By Gregory Scruggs
SEATTLE — In late February, when the Trump administration was poised to unveil a budget of deep cuts to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, a group of retired U.S. generals and admirals put pen to paper in defense of foreign assistance. “Now is not the time to retreat,” the letter to the U.S. Congress, signed by over 120 military leaders, concluded.
The letter was cited by both sides of the political spectrum in Congress, from the conservative Freedom Caucus to the left-leaning Progressive Caucus. Bill Gates quoted it in a TIME op/ed defending foreign aid, as did World Bank President Jim Kim in a recent National Press Club appearance.