Last week, the White House released the outline of President Trump’s budget request for 2018—and it proposes a cut of around one-third to the budgets of the State Department and USAID. Among those who’ve said that’s a terrible idea: Elected officials from both sides of the aisle, military officials, faith leaders, and of course, us.
Now, in joint written testimony submitted ahead of their appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, the national security advisor to President George W. Bush, Stephen J. Hadley, and the secretary of state to President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright are urging Congress to reject President Trump’s dangerous budget proposal and to protect the international affairs budget.
“Given the variety of threats facing our country, it makes sense to continue upgrading and enhancing our country’s military capabilities and deterrent power. But we strongly believe that it would be a mistake to increase defense spending at the expense of other critical investments in national security – especially those in diplomacy, development, democracy, and peacebuilding.”
“We know from experience that force, and the credible possibility of its use, are essential to defend our vital interests and keep America safe. But as one of us has said in the past, force alone can be a blunt instrument, and there are many problems it cannot solve. The military leaders who so frequently testify before this committee would be the first to tell you that they cannot succeed in their missions without the vital capabilities that our civilian agencies bring to the table.”
“Gutting these capabilities will put an unacceptable burden on our men and women in uniform, and would make America less safe. We need to fund these other civilian elements of American power as robustly as we do the military element.”
Here at ONE, we completely agree. In fact, in a statement last week, Tom Hart, ONE’s Executive Director for North America, said, “Cutting the budgets of State and USAID by a third would be shortsighted and devastating to programs that are saving lives, building capacity, protecting Americans, and advancing America’s interests around the world.”
You can help: Call 1-888-869-8931 or click here to tell your members of Congress that they need to stand up against these proposals and protect the international affairs budget.