Trump is about to run into the budget reality


Trump is about to run into the budget reality

For several weeks now, the White House has been boasting that he is "already achieving results for the American people".

Executive agencies, including the State Department, are reviewing the plan now before the White House submits a final budget to Congress by March 16, but there have been reports that the plan could include up to a 30 percent cut to the State Department's budget or the elimination of whole divisions, such as the envoys for climate change and anti-Semitism.

The proposed cuts are the latest sign that Trump is bent on pursuing hard military power, not diplomacy or other "soft" tools, as the main vehicle to advance USA interests overseas.

But the administration's proposals are just the start of negotiations on a federal budget that must be passed by Congress. Critics said such cuts were unachievable.

Describing the president's request for defense discretionary spending, but without any programmatic details, Mulvaney said the request would be $603 billion for fiscal 2018. With the rising cost of tuition and increased number of layoffs, we should be funding our education sector, not cutting them. The military will lead the fight against terrorism on the battlefield, but it needs strong civilian partners in the battle against the drivers of extremism- lack of opportunity, insecurity, injustice, and hopelessness.

Trump also said he would talk about his plans for infrastructure spending in a speech to Congress on Tuesday.

We can't close our borders to trade and immigration while increasing the largest military in the world by nine percent. I don't think so. "There is no shortage of ammunition or bombs to drop or artillery shells to fire in Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria, because really you're not fighting a sophisticated high-tech enemy in those places". And today's threats from Russia, China and non-state terrorist organizations differ from the singular threat posed by the former Soviet Union, which was met by a long-term deterrence strategy. In September, she released a report that found the United States has spent almost $5 trillion since the September 11, 2001, attacks on homeland security and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan.

"It's a bad sign, but we'll see what actually happens in practice", one department official said. And while both are a concern, De Luce notes, "China has the Pentagon especially anxious". We look scared, xenophobic and
authoritarian. And they've also invested in drones and unmanned robotic technology. They came to see me and they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected.

To be fair, the bump in spending is unprecedented, but so was the condition that preceded it - sequestration.

Shortchanging diplomacy for the sake of a military buildup makes no sense. "Also", he adds, "they feel they need to train USA forces to be more skilled and tech-savvy, and to recruit more technologically savvy troops to run cyber warfare and systems".

"We're going to do more with less", Trump said, promising a government that's "lean and accountable to the people".

Top-line items like tax cuts and healthcare reform will be heavy legislative lifts with a balky conservative caucus in the House and a narrow Republican majority in the Senate, requiring presidential leadership of a kind not yet demonstrated by Mr Trump. "So you would undermine foreign aid, foreign assistance and diplomacy, which even the Pentagon has long argued is very important in protecting U.S. national security and preventing possible conflicts in the first place".



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