US military chiefs defend diplomacy in face of Trump cuts

Trump wants to slash federal spending across an array of agencies and foreign aid programs, and eliminate other organizations to pay for a boost in Pentagon spending, including by lopping 28 percent from State Department coffers.

US military chiefs defend diplomacy in face of Trump cuts

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Donald Trump's proposed gutting of the State Department budget and other "soft power" agencies could hamper long-term security goals and make the military's job tougher, US generals are warning.

Under his proposals, defense spending would increase by nearly 10 percent to $639 billion, more than the next seven nations combined.

But top generals are telling lawmakers this military-centric approach doesn't fully address the plethora of global security challenges.

General Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander and the head of the US military's European Command, on Thursday warned against the proposed cuts.

"It would make the job more difficult," Scaparrotti told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"I rely heavily on our relationships with the other agencies in my government."

US efforts to counter transnational extremism in Europe are being led primarily by State and Treasury Department personnel, he added.

His remarks came a day after General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said America must leverage all of its capabilities, "diplomatically, economically and militarily" in the fight against the Islamic State group.

"We're involved in a war of ideas and undermining the credibility of the narrative and the threat is going to be critical to our success," Dunford said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said he does not oppose the deep cuts to his department and will "willingly" accept Trump's challenge to tighten the budget.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Mart 2017, 23:57