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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 > 2002 > March

Statement on FY 2003 International Affairs Budget

Secretary Colin L. Powell
House Budget Committee
Washington, DC
March 7, 2002

[As Prepared]

As Delivered

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for your kind welcome, and, Mr. Spratt, for your kind comments as well. It is a great pleasure to once again be before the committee, especially in these new digs. A very exciting arrangement here. I think I could run a war from this table. So I look forward -- (laughter). But it is a great pleasure to be back before the committee, and I do thank you for your support.

Mr. Chairman, as you noted, terrorism is very much on our mind. As you also noted, it is going to be a long campaign. The President has said this from the very beginning, that it isn't going to be over in a week or a month, it isn't going to be over with an exciting air strike or one battle; it's going to be a battle that will have many dimensions to it -- legal, financial, military, political, diplomatic, economic. But it is a battle that we are in and will prevail in over the long term.

We deeply appreciate the support we receive from members of this committee and from the Congress as a whole, and I believe even more importantly from the American people, as well as from our coalition partners around the world who understand the necessity of being a part of this rather remarkable coalition that we have been able to put together over the last six months. So I thank you for that support.

Mr. Spratt, I too understand that the 150 Account is not the one you necessarily go home to and speak about on the weekends, but, as you also noted, it is important. I think it is important, and part of my responsibility, and the responsibility of every member of this committee and all the Members of Congress, to make the case to the American people that if we are going to live in the kind of world we all want to live in, if we are going to want to see our values adopted by more and more nations -- not because they are American values, but because they are universal values -- it is important that we give our diplomatic efforts the support that they deserve through significant increases in the 150 Account. That will be my case as I come before the Congress for as long as I am Secretary of State.

As you noted, Mr. Chairman, I do have a prepared statement, and thank you for putting it in the record without objection. I will begin by saying that, as many of you may recall from my first appearance last March, we talked about the State Department's budget not being at historical levels, and Mr. Spratt voiced his concern about the out years. And you may recall that I expressed my concern about the out years at that time as well.

Now we are involved in a war on terrorism, and that war has made President Bush's budget decisions even more difficult. In that regard, I am pleased, as you noted, Mr. Spratt, that the Department fared well in the President's Request for Fiscal Year 2003. We are continuing the increase in dollars for 150 for the State Department.

The President's Discretionary Request for the Department of State and Related Agencies for 2003 International Affairs is $8.1 billion. These dollars will allow us to continue initiatives to recruit, hire, train and deploy the right workforce. The budget request includes $100 million for the next step in the hiring process, the diplomatic readiness initiative we began last year.

With these dollars, we will be able to bring on 399 more foreign affairs professionals and other professionals, and we will be on our way to repairing the large gap that was created in our personnel structure over the last ten years, and thus reduce the strain that we put on our people. We, over the last decade, have had too few hires, an inability to train properly, and hundreds of unfilled positions.

By 2004, if we are able to hire the final 399 personnel, we will have completed our multiyear effort with respect to overseas staffing, to include establishing a training pool, a training pool I described to you last year where we have some flexibility in the system so people can go to school, get the skills that they need, without stealing them from positions that they are occupying or should be occupying.

Next March, I will be back up here briefing you on the results of our domestic staffing review.

In addition to bringing more people on board, we want to continue to upgrade and enhance our worldwide security readiness, and that is reflected in this budget request. This is even more important in light of our success in disrupting and damaging the al-Qaida terrorist network. The budget request includes $553 million that builds on the funding provided from the emergency response fund for the increased hiring of security agents and for counterterrorism programs.

We also want to continue to upgrade the security of our overseas facilities. The budget request includes over $1.3 billion to improve physical security, correct serious deficiencies that still exist, and provide for security-driven construction of new facilities at high-risk posts around the world.

Mr. Chairman, we are right-sizing, we are shaping up, and we are bringing smarter management practices to our overseas building programs, as I told you we would do last year. The first change we made was to put retired General Chuck Williams in charge and give him assistant secretary-equivalent rank. Now, his Overseas Buildings Operation has developed the Department's first long-range master plan, which projects our major facility requirements through Fiscal Year 2007.

His office is using best practices from industry, new embassy templates, strong leadership to lower costs, increase quality, and decrease construction time. All of our construction programs under way now are coming in at lower costs than we indicated last year, and with quicker completion time. As I told you last year, that would be our goal, and it is a goal we are well on our way to achieving.

General Williams is making all of our facilities, overseas and stateside, more secure. By the end of 2002, over two-thirds of our overseas posts should reach minimal security standards, meaning secure doors, windows and perimeters, to make sure that our people have safe places in which to work and in which to live.

We are also making progress in efforts to provide new facilities that are fully secure, with 13 major capital projects in design or construction, another eight expected to begin this fiscal year, and nine more in 2003.

Mr. Chairman, we also want to continue our program to provide state-of-the-art information technology to our people everywhere. Because of your support last year, we are well on the way to doing this. We have an aggressive deployment schedule for our unclassified system, which will provide desktop Internet access to over 30,000 State Department users worldwide in 2003, using 2002 funds.

I was determined when I came in to make sure that all the employees of the State Department were taking advantage of the information technology revolution that is going on around the world, so that they can be in real time with respect to news, with respect to data, with respect to what's coming out of Washington. We have to catch up with that information and media news cycle that is now 24 hours a day, and we have to make sure that we have that same kind of agility and flexibility within all of our missions worldwide, and this is done by giving them all desktop Internet access.

We are also deploying our classified connectivity program over the next two years. We have included $177 million in the Capital Investment Fund for information technology requirements. Combined with the $86 million in estimated Expedited Passport Fees, we will have a total of $263 million for our IT initiatives.

We also want to continue to meet our contractual obligations to international organizations, and this is even more important as we try to keep this coalition together and strong to pursue the war on terrorism to its end. The budget request includes $891 million to fund US assessments to 43 international organizations, active membership of which furthers United States economic, political, social and cultural interests.

We want to continue to meet our obligations to international peacekeeping activities as well. The budget request includes $726 million to pay our projected United Nations peacekeeping assessments, all the more important as we seek to avoid increasing even further our UN arrearages. And I hope, Mr. Chairman, that we can ask for your support and assistance in getting the cap on our assessments lifted so that we don't continue to build up arrearages, moving it from 25 up to 27 percent.

These peacekeeping activities allow us to leverage our political, military and financial assets through the authority of the United Nations Security Council and the participation of other countries in providing funds and peacekeepers for conflicts worldwide.

Mr. Chairman, we also need to continue and also enhance an aggressive effort to eliminate support for terrorists, and thus deny them safe haven through our ongoing public diplomacy activities, our educational and cultural exchange programs, and through our international broadcasting efforts.

We have all seen surveys and data recently that suggests we are not really not making our case very effectively in the Muslim world, and we simply have to do a better job of that. The budget request includes $287 million for public diplomacy, including information and cultural programs carried out by overseas missions and supported by public diplomacy personnel in our regional and functional bureaus. These resources help to educate the international public on the war against terrorism and America's commitment to peace and prosperity for all nations.

The budget request also includes $247 million for educational and cultural exchange programs that help build mutual understanding and develop friendly relations between America and the peoples of the world. These activities help build trust, confidence and international cooperation necessary to sustain and advance the full range of our interests: Fulbright scholarship programs, programs where we bring people from other nations early in their career, show them what America is about, let them study in our schools, let them participate in American life by being hosted by an American family.

When that person goes back to their land, they not only take back an education and experience, but they take back a better understanding of what America is all about. And that pays dividends for decades and decades into the future.

The budget request also includes almost $518 million for international broadcasting, of which $60 million is for the war on terrorism to continue increased media coverage to Afghanistan and the surrounding countries, and throughout the Middle East. These international broadcasts help inform local public opinion about the true nature of al-Qaida and the purposes of the war on terrorism, building support for the coalition's global campaign.

On the subject of public diplomacy, let me expand my remarks just a little bit, Mr. Chairman. The terrorist attacks, as I said, underscored the urgency of implementing an effective public diplomacy campaign. They are spreading distortion. They are spreading lies all over the world.

In response, since September 11th, we have had over 2,000 media appearances by State Department officials. Our continuous presence in Arab and regional media by officials who have the language skills and the media skills has been unprecedented. Our international information website on terror is now online in seven languages. Internet search engines show that it is the hottest page on this topic.

As an example of what else we're doing, when the President gave his State of the Union Address a few weeks ago, at the same time that he was uttering his last word, that last word was being translated into one of seven languages and being broadcast around the world. Within 30 minutes after the end of his speech, we had downloaded it in every one of our missions and embassies around the world in about five or six different languages in order to get the word out as quickly as possible. Right content, right format, right audience, right away, describes our strategic aim in seeing that US policies are explained and placed in the proper context in the minds of foreign audiences.

Mr. Chairman, all of these State Department and Related Agencies programs and initiatives are critical for the conduct of American foreign policy. Some of you know my feelings about the importance to the success of any enterprise of having the right people in the right place, and if I had to put one of these priorities at the pinnacle of our management efforts, it would be our hiring efforts. We must sustain the strong recruiting program we began last year. As the State Department's CEO, let me thank you for what you have done to help us begin this process of reinvigorating the Department of State with new blood and new people.

Now, if I may, let me turn to my budget request for foreign operations. Over the past year, Mr. Chairman, I believe the broader tapestry of our foreign policy has become clearer: to encourage the spread of democracy and market economics and to bring more nations to the understanding that the power of the individual is the power that counts; and when evil appears to threaten this progress, America will confront that evil and defeat it, as we are doing in the war on terrorism.

In weaving this tapestry, we have achieved several successes in addition to the successes of the war on terrorism and the regional developments that its skillful pursuit has made possible. We have improved our relations with Russia, set a new and smoother course with China, reinvigorated our Asian and Pacific alliances, and worked successfully with our European partners to ensure continued stability in the Balkans.

Moreover, we reduced the level of concern in some places that thought that we were pursuing a go-it-alone policy. Notwithstanding the fact that there have been some comments to that effect, I can assure you that the President understands the need for friends, the need for allies. And he has worked hard -- meeting with foreign leaders, the work that I do at the State Department, the trips he has taken.

Just to touch on one of those trips, his trip a few weeks ago to visit Tokyo, to visit Seoul, South Korea, to visit Beijing, China, and to meet with those leaders and to consult with them and to hear their concerns, and to put into context our policies with their desires and their expectations and their own policies, shows that this President is reaching out.

Multilateralism is good. We understand that. But at the same time, we also believe in principled foreign policy. When there is a matter of principle that we feel strongly about, something that serves our interests and we believe is the right way to go, then we will pursue that direction; we will pursue that policy even if not all of our friends and allies agree with us on that policy. That is what leadership is about: to have a principled stand on the issues, try to bring our allies along; when we can't bring all of our allies along, make the case to them and let them know that we took their advice into consideration but that we still felt we had to move in a particular direction.

We have also broadened our cooperation with Central Asia and set a more effective policy in place for Africa based on good governance, reinvigoration of agriculture, and integration of Africa into the global world of trade and commerce. We are attacking HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere with bilateral, as well as international, efforts.

You will see in our request and in the focus we give to the HIV/AIDS issue that we are determined to help with this pandemic that is perhaps the most significant crisis that exists on the face of the earth today. Just by way of illustration to make the point, the president of Botswana was in to see us last week, and we talked about HIV/AIDS. A country of 1.6 million people, an infection rate of 38.9 percent; 38.9 percent of a whole population is carrying the virus. The expectancy, life expectancy in Botswana, has already dropped from 69 years to 44 years. Fifteen percent of all 15-year-olds are infected.

These are horrible statistics, and Botswana does not stand alone. It is a problem throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. It's a problem in the Caribbean. It's going to be a problem in other nations of the world, and we are now just starting to awake to the dimensions of this problem. And I am pleased that the United States has been in the forefront of this awakening. We are putting together a variety of programs, bilateral programs with individual countries, participating in the Global Health Trust Fund that we launched with Secretary General Kofi Annan last year, and there is much more that has to be done in order to bring this pandemic under control.

We are also working, of course, within our own hemisphere, anxious to see the spread of free trade from the Arctic all the way down to Tierra del Fuego, committing ourselves to democracy in this region. The Quebec summit of last year reinforced the President's commitment to see democracy be firmly embedded throughout our hemisphere, and 34 of the 35 countries in our hemisphere are now solidly committed to democracy. Only Castro's Cuba remains on the outside.

There are, of course, dark clouds that we are dealing with every day and tragic situations that we deal with every day, in the Middle East especially, South America, South Asia, but we are working on all of these issues. There is effective policy in place and good people are pushing that policy, all in response to the President's leadership.

All of these efforts require resources, so let me turn to the specifics of our budget request for foreign operations. The President's 2003 request for foreign operations is a little over $16.1 billion. These dollars will support the continuing war on terrorism and the counter-drug work we are doing in Colombia and the Andean region at large. These dollars will also support our efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

The one message that leaps out from the events of September 11th, and that we are following very carefully, is that American leadership in all of these areas is important. In that regard, to fight terrorism, as well as alleviate the conditions that fuel violent extremism, we are requesting an estimated $5 billion, in addition to the initiatives outlined previously under the budget for the State Department and Related Agencies.

This funding includes $3.6 billion for economic and security assistance, military equipment, and training for the frontline states and other partners in the war on terrorism. This includes $3.4 million from foreign operations accounts, such as the Economic Support Fund, IMET and Foreign Military Financing and Freedom Support Act funding: $88 million for programs in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union to reduce the availability to terrorists of weapons of mass destruction; ongoing programs that engage former weapons scientists in peaceful research and help prevent the spread of materials expertise required to produce such weapons; $69 million for counterterrorism engagement programs, training and equipment to help other nations fight global terror, thereby strengthening our national security as well as their own; $4 million for the Treasury Department's Office of Technical Assistance to provide training and other necessary expertise to foreign finance officers to halt terrorist financing.

And Mr. Chairman, in the 2003 budget request, there is approximately $140 million available for Afghanistan, including repatriation of refugees, food aid, demining and transition assistance. We will certainly have to add to that number in the course of our discussions in the rest of the year. I know that President Bush, the Congress and the American people recognize that rebuilding that country will require a lot more than initially identified in that request.

We are examining our overall international affairs requirements, including our operations account. In this effort, we are working closely with OMB to deal with some valid 2002 requirements that can not wait until 2003. So a supplemental request will be coming up in due course, and the State Department is working with OMB to make sure that we are dealt with appropriately in that supplemental request, and we would be encouraging your support for it when it finally arrives for your consideration.

Continuing with the 2003 budget initiatives, we are requesting $731 million for the multiyear counterdrug initiative in Colombia and other Andean countries. Assistance to Andean governments will support drug eradication, interdiction, economic development, and the development of government institutions. In addition, the Colombians will be able to stand up a second counterdrug brigade, assist efforts to destroy local coca crops and processing labs, and increasing the effectiveness of our law enforcement activities in Colombia.

This year, we are adding a new element to our counterdrug efforts, and that is $98 million in FMF to help the Colombian Government protect the vital Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline from the same foreign terrorist organizations involved in illicit drugs -- the FARC and the ELN. Their attacks on the pipeline shut it down for 240 days last year, costing Colombia revenue, causing serious environmental damage, and depriving us of a source of petroleum. This money will help train and equip the Colombian armed forces to protect the pipeline.

I might mention that because of President Pastrana's decision to end the safe havens and go after the FARC, we do have a new situation, and some of the assistance that the Colombian Government is requesting, and which I believe we should provide, the President believes we should provide. We might find it necessary to come up and seek additional authority or relief from some of the constraints we are under by seeing this specifically as a counter-drug effort to this point, and so we may have to come up and ask for changes in authority and new funding to deal with the counter-terrorist aspects of the fight that the Colombian people are waging against these terrorist organizations.

In 2003, we are requesting $1.4 billion for USAID global health programs. Of this amount, we are requesting $540 million for bilateral HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment, and $100 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. HHS is also asking for $100 million, which would mean $200 million, on top of the $200 million the President requested last year, received, and the additional $100 million the Congress added to that, making a total of $500 million over a two-year period, just for that one specific part of the HIV/AIDS battle.

All of you heard the President's remarks in his State of the Union with respect to the USA Freedom Corps and his objective to renew the promise of the Peace Corps and to double the number of volunteers in the Corps in the next five years. Since that call to service by the President, the Peace Corps has received over 14,000 requests for applications -- an increase of 57 percent over the same period last year. We have put $320 million for the Peace Corps in the 2003 budget request -- an increase of over $42 million from the FY 2002 level. This increase will allow us to begin scaling up what the President has directed. The Peace Corps will open programs in eight countries, including the reestablishment of currently suspended posts, and place over 1,200 additional volunteers worldwide. By the end of 2003, we hope the Peace Corps will have more than 8,000 volunteers on the ground and serving our interests.

The 2003 request also includes an initiative to pay one-third of the amount the United States owes the multilateral development banks for our scheduled annual commitments. With US arrears now totaling $533 million, the request would provide $178 million to pay one third of our total arrears during the fiscal year. The banks lend to and invest in developing economies, promoting economic growth and poverty reduction, and providing environmental benefits, and we really need to support them.

Mr. Chairman, you have heard from me as CEO of the State Department and principal foreign policy advisor to the President. I hold both of these responsibilities dear. Taking care of the great men and women who carry out America's foreign policy is as vital a mission in my view as helping to construct and shape that foreign policy.

So I need your help to do this, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I think we have made a great deal of progress in our first year in office, with revitalizing the State Department, fixing those management problems that have been identified previously by Members of Congress, and showing that we are aggressively planning to take our message to the world; that the American value system is a value system that rests of democracy, the free enterprise system, and the individual rights of men and women. We think it is a system that works. We believe more and more countries are coming to the realization that it's a system that works, and we want to help these countries. We can help these countries if we find that our accounts are adequately funded and we can carry forward the work of American foreign policy, as determined by the President, in response to the mandate he has been provided by the American people.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support the committee has provided to us in the past, and I hope we will continue to earn that support in the future. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.



Released on March 7, 2002

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