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Disparaging Diplomacy

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, May 2017 |

The Trump administration’s steady stream of assaults on diplomacy has become a raging river. It started during the campaign, with Trump’s tirades against the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, and various trade agreements... Read More »

Dismantling USAID

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, April 2017 |

It comes as little surprise that the Trump Administration is preparing plans to eliminate the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), whose mission is to “end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies.” Trump’s xenophobic, “America First” rhetoric leaves little room for enlightened engagement with the world, and his budget targets development for disabling cuts... Read More »

US Diplomacy and Development Aid: Death by a Thousand Cuts

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, April 2017 |

When President Trump submitted his preliminary budget request for 2018, which outlined foreign aid and diplomacy cuts of nearly one-third, the rebuke was fast and furious. Members of Congress declared the president’s budget “dead on arrival.” Hearings on the budget produced “near consensus” against the cuts. Not just liberal Democrats and humanitarian do-gooders, but military leaders, Republican national security experts, right-leaning editorial boards, faith leaders, and conservative columnists proclaimed the importance of development assistance and, as one pundit put it, the “amorality and stupidity of eviscerating foreign-aid spending.”... Read More »

Trump bombings: The mother of all distractions?

by William D. Hartung

KBZK, April 2017 |

Is there a new Trump doctrine in the making, or has the President simply found a formula for distracting the public and the media from his troubles at home: from allegations of collusion with Russia during the 2016 election to his failure at pushing through his most cherished domestic initiatives... Read More »

Reviving the Peace Movement for the 21st Century: Responses to Daniel May

by William D. Hartung

The Nation , March 2017 |

Daniel May’s essay in the most recent issue of The Nation, “How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era,” has stirred up a lot of conversation on the left. In the wake of Trump’s election, May argued, “we need a movement that can speak to the anger that so many Americans feel toward the corporate powers that dominate our politics. Such a movement would expose how militarism is not immune to that influence but is particularly beholden to it.” Here we publish responses to May’s argument from five peace advocates.... Read More »

Want to Make Budget Cuts? Start Here

by William D. Hartung

The New York Times, March 2017 |

The Trump administration on Thursday provided an outline of its first budget, a proposal that will dramatically reshape how the United States spends money on national security and defense. There is no question that the United States’ security spending patterns need to be rebalanced to better address urgent security challenges. The Trump budget will not do that... Read More »

Tomgram: William Hartung, The Generals vs. the Ideologues or the Generals and the Ideologues?

by William D. Hartung

TomDispatch, March 2017 |

Let’s think about the logic of it all for a moment. The 2016 Pentagon budget came in at just over $600 billion and that royal sum, larger than the combined military investments of the next seven countries, was hardly the full measure of the money U.S. taxpayers spent on what we like to call “national security.” Add everything in -- including funding for the Department of Homeland Security and for veterans affairs -- and you’re approaching a trillion dollars annually, according to the Project on Government Oversight. No other country spends anything faintly like it, which means the United States has a military that, by any normal measure, is unmatched on planet Earth... Read More »

The Promise and Peril of H.R. McMaster

by William D. Hartung

Lobe Log, February 2017 |

President Trump’s choice of H.R. McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as his national security advisor has elicited glowing words and sighs of relief among experienced foreign policy hands and mainstream journalists alike, and rightly so... Read More »

America Has Too Many Military Bases

by William D. Hartung

The National Interest, February 2017 |

Members of Congress have a hard time agreeing on virtually anything, and they’re already butting heads with the new president. But one issue should unite them: a new initiative to shrink the Pentagon’s massive overhead... Read More »

Tomgram: William Hartung, Investing in the Military (and Little Else)

by William D. Hartung

TomDispatch, February 2017 |

Last Friday, Donald Trump made his first visit to the Pentagon where he spoke of signing an order to begin “a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States,” something he’s been advocating for quite a while. As TomDispatch regular Bill Hartung indicates today, this will mean a massive surge in federal dollars pouring into the abyss of the Pentagon, which has shown itself quite capable of absorbing such moneys in the past and seems to lack the slightest ability to account for what’s done with them. (The Pentagon has never even managed to pass an audit.) We already know that this will mean more troops, more ships, more planes, and as a draft executive order for the new president put it, “a desire to invest in a host of military capabilities, including Special Operations forces and nuclear weapons.”... Read More »

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