By Dan Lamothe
Now is not the time to slash U.S. foreign aid, more than 120 retired generals and admirals said Monday in a letter to lawmakers, while citing past comments from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to buttress their case.
The letter was released by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which includes business executives, foreign-policy experts and retired senior military officials, as the Trump administration signaled that it will slash international spending while boosting funding for the U.S. military. The signatories include several past service chiefs and combatant commanders.
“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,” the letter said. “As Secretary James Mattis said while Commander of U.S. Central Command, ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.’”
Image: UN Photo/Shehzad Noorani. A young girl practices reading at a Community Based School (CBS) in Qala-e-Haji Yahya village, in Afghanistan’s Herat Province. The CBS programme is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).