Trump’s Proposed Defense Budget Is Meant To Make Us Win Again

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U.S. President Donald J. Trump heads back to the Capitol during the departure ceremony in Washington, D.C on Jan. 20, 2017.
DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos

President Donald Trump announced a “historic” increase in military spending on Monday, calling it a “landmark event,” and saying that in such dangerous times, the military should have the tools it needs to fight and “only do one thing: Win."


"This is a landmark event and message to the world in these dangerous times, of American strength, security and resolve,” Trump said, according to Reuters. “We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war and when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing: Win.”

The defense budget increase, which Trump plans to formally propose during a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, is close to 10%, and amounts to about $54 billion. Trump plans to boost the Pentagon’s budget by cutting funding to domestic programs and foreign aid.

Related: Happy Mattis Day: The Plan To Defeat ISIS Is Due Today »

“We are going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the people,” Trump said on Feb. 27. “We can do so much more with the money we spend.”

White House budget officials announced the proposed spending increases the same day that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was expected to brief the president on the details of a plan to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

There are concerns that cutting funding to administrations like the State Department, which could see as much as one-third of its budget slashed, would do more harm to national security than any good that might come from then funneling those resources to the defense department. According to Reuters, more than 120 retired U.S. generals and admirals urged Congress on Feb. 27 to fully fund U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, saying that "elevating and strengthening diplomacy and development alongside defense are critical to keeping America safe."

“We never win a war. We never win. And we don’t fight to win. We don’t fight to win,” Trump said Feb. 27. “So we either got to win or don’t fight it at all.”

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

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Soldiers with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, walk in what could be mistaken for another planet. Kandahar, Afghanistan, Dec. 25, 2011 (Army photo/Sgt. Ruth Pagan)

(Reuters Health) - While army suicides have historically decreased during wartime, that trend appears to have reversed in recent decades, a new study of U.S. records finds.

Researchers poring over nearly 200 years of data found that unlike earlier times when there was a decline in suicide rates among U.S. Army soldiers during and just after wars, the rate has risen significantly since 2004, according to the report in JAMA Network Open.

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Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."

Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.

Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'

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