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The Editors

Take the State Department Off the Chopping Block

Trump's cuts to foreign-policy spending amount to diplomatic disarmament.
They also serve.

They also serve.

Photographer: Alastair Grant/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's latest proposal to eviscerate the State Department's budget may already be dead on arrival in Congress. It's nonetheless a reminder of how the administration's failure to take diplomacy seriously is undermining its own strategic goals.   

Barely two months after warning in its new National Security Strategy of “growing political, economic and military competitions,” the White House has delivered a foreign-affairs budget that amounts to diplomatic disarmament. It calls for a 29 percent cut to U.S. diplomatic and foreign aid spending next year -- the most to any federal department. Among its ill-considered targets are democracy promotion, peacekeeping, and the fight against disease and climate change. Even worse, the Office of Management and Budget pegs the department’s outlays in 2023 as only 58 percent of this year’s.