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Powell: Slashing State Dept Budget Makes US 'Less Safe and Prosperous'

Image: Powell: Slashing State Dept Budget Makes US 'Less Safe and Prosperous'
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By    |   Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:28 PM

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said President Donald Trump's proposal to slash the State Department budget makes the U.S. "far less safe and prosperous," the retired general wrote in a column for The New York Times.

"This proposal would bring resources for our civilian forces to a third of what we spent at the height of Ronald Reagan's 'peace through strength' years," Powell wrote in the Times.

"The idea that putting Americans 'first' requires a withdrawal from the world is simply wrongheaded, because a retreat would achieve exactly the opposite for our citizens," Powell wrote.

Trump's budget proposal, which calls for a 30 percent cut to the State Department, has the full attention of Republican senators, one of whom, John McCain, has said it's "dead on arrival," noted by Powell.

"Many in Congress have effectively declared the administration's budget proposal 'dead on arrival,' but they also acknowledge that it will set the tone for the coming budget debate," Powell wrote. "That's the wrong conversation.

"Our diplomacy and development budget is not just about reducing spending and finding efficiencies. We need a frank conversation about what we stand for as that 'shining city on a hill.' And that conversation begins by acknowledging that we can't do it on the cheap." Powell wrote.

Trump's budget does call for increased spending to the defense budget, but Powell makes the point that "we're strongest when the face of America isn't only a soldier carrying a gun but also a diplomat negotiating peace."

"Throughout my career, I learned plenty about war on the battlefield, but I learned even more about the importance of finding peace. And that is what the State Department and U.S.A.I.D. do: prevent the wars that we can avoid, so that we fight only the ones we must," Powell concluded.

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said President Donald Trump's proposal to slash the State Department budget makes the U.S. "far less safe and prosperous," the retired general wrote in a column for The New York Times.
colin powell, state department, budget, safety, prosperous
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2017-28-25
Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:28 PM
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