March 06, 2017

The U.S. relationship with Europe hinges on diplomacy

By Rachel Rizzo

President Donald Trump announced his intention to increase defense spending by $54 billion in next year’s federal budget, funded largely by sharp cuts to various other U.S. agencies. One of the agencies most severely impacted by this decision is the State Department.

Today, State’s yearly budget is approximately $50 billion, (only 1 percent of the entire federal budget). Trump has proposed cutting that budget by about 37 percent. The mere suggestion that State should be cut by such a large margin indicates a troubling disregard for the important role this agency plays in U.S. national security, especially in regards to the transatlantic relationship.

It is easy to frame the U.S.-Europe relationship strictly in defense terms, as NATO has been the bedrock of transatlantic relations for decades. Criticisms abound over Europe and NATO allies’ unwillingness to shoulder a fair share of their security burden, which is not an unfair point to make. Europe has a long way to go in terms of defense spending, and NATO allies must ensure they take the necessary steps to reach their defense spending goal of 2 percent of GDP.

Read the full article at The Hill.

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