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President's International Affairs Budget for 2004

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Testimony Before Subc. on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary of House Appropriations Committee
Washington, DC
March 26, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do have a statement and thank you for putting it in the record. What I think I would like to do, Mr. Chairman, is summarize that statement so at least I can get my position down with respect to the 2004 budget, and then I would be more than happy to respond to the specific points that you and Mr. Serrano, and I am sure other members of the committee will make.

Mr. Chairman, we are at war. And I know that each and every one of us here today, as we watch this war, our prayers and our thoughts are with those young men and women who are prosecuting it for us on behalf of the nation and the American people. And once again as you watch them in the deserts of Iraq, if you watch how they go about their work of fighting and as you watch how they go about their work of taking care of people and distributing, now you see on television humanitarian supplies, we should all be very proud that we have such young men and women who are willing to volunteer to serve their nation and not just from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, many other nations that are with us, and I will speak more about this a little later on in my remarks.

Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, funding requested for 2004 for the Department of State, USAID and other Foreign Affairs agencies is $28.5 billion, and I ask for your support of that amount. I might say at this point that I want to express my thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the subcommittee and the full committee for the great support you have given me over the last two-plus years. We have seen a lot of improvements in the Department which would not have been possible without your strong efforts and support, as well as your nudging, your advice, and criticism from time to time that keeps us on track, and I am deeply appreciative of that.

The President's budget will allow the United States to, first, target security and economic assistance to sustain key countries supporting us in the war on terrorism and helping us to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The budget will help us launch the Millennium Challenge Account, a new partnership generating support to those countries that rule justly, that invest in their people, and which encourage economic freedom.

It will also strengthen the U.S. and global commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and alleviating humanitarian hardships.

It will also permit 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 and most threatened countries, Colombia.

And finally, the budget will reinforce America's world-class diplomatic force, focusing on the people, places and tools needed to promote our foreign policies around the world.

And I am particularly proud of that last goal, Mr. Chairman, because for the past two years I have concentrated not just on foreign policy and being the primary foreign policy advisor to the President, but also on being the Chief Executive Officer of the State Department.

Under my CEO hat, we are asking for $8.5 billion to run the Department. Since the CEO responsibilities are this subcommittee's particular jurisdiction, let me give you some highlights of what these funds are for.

First, as you noted earlier, we have been reinforcing our diplomatic troops for two years and we will continue to do so in 2004. We will hire 399 more professionals in the Foreign and Civil Service to help the President carry out the nation's foreign policy, in addition, of course, to security personnel that you made reference to.

This hiring will bring us to the 1,100-plus new Foreign and Civil Service officers we set out to hire the first three years of this Administration to bring the Department's personnel levels back in line with the workload. Moreover, completion of these hires will allow us the flexibility to train and educate all of our officers as they should be trained and educated. We'll have a little bit of flexibility in the system so that people can go off and get the kind of training that they need.

I can tell you, Mr. Chairman, what an impact this is having. You go out and visit embassies now and suddenly people are showing up to help them with their workload, vacancies are being filled. These youngsters are now coming down the pipeline and out into the field and it's making a real difference.

And, Mr. Chairman, one day I hope to have you down at the Department when we swear in one of these new classes of junior officers and it will just turn you on when you see the motivation in their eyes, when you see the enthusiasm that they bring to their new jobs as members of the Department of State family.

I also promised, Mr. Chairman, that I would bring state-of-the-art communications capability to the Department. We are in a world of instantaneous communication, instantaneous media. And I have to have a Department where every single member in that Department is wired to every other member of the Department around the world, secure and unsecured, so that we have access to this marvelous, marvelous resource called the Internet, where we can get the information we need, pass intelligence. When the President gives a speech, as he did earlier today down at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, I want it piped all over the Department, to every mission, instantaneously, translated as fast as possible. When the President gives a major address, when I give a major address, when something happens in Washington, we can no longer sit around typing up cables and twixes and whatnot; electronically it has to be distributed. Electronically, I'll have to be able to hear back from all the embassies. Electronically, they have to be able to talk to each other across embassies around the world.

As a result that you have been giving that program in the form of financial support, we have really, really improved over the last couple of years. And for that reason, I'm also asking for another $170 million -- $157 million allocation so that we can get where we need to be in this first three years.

Finally, I want to sweep the slate clean and completely revamp the way we construct our embassies and other overseas buildings. You touched on this a moment ago, Mr. Chairman. And, as you know, this is a long-term task, an almost never-ending one, particularly in this time of heightened terrorist activities. But we are well on our way to implementing both the construction and security tasks in a better way, less expensive, and in a way that future CEOs can continue and improve on.

General Williams you know well, you know what he's been doing, Mr. Chairman. I think it is just a solid success story of bringing this program under professional management, our embassies are coming up now and they're being rebuilt rapidly under cost estimates, the budget is coming in. We've been able to reduce the overall costs of our embassy facilities from original estimates, and I'm very proud of what we've been able to do in overseas construction activities.

Mr. Chairman, as principal foreign policy advisor, of course, I have other priorities, which are described in my prepared statement. Our number one priority, of course, 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 countries that have joined us in the war on terrorism. Of this amount, the 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.

I also want to emphasize our efforts to decrease the threats posed by terrorist groups, rogue states and other non-state actors with regard 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 resolving regional conflicts.

The 2004 budget request supports the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund, it increases funding for overseas export controls and border security, and supports additional funding for science centers and biochemical 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 what is the most innovative approach to U.S. foreign assistance in more than 40 years. The new Millennium Challenge Account, an independent government corporation supervised by a board of directors that I will chair and 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, that root out corruption, that respect the rights of their people, have put in place the rule of law, have transparency in their systems, and are fully committed to democracy.

Beyond the Millennium Challenge Account, the President's budget request offers hope and a helping hand to countries that are 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 persons.

The budget also requests more than $1.3 billion to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. 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. These funds will target 14 of the hardest hit countries in Africa and the Caribbean.

The budget also includes almost half a billion dollars for Colombia to support President Uribe's very, very exciting unified campaign against terrorists and the drug traffic that fuels the activities of these terrorists. The aim is to secure democracy, extend security and restore economic prosperity to Colombia. Our total Andean counter-drug initiative, going beyond Colombia to the other nations in the Andean region, is $731 million. Included in that is funds to resume the Air Bridge Denial Program.

I also want to touch on the issue of hunger, famine and food aid, an issue, Mr. Chairman, I know is of particular interest to you. Historically and continuing into the future, America has been and will be the largest donor of assistance for victims of famine and food emergencies. Thanks to the help of the Appropriations committees, Congress provided $1.44 billion in urgently needed PL-480 Title II food aid for 2003. Our 2004 food aid request of $1.19 billion will be complemented with a new famine fund initiative of $200 million. This initiative will provide emergency food, grants or other support to meet crisis situations on a case-by-case need, giving us much more flexibility to respond to these crises as they arise, and not just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Mr. Chairman, that ends my opening remarks on the budget for 2004, but let me say a few words about the supplemental request that the President submitted to the Congress yesterday, a supplemental request of $74.7 billion.

This request includes approximately $7.8 billion for State Department and foreign operations programming. The funding is critically needed to support our coalition partners, provide relief and reconstruction assistance to the people of Iraq, and to ensure the safety of all Americans in the region.

The foreign operations part of the supplemental will provide approximately $4 billion to assist our coalition partners who are standing steadfastly with us in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and includes Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Bahrain, Oman and key critical and Eastern European allies.

It will provide $2.7 billion for Iraqi relief and reconstruction, including assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, food and its distribution, water and sanitation, emergency infrastructure needs such as emergency housing, public security and restoration of electricity, healthcare, education and road and bridge networks.

Of the $2.7 billion, $410 million is to pay back 2003 funding that is being used to preposition a relief and reconstruction support base to help the liberated Iraqi people.

Another $626 million is urgently needed to support the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Pakistan and Colombia.

And finally, $150 million is for unanticipated contingencies. This is not a slush fund. It really is an emergency fund. On so many occasions over the last two years, my staff has come in to me and said, "We've got a problem in such a such a place. What are going to do about it?" And, invariably, we have to go look to take the money from somewhere else in need to deal with that problem. And this reserve, I think, is a proper management tool to give to the Secretary of State and to my colleagues in the Department to deal with these crises as they come along, but I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, we will share what we do with this subcommittee and provide full transparency and the usual oversight to the use of such funds.

The State operations part of the supplemental request will provide $65.5 million to cover the estimated costs associated with the evacuation of State Department employees and their dependents due to the increased threat of violence and terrorism; $35 million for immediate consular and overseas response requirements, including fulfilling our responsibility to protect Americans around the globe and to assist in post evacuations; $15.6 million for emergency and medical supplies, chemical and biological warfare antidotes, the anthrax and smallpox vaccine programs, and medical services emergency preparedness staffing; $10 million to enhance security at overseas posts, including increased security personnel and equipment; $5 million for increased task force and surge operations, including additional deployments of foreign emergency support teams and additional communications costs; and $55.8 million for standing up staffing, operating and securing our new mission in Baghdad.

Mr. Chairman, that's just a thumbnail sketch of the President's supplemental request for State and foreign operations for 2003. Let me now, Mr. Chairman, before opening myself up to questioning from the committee, touch on a couple of the points that you made and were made by Mr. Serrano.

Let me go first to public diplomacy. Mr. Chairman, you couldn't be more correct in saying that we have got to do all we can to change the tone in the world with respect to what we are doing. We need to talk to the Arab media, to the Arab public. Just two hours ago, Mr. Chairman, I sat down and I did a "round robin" -- a series of television interviews. The first one was to Al-Jazeera, the second one was to Abu Dhabi Television, the third one was to an Indian channel, and the fourth one was back to Egypt, to an Egyptian television channel, taking our message to the people of the world, but especially the people in the Arab world, that this is a conflict that we did not ask for, we did not seek, we did not want, we did everything to avoid.

This was a conflict that was brought to the world community by Saddam Hussein and his 12-year record of disobedience of one UN resolution after another; and we are going to Iraq not as conquerors. This battle is not about conquering the Iraqi people, it is about putting down a dictatorial regime that for all these years had been developing and using weapons of mass destruction against its own people, against its neighbors. It's about using the wealth of Iraq, its oil, to benefit its people, to provide wherewithal for the people in the south who have been so deprived by Saddam Hussein over the years. It's about freeing people from a dictator who has massacred them, who has kept them under the worst kind of subjugation, who has tortured them, who has been guilty of the worst sorts of crimes, who has invaded his neighbors.

And once this regime is now gone, we can get the weapons of mass destruction totally ripped out of the infrastructure, the military and civilian infrastructure of Iraq, and we can put in place a government that will be responsive to its people, that will represent its people, and we can use the wealth of Iraq, channeled through their new government, with their new government having responsibility for the use of that wealth. We will help get this government up and started. Initially, our military forces will have to bring security and stability to Iraq, but as soon as possible, and working with the United Nations and getting international support from the United Nations and other agencies, help bring up an interim authority in Iraq which can then grow into a full government, a government responsive and representative of its people, to use the wealth of Iraq.

We've got to get that message out. We've got to do a better job of it.

As this war continues to its conclusion, and it will be concluded successfully -- I have no doubt about the ability of coalition forces to prosecute this conflict to a successful conclusion -- you will see more and more pictures of the type we saw this morning, not only battles, but slowly but surely humanitarian aid coming into the country, water being restored in places like Basra, rations being delivered to people in need. And when the people realize that those young men and women in their camouflage uniforms are not there to destroy, but to build, I think you will see attitude change quickly. And as people around the Arab world, people around the world, recognize the nature of this regime that is being eliminated and what coalition forces and the international community is coming in to do, I think attitudes will begin to change. And from this success, when people see that this Administration, President Bush personally, is committed to doing something to move the Middle East peace process along with the delivery of a roadmap to the new Palestinian prime minister when he has been confirmed, and to the Israeli Government, so the two sides can now engage in a more sustained way with sustained American involvement and the involvement of the other members of the so-called Quartet to get this processing moving along, to end violence, to put in place responsible governance on the Palestinian side with a new prime minister and to also put obligations on the Israeli side to open up the area, the territories again, so people can get back and forth to work, so that new security organizations under responsible leadership can start to do their job, to do something about the settlements activity that is underway that must be brought to an end in order for there to be a solution.

The President is as committed to this, as committed today as he was when he gave his speech last June, to a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and in security with Israel, and that is our commitment.

A point was made about we are not doing this with the support of allies and we are not doing with this UN authority. We very much are doing it with UN authority. All last fall, we fought for and obtained a UN resolution that followed from the President's speech of 12 September where he challenged the UN. We didn't go off unilaterally and say we're just going to invade Iraq. We brought the problem to the United Nations where it belonged. It's the United Nations' will that is being thwarted by the actions of Saddam Hussein. The President took it to the UN.

After seven weeks of tough negotiations, we got UN Resolution 1441. It was a diplomatic success on the part of the United States and the part of every member of the Security Council that participated in that debate and got a 15-0 unanimous vote. And there was no question about what we were voting for. We were voting for a resolution that said Saddam Hussein is in violation of his obligations. He's guilty. Not let's find out if he's guilty. He's guilty, the resolution said

It then said there is a way for him to end this problem by changing what he has been doing, changing the nature of his regime, cooperating fully, complying fully, immediately, unconditionally, fully right now, not nine months from now when inspectors are prowling around, not two years from now and then we report back to the UN -- but now, immediately, unconditionally, fully and actively cooperating with the inspectors.

The inspectors went in for the purpose of helping him comply, not for the purpose of searching the countryside to find out that which was hidden, but to verify that which he would bring out into the open. And so we said, let the inspectors go in and see if he's willing to obey from this time.

And almost from the get-go, we knew that he wasn't going to do it. He reluctantly accepted the resolution a week later, as he was required to do. Thirty days later, he filed a totally false declaration that not one member of the Council -- not even his associates and friends in the Council -- would come forward and say, this is an accurate declaration.

The inspectors should be congratulated for being such dedicated international servants. And they did get some cooperation from the Iraqis on process, and some things were turned over. But they constantly found themselves not getting answers to their questions, not getting gaps filled that were in the declaration. They constantly found themselves being deterred and deceived.

And the United States and its partners in this finally said, enough. We have now come to New York every week for about four weeks and heard the reports of the inspectors. And what is clear is that, even though there has been some progress with respect to process, there has been no fundamental change, no strategic change on the part of Saddam Hussein. He is not in compliance of this resolution, therefore the serious consequences anticipated and built into this resolution are now ready to be applied against Saddam Hussein.

At that point, a debate broke out, because some members of the Council said, no, let the inspectors keep going; we don't want to see this noncompliance, and we'll veto anything that comes before us. The United States did not feel it needed another resolution. But, in order to go that extra step and also to help some of our closest friends, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Spain and others, as well as to show the American people that we had gone the extra step, we tried to get a second resolution. Not one we needed; we tried anyway. We fought hard for it.

But we weren't able to achieve success, because there was a hanging veto threat. So no matter how many members were ready to vote for it, it was going to be vetoed. And it put people, members of the Council, especially members of the elected 10, in a difficult situation. So we elected not to take it for a vote, because we had more than enough authority.

That was a disappointment to many people. But remember, if that resolution had been passed, it said it was Saddam Hussein's last chance also and he would have missed that last chance and a conflict was coming anyway. Without that resolution, nonetheless, as badly as they needed it, Prime Minister Blair went before his Parliament without the resolution that he needed and felt it would be very helpful to have, and he made a powerful case so that his Parliament nevertheless voted and voted with a clear understanding that the legal authority was there for the forces of the United Kingdom to participate. Same thing in other nations that are part of this coalition.

The point was made that we don't have some of our traditional allies and friends with us. Well, we have a lot of our traditional allies and friends with us, not all of them but a lot of them. We've got the United Kingdom, got Australia, we've got Italy, we've got Spain. We've got some new allies and friends who want to be a part of this. Many of them are small countries; they can't make a major military contribution. But they made a political contribution of enormous importance when they stood up and said, we are standing with what is right; we are standing with what the U.N. required, we are standing with the United States and its other coalition partners, even though we can't send one soldier, in the face of public opinion that doesn't want war -- and no public opinion tends to want war. I've been through this many times. It's only when people understand that you're going to achieve success and that there was a good reason that you entered into this conflict and you've made the case -- unfortunately, occasionally, by the force of arms -- then you'll get the support you need. But in the absence of that support, these little countries with strong political leaders, who knew what right was, even being threatened by other nations on the European continent for -- you know, you don't want to do this, you don't want to stand with them, you'll have to pay a price later -- they nevertheless stood with us.

And now it's a willing coalition of 47 nations who are willing to stand up and say, we're part of this, and a number of other nations who are cooperating and are willing but, for one reason and another can't say it out loud yet, but they will in due course. I think we should be proud that so many nations are standing firm with us.

Mr. Serrano also asked about embassy security -- or, I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, you asked about embassy security and you made a reference to it, I think, sir. We are deeply concerned about the security of all of our missions overseas. Our diplomats are in harm's way, just as our soldiers are.

We are pleased that some of the disturbances we have seen around the world have not become as severe as they might have. We're doing everything to protect our people. We've brought a number of people home to reduce our risk and vulnerability and part of our supplemental request is to pay for that.

We will continue to take our public case to the world. I think, as more and more people see what we're doing, as we take our case through leaflets and through radio broadcasts and new ways of communicating with the world and especially the Arab world, as these efforts gin up as a result of your strong support of our public diplomacy effort, I think we can get on top of this.

There is a lot of anti-Americanism out there, but it's fueled to a large extent by the Iraq situation and the Middle East peace process. When we fix Iraq and when we show progress with the Middle East peace program, and people can see that this is a nation that is not against any religion, especially not the religion of Islam, people will see that it is America that is fueled by values. We want to help people achieve a better life. We want to help people find a way to participate in this 21st century economic globalized world that we have, and I think we can turn public opinion around in due course.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Released on March 26, 2003

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