On March 11, 2019, the Trump administration asked for a $750 billion defense budget.
If this budget receives Congress’s approval, it will be one of the largest budgets in U.S. history, exceeding the peak of budgets during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Despite all the talk about “draining the swamp,” the Trump administration has maintained the bloated budgets of previous administrations. On the foreign policy front, his administration been lackluster, to say the least.
Although the administration detailed plans for an Afghanistan withdrawal, Trump recently vetoed a resolution that would end U.S. aid in the Yemen conflict. As a result, America will be stuck in a foreign policy quagmire that is typical of Middle Eastern politics. In the same token, the Trump administration has maintained hawkish stances with Iran and Venezuela.
There has been some good news on the North Atlantic Treaty front.
Trump has at least been able to get NATO members to pitch in more for their national defense. Reports indicate that NATO members plan on increasing defense spending by $100 billion by 2020. This is a good first step that should be followed up with more concrete measures to have America withdraw from this outdated alliance.
The Trump administration has also made decent progress with denuclearization talks with North Korea, despite some hiccups during the negotiation process. Nevertheless, this is a fresh approach to the otherwise failed neoconservative status quo of interventionist saber-rattling.
Although entitlement spending takes the lion share of fiscal largesse, defense budgets should be subject to cuts as well. There are no sacred cows when it comes to spending cuts.
The military-industrial complex must be put on a diet. A good place to start is by closing down military bases abroad—rough estimates point to 800 military bases in over 70 countries.
Most American allies are first world countries that are more than able to defend themselves. It’s time that countries start assuming their own defense functions because the U.S. can no longer afford to be the “World Police.”