Some of that aid money does indeed come back to the U.S. in the form of export sales of companies that export goods and services to those nations.
This is, of course, why so-called conservative elitists so often support meddling in developing nations - because all the power players involved are benefitting. Politicians look like they're "helping" other countries, spreading Democracy, etc., and pro-business conservatives are happy that big business is generating exports (never mind that exports are only about 10% of GDP). Of course, in general it's good to generate business sales, but of course in the true, whole picture of free enterprise, one must also consider the ramifications of what each situation entails, for example, supporting enemies of America, etc. If America falls into political-economic disaster as a nation, those few extra export dollars will seem like quite a foolish tradeoff.
Of course, some is skimmed off by the powers that be in the recipient countries.
USAID and the CIA have shared purposes regarding developing nations, and they work with various non-governmental organizations, as well, which, on it's face, sounds like a smart move, i.e., making use of resources that the government does not have to pay for. On the other hand, however, it puts USAID and the CIA in bed with the likes of the Soros network of organizations, jihadists, etc.
Where did foreign aid of this size and for such generic purposes ever get into U.S. foreign policy ?
One extremely influential group is the Council on Foreign Relations
, counting as Directors, Officers and members many of America's elites with strong ties to government.
The CFR dates back to the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson.
Among those currently sitting on the CFR Board:
Muhtar Kent Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
John P. Abizaid Senior Partner, JPA Partners LLC (retired General)
Colin L. Powell United States Army (Ret.)
James W. Owens Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Caterpillar Inc.
Penny Pritzker Founder, Chairman, and CEO, PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group
There are nearly 4,700 members of the Council on Foreign Relations, all of them being amongst what is considered the elite thought leaders of the world.
I, for one, think that intellectual elites, representing various elitist, ideological and big business interests have reached a point where they are not part of the solution, but part of the problem. I think they should no longer have such a significant influence on governmental policy. I base that on two important facts: they are unelected and their influence is largely hidden from the public, though hidden in plain sight. Shedding light on them is, in my opinion, very long overdue.
To that end, I've floated the following idea:
I have over 50 people interested so far - please let me know if you'd like to be on the list.