The National Security Threat of Trump’s Defense Budget

Board member Bishop Garrison wrote an op-ed in Just Security warning about the dangers of a defense budget that disrupts the balance of smart power.

As a former military officer and national security appointee under President Barack Obama, I know firsthand the value of U.S. defense spending for securing the United States and the global community. But by proposing massive increases in Pentagon funding at the expense of U.S. diplomats and foreign aid across the globe, President Donald Trump’s proposed defense budget for Fiscal Year 2019 sets a dangerous precedent that undermines U.S. national security.

Modern U.S. foreign and national security policy previously strived to be grounded in “Smart Power” — the balance of hard projection, such as military force, and soft power efforts like diplomacy and foreign aid – even if the balance was not often achieved. Trump’s budget, however, dangerously continues a trend — increasing hard power at the cost of significantly decreased soft power. Read more