Last Monday President Trump announced he will seek a 54 billion dollar boost to defence spending. This includes funding for tanks, ships, and weapons systems. He called it “a public safety and national security budget” and that it “will include a historic increase in defence spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it.”
$54 billion sounds like an incomprehensibly large amount- because it is. In fact, the United States currently spend more on defence than the next eight biggest defence-spending nations put together. The amount will be sourced through making cuts to foreign aid, environmental programmes and domestic agencies by the same amount, “dollar for dollar”. This includes a 25% cut in funds for the Environmental Protection Agency.
The proposed spending comes in light of Trump saying he wants the US to get to the “top of the pack” with regards to nuclear capacity, and find “peace through strength.” However, concerns have been raised as to what message these choices would send to the rest of the world, revealing a vulnerable anxiety. A letter from 120 retired generals and admirals urged Trump and the American congress not to reduce the money available to diplomacy and aid. Seeing the money better spent on international cooperation, they believe this would reduce the need of ever having to go to such extremes with military equipment.