AIDS Also Threatens Global Stability
Letter to the Editors
In yet another example of an unbalanced approach to national security (Real World, “Government Announces $159B Deficit,” Oct.25), last Wednesday President Bush signed into law the largest military budget increase in two decades, authorizing $355.5 billion to give the Pentagon “every resource, every weapon, and every tool they need.” Instead of working out problems that will flare up into national security threats later on, we are overspending and indulging our military in the hopes that we can stave off these threats as they develop. Such an approach will perpetuate the need for always increasing military expenditures. A recent report from the National Intelligence Council identifies the AIDS epidemic as a threat to global and regional security because of its potential to disrupt the military, political and social aspects of key countries including China, Russia and India. This threat is developing right now, with Russia’s infection rate doubling every year. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on the world to donate the $10 billion a year necessary to fight these destabilizing epidemics, of which America’s share is $2.5 billion. We should donate at least this figure, because only by balancing our security perspective will we be able to ensure a safer more humane world at a cost acceptable to Americans.
Rene H. Shen ’05
Oct. 26, 2002
The writer is a member of the Student Global AIDS Campaign.