War Is Murderous By Any Means, and Trump Shuts Out Peaceful Options
War is murderous to civilians by any means used. It is murderous to drafted soldiers. It is murderous to the aggressor’s civilians, as well as to the defender’s civilians. It has been that even since when weapons were just swords and arrows. Debating which form of dying is worse than another misses the whole point.
Trump’s very egotistical focus that He will win wars, along with his threats of carpet bombing and killing the families of terrorists, makes himself and the US military become destined to massively cause civilian casualties in His military activities. In Trump’s mind, the greatest insult he can release on an opponent is to call them a loser.
Trump has been massively guilty of massively attacking peaceful agreements and treaties, and of attacking our agreements with allies that enhances our power and our justifications for actions. During the campaign, Trump has attacked all US agreements and treaties. He has insulted and challenged all of our allies in NATO or in our Pacific Rim partners, as well as our friendly neighbor Mexico.
The expert sources in making our treaties and defense agreements lie in the State Department. Trump has proposed cutting the State Department’s budget by an amazing 37%. Its not clear if Trump ever consults State, since he often leaves out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on meetings or conversations with foreign leaders or businessmen. Instead, Trump sends his young and inexperienced son-in-law Jared Kushner on such missions. Trump has not appointed the secondary administrators to the State Department which would connect Tillerson to the experts in the various regional and country specialists. According to the Atlantic article by Julia Ioffe, nobody at the State Department is doing anything.
Finally, Trump has chosen today to nominate attorney John Sullivan as Deputy Secretary of State. However, Trump expects him to do that job and also Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources for the same salary. Tillerson wanted the well known veteran Elliott Abrams for the job, but apparently Abrams criticized the paper tiger skin of Trump during the election.
The State Department employs 70,000 people around the world. It currently has a budget of $50 billion. Trump has proposed a 37% cut in its budget. Mitch McConnell said that this is dead on arrival at the Senate. State and other development programs will get a 29% drop to $27.1 billion. The foreign aid budget is currently $10 billion dollars, an important roll we fulfill in the world, from which we gain respect among nations, and from the people that we help. This amounts to only 1% of the federal budget. In business, it would be called “good will”, and is a standard approach for public support of any mature business. The Defense Budget is being boosted to $574 billion. So State and other development programs which lead to peace will be only 4.7% of the military budget. Foreign aid is now only 1.7% of the new military budget.
Besides Trump’s crippling our Secretary of State, and his insistence that he, Trump, and Kushner can handle all aspects of foreign relations with 200 nations, he has effectively killed off real channels for peace that would make much of our military spending unnecessary. In the last few days Trump has realized that he needs negotiation with Russia to stop Assad, and with China’s President Xi Jinping to stop North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear development program. It will be hard to do until Tillerson will have a fully functioning State Department.