Candidate Donald Trump promised to cut aid to countries that “hate us,” and in February, a month after becoming president, he proposed slashing foreign aid by nearly a third. Advocates of a robust aid program point out that foreign military and economic aid represents a mere 1.3 percent of the federal budget and say it is vital in protecting U.S. security interests, spreading democracy and promoting U.S. exports. More than 120 retired military officers wrote to Congress opposing cuts in foreign aid, saying it prevents conflict and helps keep poor countries from breeding terrorism. But critics of U.S. aid policy argue that too much is spent on programs that fail to produce results or winds up funding despotic regimes. With aid programs scattered across two dozen agencies, both critics and advocates of foreign assistance agree the U.S. aid bureaucracy could be more efficient. Some suggest reducing the number of agencies managing aid programs; others want more privatization of U.S. aid efforts.