Trump proposes defence spending hike in US Budget 2017

Money to move from foreign aid to military programs

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Trump has proposed historic hikes in defence spending for the upcoming $1.1 trillion US annual budget. True to his election campaign promises of waging war against terror and strengthening border security, Donald Trump is making egregious spending enhancements to 'rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces' and 'end the threat ISIS poses to the United States'. 

The unprecedented hikes in defence spending are to be backed by cuts in funds for the state department, which mean lesser US engagement in foreign military aid. Pakistan, a recipient of significant US foreign aid is likely to be impacted by these cuts. 

"So we have seen money move from soft power program such as foreign aid to more hard power programs. That allies can expect. That adversaries can expect," Director of the Office of Management of Budget Mick Mulvaney said. 

In a request for additional appropriations to address defence and military needs, White House has asked congress to consider an increase in allocations for Departments of Defence (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

An increase of $24.9 billion is requested to address the war-fighting readiness of US military and another $5.1 billion for the dual purpose of uprooting ISIS and supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS) in Afghanistan. Apart from this, a demand for $3 billion has been made for acceleration of border protection activities at DHS. 

"This request for additional appropriations reflects the Administration's commitment to strengthen our national security by rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces and protecting our borders," the official communication between White House and US Congress stated. 

The requested hikes will be invested in upgrading maintenance, training, equipment, munitions, infrastructure, and personnel. 

The budget draws a clear contrast between the past President's soft, accommodative, and pro-welfare stance as against Trump's hard and hawkish anti-immigration stance, which has now found its way into the state finances.  

All of America's earlier attempts at eliminating Islamist terror outfits in the Middle-East have only been mildly effective. For instance, a crackdown on Al-Qaeda had led to an even more dangerous ISIS uprising. Playing whack-a-mole with the terror-infested middle eastern region by infusing truckloads of money without a long-term strategy is unlikely to solve the issue plaguing global security. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 17, 2017 12:00 IST