USA POLITICS: Why Does Trump Think We Need More Military Spending?

Kate Harveston
By Kate Harveston September 4, 2017 08:39
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Trump feels we need to re-invest in nuclear weapons, while at the same time insisting he wants to be the first president to reside in an age where no country has them. That’s an entirely farcical statement for a leader with a guaranteed four-year term to make, both because it’s not enough time for the world to disarm, and because adding to our nuclear arsenal only provokes other nuclear powers.

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USA POLITICS: Why Does Trump Think We Need More Military Spending?

Military might have long been a point of pride for the United States of America. Maintaining our presence as a global hegemony demands our military stay reliable, but as the size of America’s military budget has expanded to exceed more than 50% of the nation’s spending, you have to wonder — where does it end?

Some hoped the Obama administration would roll back spending, but with conflicts roiling in Iraq and Afghanistan and a policy more favorable to proxy wars than most would like to admit, that didn’t happen. Now, the Trump administration is seeking to add to an already record-setting budget, but is there enough reason to?

Not Your Father’s Loan
So, $54 billion dollars is a big number. There are entire government programs that don’t receive that much funding — however, when compared to the amount America currently spends on its military, it’s still a 10% increase.

That’s significant, particularly when we’re now no longer engaged in a conflict with Iraq that lasted seven years. You could make the argument that we need to gear up for a scuffle with North Korea, or in a scary alternate universe even Russia, but the fact is it’d take great acts of ignorance for such a thing to occur.

So, why all the new spending then? Trump himself has threatened to cut funding to several high-profile military projects he deemed to be too expensive. He allegedly renegotiated prices for the cutting-edge F-35 fighter jet, bringing the price-per-unit down $600 million, and has even suggested shelving a new carrier launch system that’s been in development for years to save money.

Flexing America’s Muscle, or Is It?
Some of the Trump administration’s logic seems too self-contradictory. While we can’t afford to spend money on high-tech weapons systems, the Trump team is touting this new approach as a “hard-power” budget aimed at making sure America’s adversaries know we mean business.

Conservatives don’t warm up to such aggressive spending increases the way liberals do, even when they are for defense. To make sure his plan wins the endorsement of GOP Congress members, Trump has rolled back spending for things like foreign aid, the EPA and the Department of Agriculture.

The cuts to other programs are steep — more than a third of the EPA’s budget will be re-allocated, and numerous other programs not mentioned here could fail entirely. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the cuts would surrender America’s leadership in innovation, education, science and clean energy.

It’s not surprising to see social programs like Planned Parenthood on the chopping block under the Trump administration. It’s easy for a conservative president to sell the transfer of funds from social programs that enable lower-class citizens and immigrants to influence the pockets of wealthy people in business, like those who make up Trump’s executive counsel.

What Does $54 Billion Buy?
Despite the massive increase he suggests, it’s difficult to nail down just exactly what all that money is going toward. The Department of Homeland Defense has been named one of the institutions to receive an increase in funds. That makes sense given Trump’s xenophobic approach to immigration, and the recent finding that while he insists Mexico will pay for his border wall, American taxpayers are going to have to front them the money.

Trump feels we need to re-invest in nuclear weapons, while at the same time insisting he wants to be the first president to reside in an age where no country has them. That’s an entirely farcical statement for a leader with a guaranteed four-year term to make, both because it’s not enough time for the world to disarm, and because adding to our nuclear arsenal only provokes other nuclear powers.

The ongoing conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan will require funding, but there shouldn’t be a need for such a dramatic increase from the existing budget. Afghanistan has been America’s longest war, lasting more than 16 years at the time of writing, and Syria is an effort the U.S. backs mostly with air power and drone strikes.

Barrack Obama’s administration carried out 10 times the number of drone strikes George Bush’s did. That number comes partly because of technological advances that have allowed for more potent drones, but regardless of that, there was enough budget around to do it. So, what gives, Trump?

Feeding the Machine
As with so many of the plans President Trump has laid out, it seems this new budget is in fact not so much a plan as it is a thinly-veiled agenda. Trump may be a newcomer to politics, but he does business with the same defense contractors other politicians do, and his taste for the deal might even make him more susceptible to pandering when you consider the way he’s backed big business on other matters.

This budget is a handout — it’s that simple. It’s a token of appreciation to the middle-class Americans who voted for Trump out of fear, and to the warmongering defense industry that relies on America’s taste for bullying other nations to keep the dollars flowing.

It’s a handout they’re going to get because when it comes to bullying, no one enjoys it like our president — even if he’s got to bully his own people.



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Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston

Political Journalist & Blogger at Only Slightly Biased
The Profile:

Kate Harveston is a young writer with a passion for politics. She holds a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she is interested in anything examining law, politics and culture. Kate is a regular contributor at International Policy Digest, Greentumble, Feminist Wednesday, HelloFlo and The Liberty Project. Her work has also been featured on Bust, The Moderate Voice, Feminist Current and Ordinary Times. If you would like to follow her writing, you can visit her blog: http://onlyslightlybiased.com.

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Kate Harveston
By Kate Harveston September 4, 2017 08:39
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
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