The proposed budget, as sent by the Trump administration to Congress on March 16, is grossly out of touch as it proposes unjustified, but intended Agency reductions and a $54.5 billion increase for the Department of Defense. In 2015 our defense cost was $598.5 billion. This dollar amount was over 37 percent of the total worldwide defense costs for all nations. Today, after 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, where our military has served multiple combat tours, we have without a doubt the most powerful, the best equipped, the best trained, and the most battle-hardened military in the world.
It is ludicrous to propose a $54.5 billion Department of Defense increase for next year in face of a large budget deficit, proposed tax reductions, and increases for Veterans Affairs and Homeland. Do we intend to again accept the Cold War trap of 1945 to 1989 when we believed the Soviet Union was a co-equal adversary, when they were not? The Military Industrial Complex was then the beneficiary of the huge funds spent for defense and they will be again.
Hopefully, cooler, more mature voices will prevail in the Congress and reality will determine that the Department of Defense cannot justify, with all other competing and legitimate needs, any increase in funding.
Colonel Lee R. Pitzer, O’Fallon
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