The world’s top diplomat says he is “deeply disappointed” that the Trump administration has been slow to follow through on its promise to cut US military spending by more than $1 trillion, amid fears the military will be used to fight a war with Iran.
In a statement, Nikki Haley said the Trump White House is “not committed to an effective and enduring US role in the Middle Eastern region”.
“In recent months, we have seen President Trump push the envelope on foreign policy, but we also have seen his administration fail to articulate and implement a strategy that protects US national interests and the interests of the American people,” she said.
The Trump administration is the first to formally announce the cuts, after it was revealed in January that the Pentagon had been cutting its budget by $1.5 trillion for the next decade.
It is not the first time the Trump team has cut spending on the US military in the wake of Iran’s nuclear threat.
In January, the administration cut its defence spending by about $100 billion, after Tehran’s missile tests and the US declared a war on Iran.
But Haley said that “a lot of those cuts were to protect US allies and our allies in the region”.
Haley, who was sworn in on January 20, said the US has not decided on how it will proceed with its Middle East strategy.
“The administration will take a balanced approach to our relationship with Iran, with the world’s most important regional ally,” she told reporters in New York.
Haley said that if Trump continues to “take risks and take risks without consulting the American public, then we will not be able to win.”
“The president is a president who likes to make bold decisions,” she added.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said it is preparing for the US attack on its nuclear facilities, which would be the biggest military buildup since the end of the cold war in the late 1980s.
The Iranian foreign ministry said the country “is ready to retaliate” if the US launched a war.
“Our stance is clear and unequivocal: We will defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Pentagon has been preparing for a “major military escalation” in the war against Iran, Haley said.
“We need to take all the necessary measures to protect our national interests,” she warned.