforced the destructive effects of flooding by throwing in the hat, when most observers had agreed that it was going in the wrong direction-Somoza’s Nicaragua, Vietnam and Batista’s Cuba. Other viable alternatives existed in each case but were excluded by the US aid policy process. Success and failure turned on the decision-making capacity of US actors to correctly program and execute both economic and military aid. In most cases, the local political currents were rather clearly directed and the only question was whether US policy could adapt to them. Successes or failures to do so were a product of US institutional factors and to a lesser extent problems of understanding local political cultures and practices.