Diplomacy and the War Against TerrorismMarc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
March 18, 2003
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on diplomacy's role in the war against terrorism. I thank the committee -- and you and Senator Biden in particular -- for your strong support of U.S. diplomacy.
Mr. Chairman, your goals highlight our priorities as we fight the global war on terrorism. Secretary Powell said on February 6 when he testified before this Committee in support of the President's FY04 International Affairs budget that, "our number one priority is to fight and win the global war on terrorism."
Mr. Chairman, let me say at the outset that the war on terrorism is a war unlike any other. We are fighting a network of terrorists operating in more than 60 countries. The war on terrorism is also a war unlike any other because we must stop the proliferation or use of weapons of mass destruction, which are potential instruments of terror unlike any other. Nuclear weapons, biological weapons, radiological weapons and chemical weapons in the hands of terror groups or rogue states like Iraq are a challenge to American security.
To fight this enemy, we are engaged in a campaign unlike any other. President Bush has said, "We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of global terror network."
Our response to terrorism is global. And so America's future depends on the quality and skill of the people of the State Department. Secretary Powell says that he has stopped thinking about the Department as a first line of defense for our national interests and now says that we are the first line of offense by pursuing active, purposeful diplomacy.
Through this active, purposeful diplomacy, we have built a coalition against terrorism unlike any other. More than 90 nations have arrested or detained over 2,700 terrorists and their supporters since 9/11. Seventeen nations have contributed nearly 6,000 troops to Operation Enduring Freedom and to the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul. NATO members and partners have played an especially key role. One hundred and sixty-one countries have blocked terrorist assets totaling $116 million -- $34 million in the U.S. and $82 million abroad.
September 11, 2001 changed America. September 11 also changed the way the State Department does business. Under the direction of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, every bureau in the Department and all of our Missions overseas have organized to contribute to the fight against terrorism. Our Missions ensure that counterterrorism objectives are met consistently and that our operations succeed.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the observation made in your letter of invitation that "the foreign policy tools contained in the 150 Account will make or break our anti-terrorism efforts in the long term." Congress's strong support enables the U.S. to present and sustain an effective offense against terrorism and its root causes. That is why we support the President's FY04 budget of $18.8 billion for the State Department.
Our number-one priority is to fight and win the global war on terrorism. The President's budget furthers this goal by providing economic military and democracy assistance to key foreign partners and allies and pursing our program of "Diplomatic Readiness."
Over the last 2 years, with support from Congress, the State Department has begun to address our human and capital resource needs. The President's FY04 Budget requests resources that will allow us to continue to reinforce America's world-class diplomatic force -- focusing even more attention on the people, places and tools needed to promote U.S. foreign policy goals.
Mr. Chairman, I want to highlight another point we have been making since September 11: fighting terror and promoting human rights are not opposite poles.
I believe supporting the growth of democracy and the respect of human rights around the world is one of our greatest weapons against terrorism. As the National Security Strategy of the United States says: "America must stand for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law; limits on the absolute power of the state; free speech; freedom of worship; equal justice; respect for women; religious and ethnic tolerance; and respect for private property."
Since September 11, we have increased our global engagement on building democracy and protecting human rights. Here is an example of how this all comes together: With your support, in Colombia the United States trained and equipped a counterdrug brigade. This unit is human rights vetted and received U.S. human rights training. There has not been a single credible human rights violation charged to this unit and it is considered the best unit in the Colombian military. In fact, when I visit Colombia, human rights advocates always tell me that what is needed is more such U.S. training, not less, because our training means Colombia's military becomes more professional, effective and respectful of human rights and democracy.
We thank you, Mr. Chairman, for helping the State Department, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies get the resources we need to do our jobs, and do them well, for the sake of the American people. From your consistent support we know that you understand the sacrifices -- and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice -- that the men and women of our diplomatic corps as well as their families make every day to protect America.