Foreign Policy Speech Vol. 8: Military Is “Depleted” Despite Giant 2017 Budget

Welcome back to part eight of our ongoing look at Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech of April 27th.

Donald Trump has been hawking for war with ISIS since the beginning of his campaign, and has consistently and constantly talked about the importance of improving and beefing up our military. He blames Obama for the “weakening of our military,” but let’s take a look at a specific quote from his foreign policy speech:

“President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.”

He’s not entirely making up these numbers, but he doesn’t mention the fact that the US was involved in two wars in 2011. In 2011 the government spent $735 billion on defense, nuclear weapons programs and other defense related programs. The funding for the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was earmarked at $159 billion. If you take out that funding for wars that we are no longer actively fighting, the number comes in at $576 billion.

The 2017 Obama defense budget comes in at $608 billion dollars, $583 billion for defense and another $25 billion for nuclear weapons expenses. If you take out the costs for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the budget compared to 2011 has risen by $32 billion, an increase of 5.5 percent.

Let’s grab a calculator and check that “25 percent” number. Even if you include the costs of the two wars the budget has only gone down from the 2011 numbers by $127 billion. That’s a 17.2 percent decrease from the full 2011 figure of $735 billion. 8 percent may seem like a trivial amount to call a “lie,” but that ends up being a cost to the taxpayers of more than $57 billion that Donald Trump inflated to scare the American people into thinking that Obama was soft on the military.

Obama’s request for defense in 2017 is the fourth highest in history. The top three defense budgets in history were all requested by the Obama administration in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Obama in his eight years will have spent $816.7 billion more than the Bush administration ($4,121.2 billion for Obama’s two terms, $3,304.5 for Bush’s). Doesn’t sound like a depleted military to WDTLAY.

Sources:
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feg-onymzXA

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2016/02/president_obama_s_military_budget_is_still_one_of_the_biggest_ever.html
http://csbaonline.org/publications/2010/06/fy-2011-defense-budget-analysis/

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