Gutting State Department Funding, Generals, Admirals Sound Off

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and retired Adm. James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander, are among the former three- and four-star generals who wrote that State Department funding is “critical to keeping America safe.” They sent the letter to congressional leaders, two Cabinet officials and the White House national security adviser. [CNN]

TRUMP INTENDS to cut the Environmental Protection Agency‘s budget by one-quarter. The plan is to increase defense spending by $54 billion dollars. The rest of the money will come from — wait for it — the State Department.

“If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.” – Secretary James Mattis (2013, CNN)

Over 120 generals and admirals, including retired Adm. James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander, and retired Gen. David Petraeus.

“We urge you to ensure that resources for the international affairs budget keep pace with the growing global threats and opportunities we face,” they wrote. “Now is not the time to retreat.” [The Hill]

When Secretary Hillary Clinton was in charge of the State Department, she had a partner in Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, but she still had to fight to get the money needed for State. After the Bush era, Clinton had to work diligently to strengthen State and reestablish a vigorous budget.

There is no one who will fight for the State Department inside the Kremlin on the Potomac.

That’s by intent and design.

I’m not sure what Jon Huntsman might add as Secretary Tillerson‘s deputy, given Mr. Bannon’s maniacal deconstruction fetish. But Tillerson needs someone over at foggy bottom, asap. He’s not accustomed to being marginalized and made a fool for thinking Donald J. Trump had any intention of giving him any power at all.

It’s here that the Trump foreign policy experiment turns dark.

Navy SEAL special warfare officer William “Ryan” Owens was killed in the botched Yemen mission, and his father is speaking truth to power.

From NBC News

“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into [President Trump’s] administration?” Bill Owens, whose youngest son Ryan was killed during the raid, said. “For two years prior … everything was missiles and drones (in Yemen)….Now all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?”

Trump and his spokespeople branded the Yemen raid as producing “actionable intelligence.”

Disputing Pentagon flag-waving, “senior officials who spoke to NBC News said they were unaware of any.”

Donald J. Trump is not making us safer.

This post has been updated.