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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2001 > March

2002 International Affairs Budget

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Testimony at Budget Hearing before the Senate Budget Committee
Washington, DC
March 14, 2001

I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before you to present the President's submission for 2002 for the International Affairs budget. In January, at my confirmation hearing, I told the Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that President Bush would be a leader who faithfully represents to the world the ideas of freedom and justice and open markets. The President has many ways he can do this, many different methods with which he can show the world the values of America, and the prosperity and peace those values can generate.

For example, the President meets with other heads of state here in Washington and he travels to summit meetings in the course of the year, and as you know, he has a Secretary of State who travels for him as well. I returned two weeks ago from visits to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the West Bank and Brussels, all in one four-day period of time. Such trips by the Secretary of State, such actions by the President, show our engagement in the world. But the most important method by which the President shows America to the world, the most important method by far, is through the thousands of people who labor away at such representation every day of the week, in almost every country in the world.

I am, of course, speaking of our frontline troops in the State Department, as well as those here in America who support them. I'm talking about the Foreign Service Officers, the Civil Service employees and the Foreign Service Nationals who make up the Department of State. Theirs is the daily grind of foreign policy, punctuated by the thrill and excitement of diplomatic success, ranging from the minor to the sublime, from the courteous handling of a visa application to the inking of a treaty curtailing nuclear weapons.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, I want to say to you that there are no finer people chipping away at tyranny, loosening the bonds of poverty, pushing the cause of peace and freedom, on the US Government payroll. We should be very proud of what those fellow Americans of ours are doing for the cause of freedom.

And in my few weeks in the Department, both during the transition period and now as Secretary of State, it has become something of a mystery to me, a mystery that we're going to clear up, as to how they have been able to do such a good job with such scarce resources over the years. As you noted, Mr. Chairman, it really is less than one percent of the overall budget. If you would ask the average group of Americans, they would think that what we spend on foreign affairs, international affairs and for the State Department is 10, 15 percent. But it isn't. It's only one percent. And I submit to you and to the Members of this committee that we get a pretty good return on that investment, but it is an investment that should grow if we want to see peace and freedom and wealth creation throughout the world grow in this 21st century.

My hope is that in this first year of the Bush Administration the Congress will work with us to continue the progress that we have seen in the last year on improving the resource situation of the State Department. We have so much more to do. And in the budget that I am presenting to you this morning on behalf of President Bush, I think I can demonstrate that we are making improvements that are needed, improvements that will benefit the American people and will benefit the cause of peace and freedom throughout the world.

The increases that we are showing in this budget -- and what I would like to do, Mr. Chairman, is just touch on some of these major increases and then let you see the full text for the record, and you can examine it at your leisure. But in the interest of time, let me just touch on the highlights.

With respect to the foreign operations of the Department, you'll see a major increase for international narcotics and law enforcement, one of the great problems of our time. And of the $948 million total in this account, $217 million go for the base programs, 162 of that for global counter-narcotics programs, and 55 million for transnational anti-crime efforts, including trafficking, $731 million for the Andean regional initiative.

You recall that we had Plan Colombia. That is now being expanded into an Andean regional initiative, so we take into account some of the spillover that could occur from Plan Colombia, and to show that we are investing in all the countries of the Andean region so that the spillover doesn't move the drug growing, the coca growing, from one nation to another nation. We have to make sure we have a regional approach, and this investment will do that.

Secondly, military assistance to provide defense articles and training for Israel or the Europe Partnership for Peace countries, which allow these nations that used to be behind the Iron Curtain to become more integrated with Western ideas and Western thought.

Multilateral development banks to fully fund all 2002 scheduled payments to the multinational development banks, child survival and diseases will see a 10 percent increase, especially for HIV/AIDS.

I am committed to this, as is President Bush, Mr. Chairman. HIV/AIDS is one of the great crises of our time. It is ravaging parts of Africa, it is spreading into the old countries of the Soviet Union. We are seeing it here in our own hemisphere in the Caribbean. It's happening in the Indian nation and in other parts of the world, and this is something we really have to make a major effort on. The Congress has been very generous in past years and in 2002, we are asking for a 10 percent increase in this account.

We are improving overseas facilities in security and salaries for our USAID activities. Peacekeeping will see a $23 million increase; development assistance, $23 million. Other increases with respect to migration and refugee assistance, and an increase in the Peace Corps, one of the great programs of our times, that is approaching its 40th anniversary this year.

Within the actual appropriation that funds the activities of the State Department, we have seen a considerable increase. The President has given us a 14 percent increase in that specific account for running the State Department. But I need to point out that the overall increase in the entire function is only 5 percent. And you can see your puts and takes, but it really is a 5 percent increase in the overall international affairs account.

Within the State Department piece of it, the Commerce-Justice-State appropriation, first and foremost, we are hiring more people again -- 597 Americans will be hired to meet the highest priority staffing needs in the Department. And as we hire these people, we are going to start doing something that we haven't done in the State Department previously but I have seen it done very effectively from my defense experience, and that is to start creating a float, not a float of people who don't have jobs, but a float of people that we can send off to training, that we can have as a reserve to apply to crises as they come along and not always be robbing Peter to pay Paul. This is good personnel management. We are also going to be hiring another 186 security professionals to make sure that we have solid security programs, not only here in our facilities in the United States but in our overseas facilities as well.

The second item that I would like to highlight in the Commerce-State-Justice appropriation is information technology, requesting over $273 million to invest in the Internet and the infrastructure necessary to bring our employees at embassies and facilities all across the world into the information age. I want to use this program to put 30,000 computers throughout the State Department on every desk so that each one of those employees has not only e-mail access but access to the Internet, so they can be part of this modern world. And in that same investment, start to branch out so that we can provide classified access on each desk as well.

There is $1.3 billion in our overall blueprint with respect to enhanced security of our embassies, of our facilities, perimeter security, to make sure that the wonderful men and women we send overseas to work have assurance that the facilities that we are placing them in to work are secure. And not just the embassy itself, but other facilities within the capital of the country that we're in, and also a special effort to make sure we're doing everything we can to protect families as well. Overseas infrastructure increases are also within this increase for the Commerce-State-Justice appropriation.

And so, Mr. Chairman, I would say to you that the President has put forward a responsible increase. I think, if left to my own devices, I could have found many other ways to invest in the State Department and the foreign operations that we conduct from the State Department, but I think this is a responsible increase in light of the budget constraints that have already been touched on by Members of the Committee, especially by Mr. Conrad, and I ask the Committee to support this 5 percent increase in this function.

I think you will get a remarkable return on your investment. I think we are in a new age where the Department of State performs a responsibility for national security that is equal to that of the Defense Department -- different in many ways, but the cutting edge of our national security activities really is represented by what our men and women of the Department of State do around the world, and we should be proud of how well they do it.

Mr. Chairman, I think I will stop at that point in the interest of time. You have the completed statement. I would like to submit it for the record, and then make myself available for your questions.

[end] 

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a great pleasure to appear before this Committee for the first time, and I hope it is one of many such occasions where I will have the opportunity to present to the Members of the Committee the needs of the Department of State as we move forward and the challenges that face us in this new century. And thank you, Mr. Conrad, for your welcome as well. It is a great pleasure to be here, and I can assure you, sir, I will convey what you have said with respect to tax cuts to my colleagues when I see them later in the course of the day.


Released on March 14, 2001

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