The budget would propose defence budget increase by $54 billion.

Washington: President Donald Trump in his first budget is seeking to cut the foreign aid by a whopping 28% which is likely to have an impact on top recipients like Pakistan.

The budget will also call for a dramatic shift from the “soft power” diplomacy of the Obama era to a “hard power” military buildup. It would propose an increase the country’s defence budget by $54 billion.

The US is expected to spend more than $40 billion on foreign aid in the current fiscal, with about 60% of that for economic & development assistance and 40 % on security.

This is likely to have an impact on America’s foreign aid to countries like Pakistan, which has been one of the top recipients of America’s foreign aid post 9/11.

The top recipients are Afghanistan, where 8,400 US troops are deployed, about $4.7 billion; Israel, $3.1 billion; Egypt, $1.4 billion; Iraq, $1.1 billion; Jordan, $1 billion and Pakistan, $742 million. Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia each received more than $500 million, the report said.

“You will see a fairly dramatic reduction in State Department (budget). That is not a commentary on the President’s policy towards the State Department,” Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management of Budget, said. He said the foreign aid line items in the budget happens to fall within State Department functions.

During his campaign, Trump, had said he wants to spend less money overseas and more money back home. The budget proposals tries to accomplish this goal. The full budget would be introduced in May.        PTI

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