For the U.S. to achieve “peace, wherever peace can be found” as President Trump recommended in his address to Congress, we need to strengthen USAID and the State Department — the agencies that promote peace, diplomacy, and international development.
Last night, President Donald Trump told Congress that “America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict. We want peace, wherever peace can be found.” As a Quaker peace and justice organization, we agree with the sentiment.
But he also called for “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” The $54 billion increase in Pentagon spending the president proposes would have a devastating impact on people in this country and around the globe – at the expense of harmony, stability, and peace. To achieve these increases, the president wants to cut budgets for environmental protection, diplomacy, and peacebuilding – including a 37% cut in the budgets for USAID and the State Department. (The total combined budgets for these agencies is $51.1 billion, less than the proposed Pentagon increase.)