White House explains converting military grants to loans, decision to affect Ukraine

15:00, 23 May 2017
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The Trump administration's budget proposal would convert some of the United States' foreign military grants to loans, part of a larger effort to slash spending on diplomacy, aid and programs abroad by more than 29%, as reported by Reuters.


The cuts to programs under the State Department are in part meant to fund an increase in military spending, Reuters reported.

The White House budget documents showed total defense spending for the 2018 fiscal year at $603 billion, about 3% higher than President Barack Obama's proposed 2018 fiscal year defense budget.

Read alsoU.S. Congress says no aid to Azov BattalionThe $603 billion includes funding for nuclear weapons programs at the Department of Energy and other national defense programs as well as the Department of Defense.

The Pentagon's specific defense request is for $574.5 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to fiscal year 2017.

Under President Donald Trump's proposal, the United States would spend 29.1 percent less on the State Department and "other international programs" in the 2018 fiscal year compared to 2017, a decrease of $11.5 billion.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposal, said the foreign military grants could affect Pakistan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Colombia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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