You can’t have a cost conscious foreign policy that insists that allies pay for their own defense and proposes less US interventionism while at the same time expanding US interventionism and proposing a big increase in the US military budget. It’s one or the other (see “Start Dealing“). From Ivan Eland at antiwar.com:
The recent North Korean missile tests raise questions about contradictions in President Donald Trump’s national security policies. During his campaign Trump implied that the United States should fight fewer wars overseas and demanded that US dependents, Japan and South Korea, do more for their own defense, perhaps even getting nuclear weapons. Yet a recent article written by David Sanger, a national security reporter for the New York Times, noted that Trump had tweeted that North Korean acquisition of a long-range missile “won’t happen” and that his administration was considering preemptive military strikes on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs or reintroducing US tactical (short-range) nuclear missiles into South Korea, which were removed twenty-five years ago. So which is it – demanding US allies do more or ramping up America’s efforts to make them even more reliant on American power? And this is not the only Trump policy contradiction.
If Trump is demanding that wealthy allies – both East Asian and European – put out more of an effort for their own security and if Trump wants to fight fewer wars overseas, then why does the defense budget need to be increased by a whopping 10 percent? That proposed increase is roughly equivalent to the entire Russian annual defense budget. In fact, couldn’t U.S. defense spending be cut to help ameliorate the already humongous $20-trillion-dollar national debt?
Moreover, the Department of Defense is the worst run agency in the federal government, as demonstrated by its being the only department to repeatedly fail to pass an audit – thus not being able to pinpoint where many trillions of dollars over many years have been spent. In 2001, the departments comptroller admitted to me that the department’s broken accounting system would not be able to pass such an audit for a long time to come. Sixteen years later it still can’t.