Trump will reportedly request a significant increase to our already bloated military budget:
President Trump is expected to ask for $716 billion in defense spending when he unveils his 2019 budget next month, a major increase that signals a shift away from concerns about rising deficits, U.S. officials said.
The proposed amount represents a 13% increase over last year’s military spending, and it is entirely unnecessary. Defending the U.S. and meeting our treaty obligations do not require this spending increase. As such, any increase in military spending is a waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere. Taken together with tax cuts, a large boost to military spending is fiscally irresponsible. It is guaranteed to pile up more debt, since the only way that this administration is going to fund such a large increase is through more borrowing.
Trump’s request is consistent with what we have come to expect from him. There has been an almost singular focus on throwing more money at the military while shortchanging the departments responsible for diplomacy and development. A larger military budget reflects Trump’s preference for military options over everything else and his willingness to escalate every war that he has inherited. The effect of this will be to militarize our foreign policy even more than it already has been. That suits Trump’s militaristic inclinations just fine, but it will continue to have a harmful, distorting effect on our foreign policy for a long time to come.
A strategy of restraint wouldn’t involve keeping the U.S. in multiple foreign wars without end, and it wouldn’t be nearly as expensive. Trump’s preference for continued increases in military spending confirms once again that his foreign policy is the opposite of restraint.