Today’s edition of “Spared by the Sequester” features a new U.S. Agency for International Development contract with Creative Associates International, for an amount “not to exceed $24,841,411,” to support national crime prevention efforts of the government of El Salvador. The contract was awarded March 19; the project has a base period of three years and an option period of two years.
Now, we would all like the El Salvador crime rate to go down. As Duncan Currie wrote for NRO about the country back in 2011, El Salvador is “a shockingly violent country that, outside of neighboring Honduras, has the highest murder rate on earth. The figures are just mind-boggling: Last year, El Salvador suffered 71 killings per 100,000 inhabitants, making it far bloodier than Iraq or Afghanistan.” He added, “its civilian institutions — such as the police and the judiciary — remain dangerously fragile and plagued by corruption.”
But… is aid for El Salvador a higher priority than, say, scholarships for children of military personnel slain in of Iraq and Afghanistan? Or tuition assistance for members of the military? Or any one of the other government services being cut by the Obama administration as it administers the sequester?
You’ll recall, of course, that the Senate considered a bill to give the president greater flexibility in administering sequester cuts. Only two Democrats voted for it, along with 36 Republicans.