They heard him.
And now they've taken his advice in rejecting President Trump's State Department budget.
House Appropriations Committee members were apparently impressed when Defense Secretary James Mattis said that if the State Department budget was cut, "I need to buy more ammunition."
And they were also listening to recent national security concerns from 16 top retired admirals and generals. Those concerns, as summarized by New York Times analyst Eduardo Porter, "Is A More Prosperous World More Secure? Not as Trump Sees It"
"American security is undermined by frail and failing nations where hope is non-existent, and where conditions foster radicalism, produce refugees, spark insurgency and provide safe haven for terrorists, criminal gangs and human traffickers ..." They asserted that strategic development assistance "is not charity -- it is an essential, modern tool of national security."
Clearly the U.S. military leadership understands "Smart Power" aka "Soft Power."
And, not incidentally, so do the business leaders active in the United Nations Global Compact's Business For Peace movement (see UN Global Compact's "Business For Peace" gets traction around the world) .
This week the House Appropriations Committee restored much of the cuts the President recommended for diplomacy and foreign aid -- reductions of about $26 billion or 28% of current spending.
Hopefully, this kind of realism will prevail throughout the total budget resolution.