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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 > 2003 > March

President's International Affairs Budget for 2004

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and State
Washington, DC
March 6, 2003

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a great pleasure to be back before the committee. I do thank you also for giving me a hall pass, if I needed one today. It is a busy time for us in the diplomatic community, and I will be heading up to New York this afternoon to work with my colleagues at the U.N.

But I really did want to be here because it is also an important part of my job to make sure that I present to the Congress our budget request and then appear to testify for that budget request because it has everything to do with the quality of our diplomacy, whether or not we get the support we need for the wonderful men and women of the State Department and for the facilities and other items that we need to make sure we can do our job in the most effective way.

I do have a prepared statement for the record, which I would offer, Mr. Chairman, and then I would summarize that very briefly.

I am pleased to appear before you to testify in support of the President's International Affairs Budget for Fiscal Year 2004. The funding requested for 2004 for the Department of State, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies is overall $28.5 billion, and I have given you a great deal of detail on this request in my written statement and I hope you will find it useful as you go through your deliberations.

The President's budget will allow the United States to target security and economic assistance to sustain key countries supporting us in the war on terrorists, terrorism, and helping us to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The budget will help us launch the Millennium Challenge Account -- the new partnership generating support that will go to countries that rule justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom. It will also strengthen the U.S. and global commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and alleviating human hardships. It will allow us to combat illegal drugs in the Andean region of South America as well as bolster democracy in one of that region's most important countries, Colombia; and finally, reinforce America's world-class diplomatic force, focusing on the people, places, and tools needed to promote our foreign policies around the world.

I am particularly proud of that last goal, Mr. Chairman, because, as you know, for the past two years, I have concentrated on that aspect of my responsibilities, not only as foreign policy advisor to the President, but Chairman and CEO of a large organization. And what you need in a large organization is to have the very best people who are coming in and, once they are in, to take care of them. So, we are asking for your full support of our Diplomatic Readiness Initiative.

For two years, we have been hiring for the first time in years -- we will hire, with this budget request, 399 more professionals to help the President carry out the nation's foreign policy. This hiring will bring us to the 1,100-plus new Foreign and Civil Service officers we set out to hire when I first came into the job two-plus years ago.

I thank the Committee and I thank the Congress for the support that it has provided, not only to our Diplomatic Readiness Initiative, but to our overall operating accounts over the last several years.

Second, I promise to bring state-of-the-art communications capability to the Department, because people who can't communicate rapidly and effectively in today's globalizing world can't carry out our foreign policy. We are doing very well in that regard, in both unclassified and classified communications capability, including desktop access to the Internet for every man and woman of the Department. We are moving rapidly. We are almost there. The $157 million budget request before you will put us there.

Finally, with respect to my CEO role, I wanted to sweep the slate clean and completely revamp the way we construct our embassies and other overseas buildings, as well as to improve on the manner in which we secure our men and women who occupy those facilities. That last task is a long-term, almost never-ending one, particularly in this time of heightened terrorist activities. But we are well on the way to implementing both the construction and security tasks in a better way, in a less expensive way, and in a way that subsequent CEOs of the Department can continue and improve upon.

I am very happy at the work we have done in embassy construction and security over the past two years under the leadership of General Williams, who you all have come to know. I need your continued support for the $1.5 billion for embassy security and construction, and the $646 million in DNCP funding for worldwide security upgrades.

Mr. Chairman, as the principal foreign policy advisor to the President, I have budget priorities on that side of my portfolio, as well. So let me highlight a few of our key foreign policy priorities before I stop and take your questions.

I might note that one of the successes of our foreign policy was the Moscow Treaty, which reduces significantly the number of strategic offensive weapons held by the United States and the Russian Federation. That treaty is now up on the Senate floor, and I hope that it will be acted on promptly and I encourage your support for the treaty. With a little bit of luck and with my fingers crossed, it might even be voted on today when remaining amendments, proposed amendments, have been dealt with.

The 2004 Budget proposes several initiatives to advance U.S. National Security interests and preserve American leadership. The 2004 Foreign Operations Budget that funds programs for Department of State, USAID and other foreign agencies is $18.8 billion. Today our number one priority is to fight and win the global war on terrorism. The budget furthers this goal by providing economic, military and democracy assistance to key foreign partners and allies, including $4.7 billion to those countries who have joined us in the war on terrorism.

Of this amount, the President's budget provides $657 million for Afghanistan, $460 million for Jordan, $395 million for Pakistan, $255 million for Turkey, $136 million for Indonesia and $87 million for the Philippines.

In Afghanistan, the funding will be used to fulfill our commitment to rebuild Afghanistan's road network. In addition, it will help establish security throughout the country by the creation of a military as well as a national police force. Our assistance will establish broad-based and accountable governance throughout democratic institutions in Afghanistan by fostering an active civil society.

I am very pleased at what we have been able to do in Afghanistan over the last year and a half. Some ask whether the glass is half-empty or half-full. Well, we still have a long way to go in Afghanistan, but we should be very proud of what we have been able to accomplish.

President Karzai was here earlier this week. We had good discussions with him. When you consider we came from nothing, from zero, from nothing, from a ruined country to a country that now has a representative form of government, they have spoken out for the leader that they want to have as their president, they are getting ready for an election next year, a constitution is well underway, roads are under construction. Two million refugees have returned. Two million people that have been living in other lands, in Iran, in Pakistan, have voted with their feet for this new country and for the leadership that it is under and recognizing that they are also counting on our full support to rebuild that country, and I think we should be very proud of what we have done.

I also want to emphasize our efforts to decrease the threats posed by terrorist groups, rogue states and other non-state actors with regards to weapons of mass destruction and related technology. To achieve this goal, we must strengthen partnerships with countries that share our views in dealing with the threat of terrorism and in resolving regional conflicts.

The 2004 Budget requests support for the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund. The budget also increases funding for overseas export controls and border security and supports additional funding for science centers and bio-chem redirection programs.

Funding increases requested for these programs will help us prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorist groups or states by preventing their movement across borders and by destroying or safeguarding known quantities of weapons or source material.

The budget also promotes international peace and prosperity by launching the most innovative approach to foreign assistance in more than 40 years. The new Millennium Challenge Account, an independent government corporation funded at $1.3 billion, will redefine development aid. As President Bush told African leaders meeting in Mauritius earlier this year, this aid will go to those nations that encourage economic freedom, root out corruption, put in place the rule of law, respect the rights of their people, and have made a firm commitment to democracy.

Moreover, the President's budget request offers hope and a helping hand to countries facing health catastrophes, poverty and despair, and humanitarian disasters. The budget includes more than $1 billion to meet the needs of refugees and internally displaced peoples.

The budget also provides more than $1.3 billion to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, the worst crisis facing this world. The President's total budget for HIV/AIDS is over $2 billion, which includes the first year's funding for the new Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief announced by the President in his State of the Union Address. This funding will target 14 of the hardest hit countries in Africa and the Caribbean.

The budget also includes almost a half a billion dollars for Colombia. This funding will support Colombian President Uribe's unified campaign against terrorists and the drug trade that fuels their activities. The aim is to secure democracy, extend security, and restore economic prosperity to Colombia and prevent the narco-terrorists from spreading instability to the broader Andean region.

To accomplish this goal requires more than simply funding for Colombia, therefore our total Andean Counter-Drug Initiative is $731 million. Critical components of this effort include resumption of the Air Bridge Denial Program to stop internal and cross-border aerial trafficking and illicit drugs, stepped-up eradication and development efforts, and technical assistance to strengthen Colombia's police and judicial institutions.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, to advance America's interests around the world, we need the dollars in the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2004. We need the dollars under both of my hats, as principal foreign policy advisor to the President as well as CEO of the Department of State.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I will stop and be responsive as I can to your questions.

Released on March 6, 2003

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