To the Editor:

RE: Feb. 17 page A6 Opinion, Editorial, “Let’s take State Department off chopping block.”

It starts by criticizing President Trump’s budget proposal: “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 ... And the fact is, both in terms of personnel and spending as a percentage of federal outlays, the State Department at the end of the Barrack Obama years was at a historic high.”

The editorial writer fails to mention that our military power was at a historic low. President Trump said he would rebuild our military to once again become the strongest military force in the world.

You may remember it was President Obama who gutted our military, and spent billions of dollars on failed or wrongheaded diplomatic adventures. For example: the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the nonsensical release of terrorist prisoners from GITMO, many of whom returned to the battlefield!

These made our enemies stronger, our allies weaker, and our military spending so low that our ability to fight and win two wars simultaneously doubtful.

The editorial writer has missed the most salient point — that diplomacy is greatly enhanced when America’s military is strong.

I believe President Trump understands this, and is spending out tax dollars where they will do the most good for America.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

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