Trump seeks 'historic' increase of 9pc in defence spending

President Donald Trump's first budget proposal will look to increase defense and security spending by $54 billion and cut roughly the same amount from non-defense programs, the White House said Monday.

"Really what we're talking about is more like a 3 percent increase, if you compare it to the previous budget under the Obama administration", says Dan De Luce, chief national security correspondent for Foreign Policy. Ben Cardin, Md., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told me he will fight any such efforts.

"It's dead on arrival. It would be a disaster", Graham said. "Clearly they don't understand how soft power is essential to winning the war".

Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Democrat Jack Reed, R.I., called Trump's proposed cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid "shortsighted" in a Tuesday statement. We urge you to ensure that resources for the International Affairs Budget keep pace with the growing global threats and opportunities we face.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who once headed the panel responsible for the foreign aid budget, stressed the need for robust spending as word circulated on Capitol Hill about the GOP president's proposal. He also noted that it calls for one of the largest increases in defense spending in US history.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee, called the proposal "short-sighted and unsafe". We know from our service in uniform that numerous crises our nation faces do not have military solutions alone - from confronting violent extremist groups like ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa to preventing pandemics like Ebola and stabilizing weak and fragile states that can lead to greater instability. And we're going to cut it even further? "And because we've failed to put it out or prevent it from starting in the first place, we're faced with the choice of sending our sons and daughters into harm's way".

My favorite word when it comes to government budgets is "slash", but if Trump wants to cut smaller social programs to add to the largest, most overgrown money sink in the United States, be sure to count me out.

The United States is 58th in the world in education spending. For a president who should know better, it is irresponsible. O'Keefe, a former active duty Air Force cost and budget analyst, published a chart showing that Trump's opening bid for defense "is certainly not the biggest increase" requested by modern presidents. Multiple officials, however, have made clear over the last 48 hours that the Environmental Protection Agency and foreign aid will be cut significantly under the new plan.

"We've spent trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled", Trump said in a speech that largely focused on domestic policy. There are 65 million displaced people today, the most since World War II, with consequences including refugee flows that are threatening America's strategic allies in Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Europe. "The department remains committed to a USA foreign policy that advances the security and prosperity of the American people", Toner said in a statement. It also spurred agricultural productivity gains and economic growth in Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya- African countries that are now some of the fastest growing countries in the world, he said.

Meanwhile, the USA has remained at war for over 15 years.

"Without U.S. assistance, it's hard to imagine those countries could have managed", he said.

  • Annette Adams