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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 > April

FY 2003 International Affairs Budget

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing
Washington, DC
April 24, 2002

As Prepared

As Delivered

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It's a great pleasure to be back before the committee, and I thank you for your expressions of support. I do have a prepared statement I would submit for the record, and then just have a brief opening statement and then be ready for your questions.

Before beginning my opening statement, let me just respond to the comments you made earlier, Mr. Chairman. And I know these are comments on everybody's mind, really, with respect to the situation in the Middle East. We had a chance to talk about it yesterday morning, and I'm sure in the course of our questioning there will be an opportunity to say more about the situation in the Middle East.

But I have to take some exception to your comment that the United States administration, President Bush's administration, blundered badly and that we stayed away and were preoccupied by other matters. I don't think that's an accurate portrayal.

Immediately upon taking office last year, we became engaged with Senator George Mitchell, your colleague from past days, and encouraged him to remain engaged with the work he was doing with the Mitchell Committee. They did. We encouraged the Israelis to participate with Senator Mitchell's group, and they did. And we came out with a very fine report that gave us a blueprint of a way to move forward. And we pressed hard to get both sides to enter into that blueprint plan, and unfortunately we were not successful, but it wasn't because we weren't trying.

And we were not successful, and they were not successful -- the failure was theirs, not ours -- because we couldn't get the violence down. We tried again with the Tenet work plan, and the Tenet work plan would have provided a way into Mitchell, but we couldn't get it started again, once again, because of violence.

And we sided with, frankly, the Israeli side here by saying that you had to have security; you had to have some confidence that you were not going to have your citizens blown up in suicide bombs or other kinds of terrorist activities; and that Prime Minister Sharon had been elected to office on the basis of his commitment to provide security to the Israeli people. We understood that and we worked with both sides trying to get the violence down.

President Bush was the first President of the United States to stand before an international forum, as he did at the United Nations last fall, and call for the creation of a Palestinian state. And he gave it a name; he called it Palestine -- the first time a President has done that.

And he did it because he wanted to say to the Palestinian people that the United States has a vision for you; we will always be Israel's closest friend, we have been there from the very beginning, and we will always be there for Israel, but at the same time we recognize that a way has to be found for these two peoples to live side by side in peace behind secure and recognizable borders and develop relations between themselves that do not come out of the barrel of a gun, but come out of economic development, come out of educating young people, come out of giving people hope and jobs.

And the President is committed to that vision. He repeated that vision in his 4 April speech before sending me off to the Middle East. I also captured that vision in my Louisville speech of last year. So we have been deeply engaged in the work of finding a way forward on the basis of security, on the basis of a political solution, and on the basis of economic and humanitarian relief.

And now the President has reaffirmed his commitment to this process, first by sending me into the middle of a difficult situation -- and we can talk about that trip that I took and what might have been achieved and what more you would like to have seen achieved that wasn't achieved. But he is engaged. I am engaged. And the reason I was a few moments late coming up this morning is I was with the President in the Situation Room going over today's situation, as well as what we're going to be doing in the future.

CHAIRMAN LEAHY: By Senate standards, you were the model of punctuality, let me say.

SECRETARY POWELL: Yes, well, if you had a driver as good as mine, and if you closed your eyes going through Washington traffic, you could be anywhere on time, as I did this morning.

And so, Mr. Chairman, I assure you we'll be engaged as a close and dear friend of Israel, but also as a friend of the Palestinian people, because they need peace, they need security, they need to find a place in the world, and we are committed to that proposition as well. And I am sure we can expand on these few brief remarks when we get into questions and answers.

But let me turn now to my shortened statement. Mr. Chairman, you may recall that when I was up here last year I told you how important I considered relations with Congress, that I felt that I had an obligation as Secretary of State to be as open and forthcoming and as accessible to every committee before which I appear, and the Congress as a whole, as part of my responsibility to work closely to let you know what I am doing in the name of the American people to make sure that the State Department is well organized, well led, a place with high morale, a place with a sense of purpose, a place where the people are proud to be serving in this administration and serving the American people in the accomplishment of their foreign policy.

You may also remember that I pointed out last year that I was not only the foreign policy advisor to the President, but the chief executive officer of a very large organization. And wearing that CEO hat, I want to tell you that we have made solid advances over the past year -- advances in hiring, bringing people into the Department, increasing the number of people who want to be a part of the State Department team, bringing state-of-the-art information and technology to the Department, streamlining our overseas buildings operations and making our buildings more secure for our people to work in confidence and in comfort.

Morale is high at the Department, and for this I think I owe a debt of gratitude, and all of my employees owe a debt of gratitude, to the Congress for what you have done to help us develop this momentum. We are bringing the organization and conduct of America's foreign policy into the 21st century, and I want to thank the members of the committee for the support that you have provided.

Since that heart-rending day in September when the terrorists struck in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, we have seen why the conduct of foreign policy is so important. We have had remarkable success over the past seven months in our war on terrorism, especially in Afghanistan, and we have seen progress now in the Philippines and Yemen and elsewhere as a result of our working with governments around the world who are committed to the campaign against terrorism.

And behind the courageous men and women of our armed forces, behind the stepped-up law enforcement efforts, and behind the increased scrutiny of and against terrorist financial networks, there has been the quiet, steady course of diplomacy by thousands of Americans around the world working in our missions who take their job with utmost seriousness and pursue it with diligence.

As a result of their efforts, we have reshaped a good part of South Asia, a new US-Pakistan relationship, a reinvigorated US-India relationship, a new Interim Authority in Kabul, and the Taliban and the terrorists gone -- dead, in jail, or on the run.

We are also forming important new relations with our friends in Central Asia, and helping friends and allies fight the scourge of terrorism, from the marble-floored banks of Europe to the forested gorges of Georgia.

In his second visit to the Department last year, President Bush told us that despite the great tragedy of September 11th, we could see opportunities through our tears; and at his direction, the State Department has been moving briskly ever since, making as much as possible of those opportunities.

Over the past year, Mr. Chairman, I believe the broader tapestry of our foreign policy has become clear: it is to encourage the spread of democracy and market economies; to lift up countries that want to be part of that expansion; and to bring more governments 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, call it what it is, and defeat it, as we are doing in the war on terrorism.

And as you well know, Mr. Chairman, we cannot do any of this -- we cannot conduct an effective foreign policy or fight terrorism -- without the necessary resources. The President's FY2003 Request for Foreign Operations is a little over $16.1 billion. These dollars will support the continuing war on terrorism and the work we are doing in Colombia and the Andean region at large.

Moreover, these dollars will help support our efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, our essential development programs in Africa, the important work of the Peace Corps, scaling up the work of the Peace Corps and the size of the Peace Corps. And they will also make possible our plan to clear arrearages at the multilateral development banks, including the Global Environment Facility.

Mr. Chairman, to fight terrorism, as well as alleviate the conditions that fuel this kind of activity, violent terrorism, we are requesting an estimated $5 billion in addition to the initiatives outlined in our Budget Request 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 for our other partners in the war on terrorism. And as you noted, Senator McConnell, Israel is not included in this, but I take your point that this is something we should look at as we move forward.

These dollars also include $3.4 billion out of the 3.6 from foreign operations accounts such as the Economic Support Fund, International Military Education and Training, Foreign Military Financing, and the Freedom Support Act; $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 -- our ongoing programs engage former weapons scientists, now putting them in peaceful research and to help this way to prevent the spread of the material's expertise required to build such weapons; $69 million for counter-terrorism engagement programs, training and equipment to help other countries fight global terror, thereby strengthening in turn our own national security; $50 million to support the International Atomic Energy Agency in activities designed to counter nuclear terrorism and implement strengthened safeguards; and $15 million to allow us to respond quickly and effectively to unanticipated or unusually difficult nonproliferation projects or opportunities; $4 million for the Treasury Department's Office of Technical Assistance to provide training and assistance and other expertise to foreign finance officers to halt terrorist financing.

And Mr. Chairman, in the 2003 Fiscal Year Budget Request, there is approximately $140 million available for Afghanistan, including repatriation of refugees, food aid, demining, and transition assistance. I know that President Bush, the Congress and the American people recognize that rebuilding Afghanistan will require additional resources, and that our support must be and will be a multiyear effort.

Moreover, I know we will need a lot of help from the international community. At the Virginia Military Institute last week, President Bush made very clear what he wants to do for Afghanistan. The President told his audience of eager cadets that one of their own, George C. Marshall, helped ensure that a war-ravaged Europe and Japan would successfully recover following World War II. Now today, Europe and Japan are helping American in rebuilding Afghanistan.

The President said that by helping to build an Afghanistan that is free from evil and is a better place in which to live, we are working in the best traditions of George Marshall, and so we are. It will be a long, hard road. We know it. But like General Marshall, we also know that we must do it, and the international community knows that it must help.

Mr. Chairman, we are requesting $731 million in 2003 for the multiyear counter-drug initiative in Colombia and other Andean countries that are the source of cocaine sold on America's streets. This assistance to Andean governments will support drug eradication, interdiction, economic development, and development of government institutions. In addition, the Colombians will be able to stand up a second counter-drug brigade. Assisting efforts to destroy local coca crops and processing labs there increases the effectiveness of US law enforcement here.

In addition to this counter-drug effort, Mr. Chairman, we are requesting $98 million in FMF to help the Colombian Government protect the vital CLC oil pipeline from the same foreign terrorist organizations that are involved in illicit drugs, the FARC and the ELN. Their attacks on that pipeline shut it down 240 days in 2001, costing Colombia revenue and disrupting its economy and causing serious environmental damage. This money will help train and equip the Colombian armed forces to protect the pipeline. These funds begin to apply the President's decision to shift from a strictly counter-drug effort to a more broadly-based effort targeted at helping Colombia fight the terrorists in its midst, as well as the drugs.

In Fiscal Year 2003, we are also 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 activities and $100 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. And as you know, another $100 million is in the HHS budget, so there will be a total of 200 million on top of the 300 million that was provided over the last year or so for a total of $500 million.

All of this funding will increase the already significant contribution to combating the AIDS pandemic and maintain our position as the single largest bilateral donor. I should also add that the overall US Government request for international HIV/AIDS programs exceeds $1 billion, including the 200 million I just referenced for the global fund.

I might digress and also mention, Mr. Chairman, that I have just received a report from my staff that the trust fund that we created for the HIV global trust fund activities -- the trust fund organization is coming along very well, and we have now reached a point where we are about to award contracts. I think this is quite an achievement, under the leadership of the Secretary General of the United Nations and others working with them, that we have gone from inception to starting to release funds that will help with the problem in a little less than a year's time.

Mr. Chairman, I know that you and all of the subcommittee members heard the President's remarks in his State of the Union address with respect to the USA Freedom Corps. You heard as well 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. We have put $320 million for the Peace Corps in the 2003 budget request. This is an increase of over $42 million from our Fiscal Year 2002 level. This increase will allow us to begin scaling up to the level the President has directed us to. And we intend that 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, the Peace Corps will have more than 8,000 volunteers on the ground.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the 2003 request includes an initiative to pay one-third of the amount that the United States owes to multilateral development banks for our scheduled annual commitments. With US arrears currently totaling $533 million, the request would provide $178 million to pay one-third of our total arrears during that fiscal year. These banks lend to and invest in developing countries, promoting economic growth and poverty reduction, and providing environment benefits. We need to support them.

Mr. Chairman, in addition to what I have given you with respect to Fiscal Year 2003, I want to provide you with the main priorities of our supplemental request for 2002. But first let me tell you how grateful we are down at the Department for the efforts of this subcommittee and the House subcommittee to get us the $1.5 billion in crucial emergency response fund for foreign operations that we needed to address the immediate post-September 11th requirements.

But that was just a start. We are asking for $1.6 billion of supplemental funding for Fiscal Year 2002. This amount includes $322 million for the Department itself. These dollars will address emerging building and operating requirements that have arisen as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks, including reopening our Embassy in Kabul, reestablishing an official presence in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and increasing security and personnel protection at home and abroad.

This will leave about $1.3 billion for foreign operations. These funds, added to the request we have made for 2003 for the frontline states, are primarily to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism; provide vitally needed military equipment, training and economic assistance to our friends and allies; to expand respect for human rights and judicial reform in the frontline states; provide a significant and immediate impact on displaced persons in the frontline states; support civilian reintegration of former combatants and establish law enforcement and criminal justice systems; and provide economic and democracy assistance, including help with political development, health care, irrigation and water management, media development, community-building and infrastructure improvements, and economic and civil society reform.

In sum, these supplemental dollars for foreign operations in 2002 will be directed at draining the swamp in which terrorists thrive and at ensuring the long-term success of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mr. Chairman, as I told the committee last year, the conduct of the nation's foreign policy suffered significantly from a lack of resources over the past decade. I have set both my CEO hat and my foreign policy hat to correct that situation, but I cannot do it without your help and with the help of your colleagues in the Senate and across the Capitol in the House.

I ask for your important support in full committee and in the Senate as a whole, both for the $8.1 billion we are requesting for the Department and its related agencies, and for the $16.1 billion we are requesting for foreign operations. In addition, I ask for your support with the supplemental request for 2002. With your help, and the help of the whole Congress, we will continue the progress we have begun.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am now pleased to take your questions.

Released on April 24, 2002

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