Here we go again.
It is conventional wisdom that there is no real constituency for international affairs other than ideologues, charity groups and think tanks. And it shows in the way the budget for non-military overseas expenditures is handled.
Once again the current House leadership wants to use the Ryan budget plan to make further and deeper cuts in foreign affairs budget. The House Appropriations Committee voted for a State Department and foreign operations budget for the next fiscal year of $48.4 billion — a 12 percent cut from the administration’s $54.71 billion request.
What these budget cutters just don’t seem to understand is that the civilian foreign affairs budget is less than 1 percent of the total federal budget and so any cuts in the international affairs budget has a negligible impact on the larger budget.
Also what they don’t seem to understand is that the more they cut the diplomatic, foreign commercial, foreign agricultural and development services budgets the more likely need there will be for the military to deal with international issues.
“Retreat from our engagement in the world is not an option for the sake of our national security, but these cuts to the International Affairs Budget represent just that,” said retired Marine Corps Gen. Mike Hagee, co-chair of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council. “The International Affairs Budget is absolutely critical to our nation’s security and economic interests, and the programs it funds are cost-effective ways to prevent conflicts that will eventually require us to put our brave men and women in uniform in harm’s way.”
So I guess the budget cutters are saying is that it is more important to save money than the blood and lives of the men and women in the U.S. military.
And let’s not forget that the only way the U.S. can make sales overseas is if there is a foreign service available to negotiate treaties that allow for free trade and who protect American interests overseas.