U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2006 Request [Updated February 17, 2005] [open pdf - 126KB]
From the Summary: "For policymakers, foreign assistance plays a key role in advancing U.S. foreign policy goals in the Middle East. The United States has a number of interests in the region, ranging from support for the state of Israel and Israel's peaceful relations with its Arab neighbors, to the protection of vital petroleum supplies and the fight against international terrorism. U.S. assistance helps to maintain the 1979 Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt and the continued stability of the Kingdom of Jordan, which signed its own peace treaty with Israel in 1994. U.S. funding also works to improve Palestinian civil society, and aid officials have worked to ensure that U.S. aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not diverted to terrorist groups. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has established new region-wide aid programs to promote democracy and encourage socio-economic reform in order to undercut the forces of radicalism in some Arab countries. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, "'A comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and to enhance prospects for their children's future.'"
CRS Report for Congress, RL32260