If there is one area of the United States government that is bloated but usually viewed as something politicians can’t touch it is the Pentagon (SEE: Do We Need to ‘Rebuild the Military’?).
According to a wide array of reports, the Trump administration will introduce a budget that will increase military spending, days after the U.S. president promised conservatives “one of the greatest military buildups in American history.”
Reportedly, Trump will propose a budget that includes more money for military aircraft, shipbuilding and having “a more robust presence in key international waterways and chokepoints.” Today, the Pentagon maintains a budget of approximately $600 billion.
Other reports also note that Trump wants to slash the State Department’s budget by 30 percent, while encouraging cuts in other departments, like the Energy Protection Agency (EPA).
But when it comes to the Pentagon, there is a great difference between military spending and defense spending. Indeed, allocating more funds for shipbuilding can be considered defense spending, but increasing funds for “a more robust presence in key international waterways and chokepoints” is certainly military spending, and wasteful.
For example, here is a 2012 Republican primary debate clip featuring Ron Paul explaining the difference between military spending and defense spending:
As Dr. Paul noted in that debate, he would like to have more military bases at home rather than on foreign land. Military spending is just more of the same: policing the world, intervening into the domestic affairs of foreign countries and bombing nations. No, spending billions of dollars on NATO is not defense, it is just waste.
What the president should advocate is cutting all the money that is wasted overseas.