Lessons for the development of the regional influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Introducing the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)​​​​​​​

Report No: 104

After the end of the Second World War, the United States of America, with the aim of promoting its national security and well-being, took a new strategy to develop its economic, cultural and social influence in the world by shaping the governance and internal structures of the countries. Later, this strategy was introduced in scientific literature under the name of "nation building". The United States is the oldest and most experienced country in using this strategy to influence different countries, especially Muslim countries.

The beginning of the use of this strategy by the United States goes back to the European Reconstruction Plan (Marshall) and the establishment of the Economic Cooperation Agency (ECA) to implement it. At the same time as the implementation of the Marshall Plan in Europe, Truman's principle 4 program was followed as a technical assistance program for political stability and economic and social progress by the General Administration of Technical Cooperation (TCA) in developing countries. After that, in 1951, with the approval of the Mutual Security Act, the two institutions were merged into the Mutual Security Agency (MSA), and the management of military and civilian aid of the United States to other countries was centralized under it. In the following years, the institution in charge of these foreign aid faced changes and finally in 1961, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was formed based on the "Foreign Aid" Act. Currently, the United States Agency for International Development is the most important overseas development agency of the United States, which expands the interests of the American foreign policy, including hegemony, liberal democracy, and free markets, in more than 100 countries around the world.

The United States International Development Agency's actions in the economic field are divided into two general actions: "making the country attractive to American investors" and "integrating countries into the global supply chain of large American companies." Nearly two-thirds of the growth in U.S. merchandise exports has been to USAID partners over the past 10 years, according to world trade statistics. This growth in exports has been realized due to the growth of prosperity resulting from the programs of the United States Agency for International Development in the target countries and is considered a vital factor in the exit of the United States from the recent recessions. Also, with the increase in demand created in developing countries, unemployment in America has also decreased. For example, US exports to Africa, Asia and Latin America alone have created 11.5 million jobs in this country. In short, many jobs in the United States come from the export performance of American companies in markets that the agency has established in developing countries.

Examining the experience of the United States in the development of American international influence shows:

1- The main goal of the activities is to promote the national security of the United States.
2- A grand strategic plan and special custodian institution have been considered for the development of economic influence in the world.
3- The US Congress follows this process by approving the law and monitoring its implementation.
4- The need to expand the export of the United States, to play an active role in developing the markets of developing countries, has been stated.
5- The foreign aid of the United States has led to the economic growth of this country by developing exports and supporting domestic production.
6- The agency's activities have ensured a stable supply of raw materials for American industries.

7- The areas of activity of the agency in the target countries are:

A) macroeconomic stability
b) Strengthening financial markets
c) Increasing access to energy
d) Strengthening agriculture
e) Improving the business environment for private businesses
f) Educational promotion
g) Improving health services
h) Confronting and helping in crises

8- Strengthening the power of trade with the American economy has been pursued in the target countries.
9- The development of economic influence in the target countries requires cultural influence and attention has been paid to it.
10- The internal power of the target countries has been used to activate their internal capacities.
11- United States financial aid to target countries has been intelligently managed.
12- The mechanism of financial aid recycling has been followed in the target countries.
13- Utilization and support of the private sector's capacity has been pursued in the programs of the International Development Agency and they have been supported.
14- In addition to financial aid in some countries, other advisory aid has become institutionalized and dominated by the United States.

Executive Summary

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