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The struggle to garner support for humanitarian aid has become a contentious issue that echoes through history. While Congress finally passed a crucial $95 billion package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, it is evident that humanitarian assistance has now become a political football.

Reflecting on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Blockade, it is remarkable to consider the triumph of the West during that momentous period of the Cold War. Between June 1948 and May 1949, the Soviets attempted to drive the West out by blockading West Berlin. However, the West engineered an incredible response. Over the course of the 323-day Berlin Airlift, more than 200,000 American and British flights delivered approximately 2.3 million tons of vital supplies to West Berlin, effectively thwarting Soviet aggression.

It is here where the dichotomy emerges between the success of the Berlin Airlift and the present-day battle over humanitarian aid. The key to the Airlift’s achievement lies in the government’s ability to sell the American people on the importance of providing assistance. This important lesson seems to have been overlooked by contemporary politicians.

Instead of recognizing the vital role that strong public support played in the success of the Berlin Airlift, today’s politicians seem caught up in bitter debates, failing to effectively communicate the necessity of humanitarian aid. In order to truly address the critical needs of those in distress, it is imperative that policymakers learn from the past and prioritize the task of convincing the American people of the value of providing assistance.

As we commemorate the Berlin Airlift, let us not forget the lessons it taught us. It is crucial, now more than ever, that the government recognizes the importance of consensus-building and actively works towards garnering public support for humanitarian efforts. Only then can we truly tackle the complex challenges of the present and effectively address the pressing needs of those who rely on our assistance.