National Security Experts Praise Funding Request at a Time of Difficult Choices
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition today commended the Obama Administration's overall FY 2013 International Affairs Budget request for $56.2 billion (which includes $8.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations), and urged Congress to support these relatively small, but critical tools of diplomacy and development to meet our national security needs.
In this difficult economic environment, policymakers face tough choices and this budget request demonstrates a strong recognition that in today's turbulent world, America cannot unilaterally disarm from our global engagement. At just over one percent of the federal budget, the International Affairs Budget request is a smart, strategic investment in protecting our security and ensuring we can compete in today's global marketplace.
On the security side, military leaders and national security experts have consistently called for prioritizing our investments in the State Department, USAID, and other civilian-led efforts. With the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to support democracy and stability in the Arab Awakening countries, and the humanitarian crises like the famine in the Horn of Africa, now is not the time to diminish America's engagement in the world.
At a time of great economic turbulence, the International Affairs Budget is also an important part of getting America back to work. As one in five American jobs depends on trade and nearly half of U.S. exports go to developing countries, this funding is essential to strengthening the nation's economy and creating new markets for U.S. goods and services.
While applauding the overall request, the proposed decreases in a few key areas of the budget request, particularly global health and humanitarian and refugee assistance, raise concerns. More details are needed on how this budget will reach the important goals for these programs.
Please visit USGLC's up-to-the-minute online Budget Center for detailed analysis on the FY 2013 International Affairs Budget request.
USGLC Leadership on FY 2013 International Affairs Budget Request
USGLC Advisory Council Member and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci: "The challenges facing us in today's world simply cannot be met by conventional military force alone. Investing in an effective International Affairs Budget can ensure our brave men and women in uniform are sent in as a measure of last resort—only after we have exhausted our other efforts."
USGLC Advisory Council Member and first Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge: "We cannot afford to isolate ourselves, give away our competitive edge, or allow our enemies to dictate the conditions of peace and stability throughout the world. The International Affairs Budget is a crucial investment in our national security and an important bellwether for our position in the global economy."
USGLC National Security Advisory Council Member and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Hugh Shelton, USA (Ret.): "Budgets are tight, but the one percent of the federal budget we invest in our International Affairs Budget is essential in addressing the threats we face around the world. Not providing adequate resources to these vital programs risks forgetting the lessons we had to learn on September 12, 2001."
USGLC Advisory Council Member and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: "Our national security and economic future are directly linked to how well we resource our development and diplomatic operations. Resources for the International Affairs Budget are especially critical right now in Afghanistan and Iraq as our troops come home and our diplomats and development experts intensify their work on the ground to win the peace."
USGLC Co-President and Caterpillar Washington Director Bill Lane: "With 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the U.S. and half of U.S. exports already go to developing countries, it is clear these emerging markets are central to America's prosperity. The International Affairs Budget is an essential tool for U.S. businesses to compete in today's global marketplace."
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.
SOURCE U.S. Global Leadership Coalition