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The first time I met Gen. David Petraeus, he said something that surprised me.I thought of that exchange when reading reports that President Trump is expected to propose a $54 billion increase for the Defense Department, which would be offset by large cuts in the State Department, foreign aid and other civilian agencies.The U.S. military remains in a league of its own. America's defense budget in 2015 was nine times the size of Russia's and three times that of China's.None of the difficulties the United States has faced over the last 25 years has been in any way because its military was too small or weak. There are only 13,000 employees in the whole foreign service, compared with 742,000 civilians in the Department of Defense.Rosa Brooks, who served as a civilian adviser at the Pentagon under President Obama, has written a fascinating book, "How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything," that describes how American policy has been contorted by a military that keeps expanding while all other agencies wither.
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