1. Press Release
  2. Peacebuilding, U.S. Wars & Militarism

Cuts to the State Department Will Diminish American Leadership

Funding cuts will damage U.S. security

By Theo Sitther, February 27, 2017


President Trump’s budget will diminish American leadership in the world, further entangle the military in overseas conflict as the primary foreign policy tool and ultimately increase costs to taxpayers.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Theo Sitther (theo@fcnl.org) DIRECT: 202-547-6000

WASHINGTON, DC - The Trump administration’s plan to increase Pentagon spending by $54 billion while reducing spending for the State Department and EPA will diminish American leadership in the world and damage U.S. security.

“At a time when the United States is facing multiple foreign policy crises, cutting the State Department budget means that there is one less tool in our foreign policy toolbox,” said Theo Sitther, Legislative Secretary for Peacebuilding at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. “Diplomatic and development efforts that are fulfilled by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are critical in efforts to prevent and reduce violence, uphold human rights and support democratic governance. These are all critical functions that will ultimately reduce spending, protect U.S. national security and save lives.”

One-hundred and twenty-one retired military leaders couldn’t agree more in a letter they sent to Congress today:

“The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.”

A bipartisan group of experts in a recent report, A Necessary Good: U.S. Leadership on Preventing Mass Atrocities, agree that funding early conflict prevention programs through the State Department “can help forestall open-ended crises that are far more damaging to American interests and power and far costlier to the American taxpayer.”

President Trump’s budget will diminish American leadership in the world, further entangle the military in overseas conflict as the primary foreign policy tool and ultimately increase costs to taxpayers.

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The Friends Committee on National Legislation, the oldest registered religious lobby in Washington, is a nonpartisan Quaker lobby in the public interest. FCNL works with a nationwide network of tens of thousands of people from every state in the U.S. to advocate for social and economic justice, peace, and good government.

Theo Sitther

  • Legislative Secretary for Peacebuilding Policy

Theo Sitther directs the peacebuilding program at FCNL and oversees the work of the peacebuilding team. Theo lobbies to change and reform militarized counterterrorism policies with a particular focus on military assistance.