Ross K asked a good question in my post about how UN member states voted on granting Palestine non-member statehood recognition. The Pacific island microstates of Palau, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands all voted with the U.S. and Israel. Why?
Money. American money.
Palau has a population of 20,956. Its GDP is $164m. It received $852 million in aid from the U.S. over the last 15 years.
Micronesia has a pop. of 111,000. Its GDP is $341m. It will receive $100m a year in direct assistance from the U.S. through 2023. Micronesia gets another $100m annually from us in federal grants and services.
Marshall Islands has 68,000 people. Its GDP is $115m. It will get $70m per year from us through 2023.
And what about tiny Nauru? Australia, not the U.S., is its main benefactor. But Nauru's vote is for sale. In exchange for $50m from the Russians, Nauru recognized the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. So either the U.S. or Israel is about to generously donate millions in aid to Nauru.
So it's money, right?