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The President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2005

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Testimony before the House International Relations Committee
Washington, DC
February 11, 2004

(12:30 p.m. EST)

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It's a great pleasure again to appear before the committee. I thank you for your warm welcome, and, Mr. Lantos, I thank you for your welcome and for the two opening statements.

Mr. Chairman, I do have a prepared statement for the record, which I would like to submit and then summarize the statement, and a few opening comments.

CHAIRMAN HYDE: Without objection, so ordered.

SECRETARY POWELL: Mr. Chairman, before I begin responding to your comments and Mr. Lantos' opening comments and then getting into the body of my statement, let me say to all the members of the committee how much I appreciate the support you have provided to me personally, but more importantly, to the members of the Department of State over the last three years that I have been privileged to lead these wonderful men and women.

We've done a lot with the Congress over the last three years. We have started hiring again in significant numbers. You ought to see the great young people who are stepping forward to become members of the State Department Foreign Service, Civil Service or Foreign Service Management Specialist and Technicians. We are giving the Foreign Service Exam to more people in a single year than we have ever done before.

And the results are showing up, as I watch now youngsters we recruited two years ago or a year ago go out to their missions and bring such energy and life and the American value system out to our missions around the world. We wouldn't have been able to do it if you hadn't supported our Diplomatic Readiness Initiative, and I hope you will continue to do so as we move forward into the future.

Technology. We have got 44,250 internet-capable broadband computers on every desk throughout the State Department. We only had a couple hundred a few years ago. My staff, at a staff meeting yesterday morning, handed me a plaque showing us that finally, two months ago, we got rid of the last Wang computer in the State Department.



SECRETARY POWELL: It took doing, but we couldn't have done it without the support of the Members of Congress, and especially without the strong support of this committee.

We've got our building plan under control. We're putting up embassies at less cost and meeting all of the standards that the Congress had put upon us.

And so we're trying to lead and manage the Department in a very effective way so that we will always be seen as good stewards of the people's monies. And I hope, Mr. Chairman, that you will consider that to be the case and will support the President's budget request, which I will get to in a few moments.

But before getting into that part of my statement, let me respond directly to two statements that were made: one by you, Mr. Chairman; and one by Mr. Lantos.

Mr. Chairman, you said at the end of your introductory remarks concerning Iraq, "Are we safer now?" And the answer is yes.

Mr. Lantos, you ended by saying, "Peaceful means, America's preference." Both of these are absolutely true statements. America seeks peace, not war. America always tries to solve things through political and diplomatic means before we take on the burden of war because we know lives will be lost.

But a time comes when that may be the only way to solve the problem that is before us, and America must never be unwilling to go to war, if that is what is required to protect our nation, to protect our allies and protect our interests around the world.

With respect to Iraq, yes, we are safer. A dictator is gone. A tyrant is gone. Not only are we safer, the people of Iraq are safer, the region is safer. We can debate weapons of mass destruction all we want to about what was there in the past, but we know they will not be there in the future.

Did the President do the right thing? He absolutely did. Did he get the best advice that was available to him, both political policy and intelligence advice? Yes, he did.

As the President went through this process, and as we all went through the process with the President, I think I brought a unique perspective to the debate because I was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as you all know, in the first Gulf War.

And I'll never forget on the eve of that war, getting ready for the ground portion of that war, I wondered whether or not the young men and women who would be crossing the line of departure heading north would be struck by chemical weapons. We knew they had them. We knew they had used them before. We knew they had every intention to use them if they could use them to affect the outcome of this, "Mother of All Battles," as Saddam Hussein called it.

Our youngsters went across that line of departure fully equipped in chemical gear because they thought they would be struck. Fortunately, they were not struck with chemical weapons. But not because the Iraqis didn't have them. They did have them, and we found them. It wasn't a figment of anyone's imagination. Those weapons were there on the battlefield in the winter of 1991. And it was as a result of discovering those weapons that we had proof, evidence of what Saddam Hussein was still carrying in his inventories.

I watched this situation for the remainder of my time as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I watched it in my retirement. And I watched it beginning day one after I was confirmed as Secretary of State. And as we went through to determine what kind of a threat the region and the nation was facing as a result of Saddam Hussein's continued ignorance of Security Council resolutions, we had to look at it in terms of a threat that is gotten to by an examination of the intent of an opponent and the capability that opponent has. You put those two together, and it equals a threat.

Intent: There was never any doubt in anyone's mind, and no intelligence agency past, present or future will ever demonstrate that Saddam Hussein gave up the intent to have such weapons. And since we know he has used them in the past willingly, against his own people, and against Iran -- and I have been to Halabja where those weapons were used and I saw the graves of 5,000 people who were gassed in 1988 by Saddam Hussein -- there was no question that he didn't have the intent, and he has never lost that intent to have such weapons; and he has demonstrated that, if it came to it, he would use such weapons if he had no other choice or if he wasn't stopped in the use of such weapons. The intent never went away, and there was no question about that from any of the President's political advisors or any intelligence agency that was involved in this matter.

The question is then: Did he have the capability? Capability comes in many forms. Do you have the intellectual ability? Do you have the people who can make these kinds of weapons? The answer is yes, he did. He had the people.

Second level is: Did he have the infrastructure, the wherewithal? Yes, he did. There is no question in the intelligence community. Dr. Kay confirms it, other intelligence agencies in other nations confirm it, the UN confirmed it over a period of years and investigation from 1991 to 1998 before the inspectors left. President Clinton's experts and his analyses that he went through led him to believe that this capability was there: the infrastructure, the knowledge, the know-how, the people who can do it.

Did he have factories that could be of a dual-use nature that could produce this kind of material? Yes, he did. Did he have just-in-time capability and was he developing it? Yes, he was.

The one question that there is a dispute about is: What was the stockpile level that might be there or not be there? I can assure you that as we went through this analysis and we looked at all these levels of capability, when it came to stockpiles, the preponderance of all information available to us, available to our many intelligence agencies, available to British intelligence and intelligence agencies of other nations, made it clear that the correct answer was yes, he had such weapons, he had such stockpiles. There was no doubt in my mind.

A year and a few days ago when I was representing my country before the United Nations to make the case, I spent days out with the best of our analysts, with Director Tenet, with Deputy Director McLaughlin out at the CIA going over the case, making sure that everything I was going to say to the entire world, that could be challenged immediately, everything I said, was supported by multi-source intelligence that would back it up.

That information was there. There wasn't a word that was in that presentation that didn't represent the consensus view of the intelligence community. There might have been objections on a point or another by one or other or more intelligence agencies; but overall, the Director of Central Intelligence, who has a responsibility to break ties and make an informed judgment when there is a disagreement, every word in that presentation was supported by him, by his analysts, and I took it with great confidence into the United Nations.

It was also the same information that was in the National Intelligence Estimate that was provided in the months before, I think it was November of the year before, 2002, to Members of Congress and was the basis for the resolution that was correctly, rightfully passed by the Congress supporting the President and his actions.

Now we subsequently have learned that the stockpiles have not yet been found. The work continues. The Iraqi Survey Group will continue its work under Mr. Duelfer. Dr. Kay has made a number of statements and he has presented his impressions and his findings to the world through committee appearances, a meeting with the President and his public appearances, and he says he doesn't think the stockpiles are there.

He has also said that there was no question about intent, no question about capability, no question about infrastructure, and no question in his mind that Saddam Hussein was in material breach of his obligations as contained in 12 years of UN resolutions; and there was no question in Dr. Kay's mind, just as there was no question in my mind or any of the other President's advisors, or certainly in the President's advisors, that this was something that had to be dealt with, was dealt with, and, as Dr. Kay said, it was the right thing to do because this country under that leader was a greater threat than anyone might have imagined.

And so the question of stockpiles is yet to be determined as the work of the ISG continues, but the question of whether the President had the right basis of information upon which to take the decisions that he took, there's no question about this. He had the right basis.

If any of those elements in the equation had changed, if Saddam Hussein had demonstrated, "I have no intention, I've changed my colors," which is most unlikely, but he was given that opportunity in the UN Resolution 1441 -- give us an honest declaration, tell us the truth -- and the UN would have responded in a different way. We might have responded in a different way. But he did not do that. And it is absolutely clear to me that the President made the right decision and it is clear also to those nations that joined us in the coalition that succeeded in putting this regime into the history books.

We also saw that, as a result of our action, we have a dictator that will no longer be filling mass graves, a dictator who will no longer be using the money that has been given to him through the natural resources of his country, oil, to build weapons of mass destruction or to suppress one part of the population or another.

And now, we are faced with a situation where we are working hard with the new leadership of Iraq to put in place a government that will be representative of the people. We are looking forward to transferring sovereignty at the end of June, if all goes well, and we're pressing to that end.

We have a difficult security problem, as you can see, manifested again today with a terrible explosion, explosion done by terrorists and other elements of the regime, who don't recognize that their day is over, their day is gone. Their day will ultimately be totally gone as the security forces of Iraq gain in strength and ability, and are able to defend their people from this kind of attack. These attacks are directed more against Iraq and Iraq's bright future than they are against U.S. forces, and they will be defeated and we will succeed.

And I believe that, as we move forward, we will have more and more nations join us. We are working with the United Nations now to give it a vital role to play. We are working with our European colleagues, who had differences of view about this a year ago, who are now meeting with us and talking about what NATO might be able to do or other countries might be able to do, as we move forward.

So we should be proud of what we have done as a nation to free the people of Iraq and give them hope for a better future, and we should not allow debates over one part of this complex equation that I mentioned distract us from the reality that we did the right thing and we should be proud.

As was noted by you, Mr. Chairman, it's had an effect in other parts of the region, in other parts of the world. Libya has decided to give up its weapons of mass destruction, and it has been noted those materials are now flowing out of the country under our control.

Libya did it because of a variety of reasons. I won't put myself in Mr. Qadhafi's mind. But he looked around. He saw that the United States and the international community of likeminded nations would take action. And he also took a look and said, "Well, what am I getting for all of this? All I have gotten is I wasted a lot of money. I've got a lot of junk in the desert I can't use, and I have made myself a pariah on the world stage," and he took the right decision.

And we hope that others will examine that same kind of situation, run their calculus and come to the same conclusion. And we hope that Iran, North Korea, Syria, and anyone else who is still inclined, will take a hard look at this.

We are working with the international community in all of these matters, working closely with the IAEA, working with the United Nations on another resolution dealing with proliferation activities, working with Pakistan.

I've been talking to President Musharraf almost every week now for a long period of time about the AQ Khan situation. The President's been deeply involved. And we now have seen a breakthrough where AQ Khan has now come forward and described what he has done. And President Musharraf, when I spoke to him over the weekend, has assured me that he would not stop the investigation until the whole thing is pulled up, as was said, "root and branch," and we know everything about what AQ Khan was doing all around the world, and we roll this network up in its entirety and help President Musharraf get through this very, very difficult period.

We will continue to support initiatives likes Nunn-Lugar. And I'll say a few words about this later when I talk about the President's speech that he'll be giving within the next hour or so.

If I just might linger for a moment on Mr. Lantos' comments, thank you for your support of the Millennium Challenge Account, now also manifested in the Millennium Challenge Corporation. I am the Chairman, proud to be the Chairman, and we had the first meeting of the Millennium Challenge Corporation last week, now that we have the legislation. And we have already provided to the Congress the 63 countries that are initially eligible, under the law, to be candidates for Millennium Challenge Account funding. We're moving with this program. It's an exciting program. And I'll say more about it in a moment.

Thank you also, ladies and gentlemen, for what you've done with the HIV/AIDS program. Now that it is funded, you'll see us move out quickly. Randy Tobias, the head of the office, will be announcing awards in the very near future, now that we've made notification to Congress, and over $300 million in awards will be going out rather quickly. We want to move quickly.

On Libya, Mr. Chairman, we've had a terrific success. Mr. Lantos, I thank you and congratulate you on the historic moment that took place when you landed in Tripoli -- the first Member of Congress to do so in decades. And I thank you for the message you conveyed to Colonel Qadhafi and for the op-ed you wrote when you got back and for the communications and information you've given to us.

We said to Libya, "If you do the right thing, you will see the right response from us." Assistant Secretary Burns met with Libyan officials last week and we have laid out to them -- you've seen it in the press -- some of the things that we are prepared to do with respect to the lifting of travel documents, with respect to other matters of this nature. We want to help them with their most urgent needs: hospitalization and medical care, one of their most immediate needs. We can help them with that, and we can do that quickly.

But we are laying out to them in a very sensible, phased way, what we are prepared to do as we verify the materials that have come out and make sure that we have gotten it all, and it's all come up root and branch.

We are also not unmindful, Mr. Lantos, of the nature of this regime, even after they have taken care of all these matters; it's still not quite our full cup of tea, if I can put it that way. And we will be on guard, and we will make sure that they meet the standards that are expected of a nation that wants to join the international community.

We will press this with Iran, with North Korea, Syria, as examples of how you can just put yourself in a much better place in this world if you get rid of these foolish weapons that will do nothing for you except to bring the condemnation of the world; to bring you financial ruin, and not put one plate of food in front of any citizen in your country. These weapons for these kinds of countries are nothing more than fool's gold.

In North Korea we will start another round of discussions on the 25th of February in the six-nation format. And I'm hoping for progress, more progress than we've seen previously, and I'm encouraged by the response of all of the other members of the six-party format.

Mr. Chairman, I've taken a little bit longer than I thought I would with my extemporaneous remarks, so I will go rather rapidly through this shortened set of prepared remarks, just to say that the President's International Affairs budget for 2005 totals $31.5 billion, broken down as: Foreign ops - $21.3; State ops - $8.4; PL 480 food aid - $1.2 billion; International broadcasting - $569 million; and the Institute for Peace - $22 million.

The top priority reflected in this budget submission is winning the war on terrorism. Winning on the battlefield with our superb military forces is just one step in this effort. To eradicate terrorism altogether, the United States must help create stable governments in nations that once supported terrorism, nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, and we must go after terrorist support mechanisms as well as the terrorists themselves.

We must help alleviate conditions in the world that enable terrorists to bring in new recruits, to find fertile ground for their efforts. To these ends, in 2005, our foreign affairs agencies will continue to focus on the reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will continue to support our coalition partners to further our counterterrorism, law enforcement, and intelligence cooperation. And we will continue to expand democracy and help generate prosperity, and that is especially in the Middle East.

48 percent of the President's budget for foreign affairs supports the war on terrorism. $1.2 billion supports Afghanistan reconstruction, security, and democracy-building activities. $5.7 billion provides assistance to countries around the world that have joined us in the war on terrorism. $3.5 billion indirectly supports the war on terrorism by strengthening our ability to respond to emergencies and to conflict situations. And finally, $190 million is aimed at expanding democracy in the greater Middle East, which is crucial if we are to attack successfully the motivation to terrorism.

Two of the greatest challenges facing us, of course, are Iraq and Afghanistan. And I think I've touched on Iraq. I just might add a word or two just to say that that the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council are working hard to bring the 15 November agreement into place, and I am pleased that the UN is now over there working with us.

A lot is being done with respect to build up the Iraqi army, the Iraqi self-defense forces and the Iraqi police forces. Thousands of brave Americans, both in uniform and in mufti, are in Iraq now working tirelessly. Along with their military colleagues, members of USAID, State Department and departments all across our government are working together to implement infrastructure, democracy-building, education, health and economic development programs.

You don't hear enough about these programs. You hear about a bomb going off and that's news. You can't ignore it, you can't push it aside. But there are so many good things that are happening. Town councils are forming. PTAs are forming. Civic society is coming up. Civil society is working. And all of these kinds of efforts really will pay off as the people of Iraq realize that they will be in charge of their country and they will decide how they're going to be governed in the future.

Afghanistan is another high priority. The United States is committed to helping build a stable and democratic Afghanistan that is free from terror and no longer harbors threats to our security. After we and our coalition partners defeated the Taliban, we faced the daunting task of helping them, the Afghan people, to rebuild their country. We have demonstrated our commitment to this effort by providing over $3.7 billion in economic and security assistance to Afghanistan since 2001.

Through our assistance and the assistance of the international community, the Government of Afghanistan is successfully navigating the transition that began in October of 2001, and we saw that when the Afghan people adopted a constitution last month and they have now turned their attention to preparing for national elections in June.

Since 2001, the United States has rehabilitated 205 schools, 140 health clinics, and we have done so many other things with respect to rebuilding the infrastructure in Afghanistan. The Kabul-to-Kandahar Highway has now been completed, one of the President's highest priorities.

And so we have a lot more to do in Afghanistan, but I think we should see that we should be, once again, as in Iraq, very proud of what we have been able to accomplish. We are making good progress and I would like to thank our coalition partners for all that they have done to bring us to this point of success.

Mr. Chairman, we have a lot of other items in the program, to include $700 million for Pakistan to help in regional efforts there, $461 million for Jordan to increase economic opportunities for Jordanian communities and to strengthen Jordan's ability to secure its borders, $577 million for Colombia to support President Uribe's unified campaign against drugs and terrorism.

We're helping all of those countries who wish to help themselves, who are now moving out smartly. The Millennium Challenge Account is going to do so much as a historic change in the way in which we provide development assistance. And the greatest killer in the world today is HIV/AIDS, and no nation is as forward-leaning and doing as much as the United States to fight this terrible scourge in the face of humankind.

In a few moments, President Bush will be speaking at the National Defense University, and he will outline the Administration's approach to another danger that continues to grow. Men and women of our own and other intelligence services have done superb and often dangerous work to unveil, to take the curtain down, around some of these proliferating activities we have seen and especially the proliferating activities of Mr. AQ Khan in Pakistan.

Now we and our friends can do more, work around the clock to get all of the details of this network out, to shut it down, and to do more. President Bush will be proposing new measures in his speech to strengthen the world's efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, expanding the Proliferation Security Initiative to address more shipments and transfers, to take direct action against proliferation networks.

We're going to call on all nations to strengthen international controls that govern proliferation, expand our efforts to keep Cold War weapons and other dangerous materials out of the hands of terrorists, close loopholes that exist in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and finally disallow countries under investigation from participating fully in the leadership of the IAEA.

As the President will point out in his speech, the nexus of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction is a new and unique threat. It comes not with ships and fighters and tanks and divisions, but clandestinely in the dark of night. But the consequences are devastating, and no President can afford to ignore such a threat and this President will not ignore such a threat.

Mr. Chairman, I'm going to close my presentation now. There are so many other things that we could talk about. We are involved in so many things in so many different parts of the world. I am so proud of the diplomats that are serving so many parts of the world. Ambassador John Blaney, our Ambassador in Liberia, came into the President's office, into the Oval Office yesterday, to describe what he is doing to bring Liberia back into the column of nations that believe in democracy.

When you think of where we were just a few months ago, Mr. Payne and others who were so interested in this issue, it was very, very moving to see Chairman Bryant, the new leader of the Transitional Government of Liberia, to meet with the President.

When I think of how close we are to a solution in the Sudan, brought about by political and diplomatic efforts, a little bit more work to be done; when I see what we are doing with free trade agreements around the world, as we expand the opportunity for trade to nations who never would have dreamed of it a few years ago; when I see all of these things happening, Mr. Chairman, I get a good feeling, because it says that America is being a leader in the world.

Whether it has to do with opening trade, whether it has to do with ending proliferation, whether it has to do with fighting terrorists, whether it has to do with just sharing our values with the rest of the world, America is performing its leadership role of destiny. And I am pleased that the men and women of the State Department are playing their role and I'm very pleased to appear before this committee, which has been so instrumental in providing us with the support and the wherewithal needed to play that role.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Released on February 11, 2004

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