Firepower cannot replace diplomacy

The Senate Appropriations Committee has issued a report criticizing the Trump administration’s proposed State Department budget for being too damn low.

The unusually harsh language appeared in the report attached to spending legislation for the State Department and foreign operations that totals $51 billion, roughly $11 billion more in funding than the administration had requested. The Trump administration had proposed a budget that slashed State Department spending for fiscal year 2018 by about 30 percent from the previous year.

Because Trump and his buddies are so thick they think we can do everything by shooting and bombing.

“On May 23, 2017, President Donald Trump submitted to the Congress the fiscal year 2018 budget of the United States government entitled, ‘A New Foundation for American Greatness,’ and asserted in ‘The Budget Message of the President’ that ‘[i]n these dangerous times, our increased attention to public safety and national security sends a clear message to the world — a message of American strength and resolve,'” the report said. “This message is not reflected in the International Affairs budget request of $40,521,826,000, a 30 percent cut below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.”

“The lessons learned since September 11, 2001, include the reality that defense alone does not provide for American strength and resolve abroad,” the report continued. “Battlefield technology and firepower cannot replace diplomacy and development. The administration’s apparent doctrine of retreat, which also includes distancing the United States from collective and multilateral dispute resolution frameworks, serves only to weaken America’s standing in the world.”

Trump thinks standing=the biggest guns.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has defended the proposed cuts to the State Department.

“It is an unmistakable restatement of the needs the country faces and the priorities we must establish,” Tillerson said in a letter to the department’s 75,000 employees in March. “It acknowledges that U.S. engagement must be more efficient, that our aid be more effective, and that advocating the national interests of our country always be our primary mission.”

What would he know about it? He was an oil executive, not a diplomat or foreign policy scholar.

Draining the swamp.

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