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Abstract

In 1989 the revolutions in several Eastern European countries brought an end to The Soviet European empire and ultimately the Cold War. This paper examines the effect the end of the Soviet threat had on America's foreign assistance programs in general, and specifically on US attempts to aid the New Independent States (NIS) and the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Over the course of the years, America's foreign assistance programs have been motivated by a combination of national security considerations, economic self- interest, and humanitarian concerns. However, the US desire to stem Soviet expansion, first in Europe, then in South East Asia, and then in other Third World countries, came to dominate assistance policy. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the common thread of foreign aid goals, the threat of Soviet expansion, also disappeared. Lack of a strong, clear goal for foreign aid, coupled with a new isolationist sentiment and deficit reduction pressures have resulted in a foreign aid crisis. America's foreign aid program suffers from a lack of focus and foreign assistance resources continue to decline. An examination of the record and rationale behind US assistance to the NIS and the CEECs supports this perspective.

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