Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Funding Massive and Arbitrary Defense Spending Increase by Slashing Soft Power Is a Dangerous Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Press Release

RELEASE: Funding Massive and Arbitrary Defense Spending Increase by Slashing Soft Power Is a Dangerous Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s 10 percent increase in defense spending is a dangerous solution to a nonexistent problem, according to a new column released by the Center for American Progress. Trump seeks to needlessly increase the U.S. defense budget by $54 billion and will do it by slashing funding to critical programs, including foreign aid and environmental protections. These cuts will absolutely make America less safe than before and will increase the likelihood of the United States becoming involved in future conflicts.

“Once again, President Trump is governing by tantrum and myth rather than analysis and fact,” said Vikram Singh, CAP Vice President for National Security and International Policy. “Taking money from diplomacy initiatives, foreign assistance, and environmental protections in order to fund an arbitrary increase in defense spending will only make the United States more likely to have to use its already exemplary military force. That’s not safety; it is self-inflicted harm.”

The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development budgets are reportedly expected to be chopped by as much as 37 percent each. Much of that will come from foreign aid and diplomatic initiatives. President Trump has long shown a disdain for foreign aid, failing to realize that 7 of America’s 10 largest export markets are former aid recipients and that such assistance is grooming some of the fastest-growing markets for U.S. goods.

Similarly, cutting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s critical protections programs will only ignore the threat of climate change, which the Department of Defense has labeled a “threat multiplier.” These cuts make it more likely that climate change grows into an even more acute national security threat than it is currently.

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.