Exum observes that "165 House Republicans voted to completely de-fund USAID as part of austerity measures designed to address the U.S. budget crisis." He notes that these same conservatives oppose cutting the defense budget. The non sequitur:
[T]he money we spend through USAID is part of our national security budget. Some money, such as the money we spent through both the defense and aid budgets in Haiti last year, we spend for mostly altruistic purposes. But the two biggest recipients of U.S. international aid through USAID are Afghanistan and Pakistan. We can have a separate debate about whether or not this money is being well spent, but we cannot have a debate as to why it is being spent: it is quite obviously being spent to advance what are seen to be the national security interests of the United States.