VOA Special Report

A Strong America

The Trump administration is trying to make good on its promises to strengthen U.S. military power. While supporters are backing his efforts, critics wonder how they will feel when the proposed boost in defense spending cuts into social welfare, environmental and other programs. For one supporter in Annawan, Illinois, he’s satisfied with Trump’s actions.


What you do with the horses is reason to get up every morning. It ain’t like you have to stay in the house and do nothing. It keeps you young. You’ve got to work with them like a kid to make them compete.

Well, we’ve got to be military strong. We’ve got to show leadership. And if we’re not strong, they just take advantage of you.

Not saying we’re going over there to fight. But you’ve got to show your power. And you’ve got to have a strong military that’s got backing. But if you’re going to be weak, cut your defense back where you look weak, you’re going to pay for it.

Reagan came in and built it up and when you built up your military, look what Russia did. They backed right down.

We’re spending too much money overseas. Spent trillions of dollars on that war. And what do we got? We’re giving foreign aid to all these countries. And what do we get in return? Nothing. You really don’t got to spend money over there. You’ve got whoever is conflicting with them, you’ve got to stand up to those people and say this is enough.

—Bill Croegaert, Retired Factory Worker

Annawan, Illinois