Allocating Money to Peace-Building Programs

Kathy Stackhouse, from New York, wrote an important letter to the editor of the New York Times on Saturday.

A $54 billion increase in Pentagon spending will not promote the “harmony and stability” that President Trump claims to seek, especially if it is combined with a 37 percent cut in the budgets for the United States Agency for International Development and the State Department.

Many of the crises that our nation faces do not have military solutions. Funding massive increases in military spending by deep cuts in funds for diplomacy, development and other vital work will jeopardize the United States’ ability to respond to the challenges of our complicated, interconnected world.

As your article points out, the new secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, is on record as saying, “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.” Congress must reject defense spending increases and allocate more money to peace-building programs.

The issue I see is what will make Americans wake up and realize the incredible danger we are in, because of our military activities over the past few decades? In Iraq alone, thousands of Americans died, tens of thousands were wounded, trillions of dollars were wasted, and millions of Iraqis were wounded or died.

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