Trump boosts defense spending by $54 billion: ‘We have to start winning wars again’

President Donald Trump will seek to boost Pentagon spending by $54 billion in his first budget proposal and cut the same amount from non-defense spending, including a large reduction in foreign aid, a White House budget official said on Monday.

The Associated Press reported that Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget would decrease funding to the Environmental Protection Agency and some programs at the State Department.

“We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools to deter war, and when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing – win,” said Trump in a televised speech at the White House.

“We have to win. We have to start winning wars again,” said Trump. “We don’t fight to win. We’ve either got to win or don’t fight it at all.”

Trump will let the Department of Defense decide how to spend the extra billions and most federal agencies will see reductions in funding, an official from the Office of Management and Budget told reporters. The official said Trump’s first budget will not address taxes or mandatory spending.

“We’re going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable,” Trump said in a meeting with governors in which he said he planned to propose a substantial increase in public safety spending.

Trump referenced his involvement in deals with Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program and Boeing’s proposal for a new Air Force One as examples of cutting government costs.

source
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein recently wrote a column in Defense One saying the Air Force had been sapped of readiness and funds over 26 years of global operations and four years under a sequester budget. Goldfein said the Air Force “urgently” needed funds by April, to “restores and rebuilds our nation’s Air Force.”

Meanwhile, nearlytwo-thirds of US F/A-18s currently can’t fly because of budget cuts that led to a backlog on maintenance and sourcing new parts, Defense News reports. The Marine Times similarly reports that more than half of the Marine Corps’ planescouldn’t fly in December.

Trump’s proposed budget is subject to congressional approval.