Our nation and others across the globe have experienced terrorism in some form or another. There has been too much devastation to human life, and many who submit to this violence grow up in an environment stricken by poverty. The United States’ national security is tied to global poverty.

The United States could do so much more to help nations that are heavily involved in terrorist recruitment. The Borgen Project is an organization that promotes innovation in poverty reduction and builds awareness of successes by meeting with congressional leaders to get their support.

The public believes that the United States spends more than it should on addressing global poverty, but in reality it spends less than 1 percent on foreign aid. The public needs to be aware of this shortcoming. Having more support on ending global poverty would not only save lives in those nations but also our own because we would be improving our national security.

Many people involved in the military stand for strengthening diplomacy and development efforts, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. Strengthening nonmilitary tools would help our allies and fight the spread of poverty, disease, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The Borgen Project is building awareness for economic, national security and diplomatic reasons for strong U.S. leadership in addressing global poverty. If the U.S. were more involved, we could make our country and the world better places for all human beings.

Samantha Smith

Columbus