Trump is smudging facts about his support for the military so he can win in 2020: op-ed
President Donald Trump appears during a rally Dec. 10, 2019. (Matt Smith Photographer/

President Trump likes to brag about how much he's spending to help the US military -- all part of his "tough guy persona" and the image he's formulating that says he alone deserves credit for restoring the military to its former greatness after it was allowed to falter under President Obama. But as William D. Hartung points out in a piece published at, "Washington has 'only' spent about one-third of his claimed $2 trillion on military equipment since he took office and that Pentagon spending reached a post-World War II record high in the Obama years."

"No surprise there," Hartung writes. "Trump has never let the facts get in the way of a good story he’s dying to tell."

Hartung concedes that Trump has boosted Pentagon spending to near record levels, but even then, Trump chooses to "distort, misstate, and exaggerate sums that are already beyond belief in the service of an inflated self-image and ambitious political objectives."

Trump's use of military spending for political gain has been prevalent since the start of his administration, as evidenced by the impeachment charges against him, and he's not the first president to use this tactic. He is, however, more aggressive in this regard than any president in recent memory.

"Running as the candidate of the military-industrial complex while ignoring urgent problems like climate change may not prove to be the magic formula for political success that Trump expects it to be," Hartung writes. "That could be especially true if his opponents put forward concrete plans to create new non-military jobs in areas particularly dependent on the Pentagon budget."

Read his full op-ed over at