Trump’s Unconvincing Military Budget
In discussing the budget, we have to address the $600 billion gorilla all over the world, the US military budget increase of $54 billion, that is cutting all of the worthwhile programs in the non-military discretionary budget. This large 9% increase, was not originally justified when it was sent to the Pentagon, for them to fill in some justification. Much to my surprise, in the skinny budget, the $600 billion budget was just given the same two pages as those agencies whose budgets are a tenth to a hundredth of the Department of Defense. And while cheap, earth observing satellites are being canceled by name, there is not a single item mentioned in the DOD budget justification. It is what is called a blank check. Yes, the military equipment is old, as are our bridges, schools, airplanes, etc. Military equipment does not have to be new, bright, and shiny gold, as a Trump tower is. That is not what it is used for, in the environment of beaches, mud, and desert with camouflage, where it will be used.
The only war or theater that the skinny budget described was in the war against ISIS. Mosel is already being liberated, and the buildup for the attack on Raqqa is being prepared. It may well be over by the time the budget is passed. The largest estimate of ISIS strength that I recall was 30,000 soldiers. If we slightly inflate the $54 billion to $60 billion, that comes down to $2 million per ISIS soldier. Why don’t we just buy them off and send them home?
I, and Trump’s followers, thought the phrase “America First” meant to do what is best for Americans, building and rebuilding the USA. Now Trump is switching that to “Winning” wars. More aircraft carriers and tanks do not add to America. As usual, Trump is being secretive about what military ventures he wants to launch in grand opening surprises. If you think our government had trouble convincing us that Vietnam was important, see how much trust and belief Trump can engender, by calling a new “Wolf” every week.
The contrast to the military winning, is the winning negotiation. The Obama state department made a successful nuclear non-proliferation treaty with Iran that worked. No loss of life, no military expenditures, no deployed troops. And yet Trump continually calls it a bad deal and cut the State Department budget by 32%. He has also not filled the under-secretary positions.