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The President's Budget Request For Fiscal Year 2005

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
February 12, 2004

(9:30 a.m. EST)

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have a prepared statement for the record and would submit it at this time.

SENATOR LUGAR: It will be placed in the record in full.

SECRETARY POWELL: And I will provide some brief remarks summarizing that statement after I respond to a few of the points that you made, Mr. Chairman, and those made by Senator Biden.

Let me say what a pleasure it is for me to appear again before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It's always a joy to be with the members of the committee, and your very professional, very experienced, very well-behaved staff -- (laughter) -- and so I'm very pleased to see that this morning.

Mr. Chairman, you've listed so many areas that I could spend five hours talking about, but I won't do that. But it kind of was stunning to me to hear someone else list all the things that we've been working on. In the State Department, we tend to be running the ground game. We tend not to be able to throw deep passes all the time. But every day, in so many different ways, the wonderful diplomats and other individuals from all over the government accredited to our missions around the world are out there getting the job done for the American people.

Suddenly, you find a Libya that is willing to give up its weapons of mass destruction. Suddenly, you find a Sudan that is closer to peace than it's ever been in 20 years. Suddenly, you go from a situation where India and Pakistan were almost at war with each other 18 months ago and we were worried about nuclear conflagration on the subcontinent, to a point now where they are cooperating with each other and moving forward, and even starting to inch up on the difficult issue of Kashmir. And we find that Pakistan feels sufficiently confident in their position, and with our help and pressure, we're dealing with the AQ Khan situation and we're going to get that network all ripped up.

The Moscow Treaty, Proliferation Security Initiative -- all the things you've mentioned, Mr. Chairman, we're proud of. And I'm especially proud of the young men and women of the Department who have done this for the American people, for the President and for his foreign policy.

You pay me great tribute, and I deeply appreciate that, but I couldn't have done it without the support that I received from this committee and the Members of Congress and all the other committees that I report to.

When I go out and visit our embassies around the country and I give them a little pep talk, a "meet and greet" as they are called, and you gentleman and ladies have been kind enough to do it for us as you go out and visit our embassies. But I never finish one of those meet and greets without saying, "And by the way, I want you folks to know that Congress supports you and the American people support you." I even kid and tell them, I'll go up and make a request for money, and not only do they give me what I ask for, they want to give me more, and I have to kind of say, "No, that wouldn't be right. I can only support the President's request. I can't go any further. Don't give me anymore money."

But it's a reflection of the appreciation that you have for what they're doing, and it's so important to those young men and women to know that it's not just the Secretary who understands and appreciates what they're doing, but that you appreciate what they're doing. You support them, and that the American people support them. That's what makes it all work.

As I have told the committee on many occasions, beginning, I think, at my very first hearing, I'm the foreign policy advisor to the President, but I've also been given an organization to run, and I know a little bit about running organizations. I told you we would recruit. I told you we would fix the information technology system. We would fix our building operation, our security procedures, and I think the Department has done all of those things and done it in a manner that the Congress should have every reason to be proud of and approve of. And I couldn't have done it without the support of this committee, and, once again, I thank you for that.

Mr. Chairman, I'm sure in the course of our questioning, we'll get into all of the many issues that have been raised by you and by Senator Biden. And what I'd like to do is just go through my statement, we can get into the various issues.

The President's 2005 International Affairs budget request for the Department of State, USAID and other foreign affairs agencies totals $31.5 billion, and it's broken down as follows: foreign operations, $21 billion; State operations, $8.4 billion; PL 480 food aid, $1.2 billion; international broadcasting, $569 million -- and I always am trying to see if we can raise that number because of the challenges that we face of the kind Senator Biden mentioned -- and the U.S. Institute for Peace, $22 million.

The President's top foreign policy priority is winning the war on terrorism. Winning on the battlefield with our superb military forces is just one step in this process, just one element of our campaign. To eradicate terrorism all together, 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 also help alleviate conditions in the world that enable terrorists to bring in new recruits.

To these ends, the 2005 request, our foreign affairs agencies will use that money to continue to focus on the reconstruction of 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 do everything we can to expand democracy and help generate prosperity, especially in the Middle East, as well as in other parts of the world.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, 48 percent of the President's budget for foreign affairs supports the war on terrorism, our number one priority. For example, $1.2 billion supports Afghan reconstruction efforts, security efforts and democracy-building. More than $5.7 billion provides assistance to countries around the world who 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 conflict situations; and finally, $190 million is aimed at expanding democracy in the greater Middle East, which is crucial, if we are ever to attack successfully the motivation to terrorism.

Mr. Chairman, two of the greatest challenges confronting us today are the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. And let me first turn to Iraq. The Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council have made great strides in the areas of security, economic stability and growth, as well as in democratization. Iraqi security forces now [comprise] more than half of the total security forces in the country. In addition, the Coalition Provisional Authority has established a new Iraqi army, issued a new currency and refurbished and equipped schools and hospitals. And as you know, the CPA is taking steps to return sovereignty to the Iraqi people this summer.

Much work remains to be done. Working with our coalition partners, we will continue to train Iraqi police, border guards, the civil defense corps, and the army, in order to ensure the country's security as we effect a timely transition to democratic self-governance and a stable future. At the same time, we are helping provide critical infrastructure, including clean water, electricity, reliable telecommunications, and all the other infrastructure systems that are necessary for this country to get back up on its feet.

Thousands of brave Americans in uniform and in mufti are in Iraq now working tirelessly to help Iraqis succeed in this historic effort. Alongside their military colleagues, USAID, State Department and Departments of the Treasury and Commerce and so many other government organizations are working together to implement infrastructure, democracy-building, education, health and economic development programs. These efforts are producing real progress in Iraq.

As you know, Mr. Chairman, we are trying to implement the 15 November agreement. We are working hard to finish work on a basic administrative law that Iraq will use until they are able to put in place a full constitution. We are still committed to having a transitional government in place that we can turn responsibility over and sovereignty over to on the 30th of June.

We have been in touch with the UN team that is now in country, led by Ambassador Brahimi, who we know so well and who did such a great job in Afghanistan. He has met within the last 24 with the Ayatollah Sistani and we are waiting for a full report of his activities.

Clearly, we all would like to see elections as soon as possible, so there is no question about the legitimacy of a government, to make sure that the new government is representative of all of the people of Iraq. But elections take time, take preparations, and we're hoping that Ambassador Brahimi will come out with some ideas as to how we can continue to march toward early transfer of sovereignty, but also deal with the concerns that have been raised with respect to full elections.

Obviously, the security situation is challenging. We see that in the bombings that have taken place recently where the insurgents there, the terrorists who are there, the old regime elements are now going after police. They're going after those individuals who have been brought in to protect Iraqis. And they are now killing their own citizens, as well as continuing to strike coalition targets.

These regime remaining elements will be dealt with. I think you'll see that over time the terrorists will be dealt with by our military forces, by our coalition partners and their military forces, but increasingly by Iraqis taking on the burden for their own security.

This is not the time to shrink back from the challenge that is ahead. This is the time to move fully forward so that we don't lose this opportunity to create a democracy for the people of Iraq, which will benefit the region and benefit the world.

A lot of debate taking place right now with respect to the reason for the conflict, whether or not there were stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction or not, and that debate will continue and many different groups are now looking into it -- two congressional committees, Director Tenet has a group looking at it, and the President has formed a commission also to look at it, and others are examining this question.

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that Saddam Hussein had the intent, never lost the intent. Nobody has ever said he lost the intent. He had the capability in terms of the infrastructure, in terms of the knowledge as to how to use these weapons. He was developing delivery means, new delivery means for these weapons, both in the form of missiles and UAVs.

And the one question that we are still debating is: Did he have stockpiles, and what happened to them if he did have them?

The best intelligence information available to the President and all of his advisors, available to the international community, available to the UN, available to the United Kingdom and France and Germany and all others, left no doubt in our mind that he had stockpiles in addition to all of these other elements of his capability when matched with his intent, presented a threat to the region, to his own people, to the world, to the United States.

The President did not just jump in and act preemptively. He took it to the United Nations and made the case to the United Nations. We got Resolution 1441 passed. I then took our intelligence case to the United Nations last February 5th. It was not a political case. It was a solid intelligence case that represented the best judgment of the intelligence community. And that's why Director Tenet and I spent four days out at CIA looking over all of the holdings that he had to make sure that we were confident of our judgment. And that's why Director Tenet accompanied me to that hearing.

We were confident at that time that we knew the intent, and we knew most of the elements of his capability and we expected to find stockpiles. The work is not finished. The Iraqi Survey Group continues its work. Dr. Kay does not believe we will find those stockpiles, but we will continue to work to prove, once and for all, whether or not there is anything there.

But Dr. Kay, who says he does not think anything is there, also says he is absolutely convinced we did the right thing, that Saddam Hussein was in material breach of his obligations, no question about it. He violated all UN resolutions, to include 1441, and if left to his own devices, if released from the pressure of the international community, if released from the pressure of sanctions, there was no doubt in Dr. Kay's mind, nor was there ever any doubt in my mind that you would have seen those programs take new life and come back to haunt the region, haunt the people of Iraq, and haunt the international community, as we worried about the nexus between those kinds of weapons and terrorism.

And so while we debate this question, while we debate this question about the stockpiles, I hope there is no question in the mind of any American citizen, and if there is, we need to dispel it. The President acted on good, solid information that was available to us at that time and that he did the right thing and the world is a lot better off with no Saddam Hussein. We don't have to worry about the question of weapons of mass destruction in the future, nor do we have to worry about finding any more mass graves that have been filled by this awful person who is no longer in power.

What we have to do now as a nation and as an international community is to come together, help the Iraqi people rebuild a new society based on the solid foundation of democracy and living in peace with its neighbors.

Senator Biden asked about how we're working with the international community. We have a strong coalition. It's not that we're there alone. There are many other nations with us there. Japan has now just dispatched troops. And for the first time since World War II, they have been able to do this in the spirit of helping the Iraqi people.

We think we will get greater support from NATO. As Senator Biden noted, I am working, and so is Secretary Rumsfeld and our other colleagues in the government, working with NATO to structure a role. No NATO member has opposed a future role for NATO in Iraq. They want to focus on Afghanistan right now, but we're considering what NATO might do in Iraq.

We shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking there are huge pots of troops waiting around in NATO nations who have not yet contributed to this effort that we will suddenly have access to, if NATO, as an alliance, agrees to this. I think it unlikely we would get large numbers, if any numbers, of German troops or French troops. But I think it is possible to structure a role for NATO taking over one of the zones, perhaps, in Iraq that could enjoy the support of all of the NATO nations.

Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan is another high priority for this Administration. The U.S. 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 government, we faced the daunting task of helping the Afghan people 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. Afghanistan adopted a constitution last month and is preparing for democratic national elections in June.

With technical assistance from the United States, Afghanistan successfully introduced a new, stable currency in October of 2002, and is working to improve revenue collections in the provinces.

The lives of women and girls are improving as women pursue economic and political opportunities and as young girls return to school, or, in many cases, go to school for the first time ever in their lives.

Since 2001, the United States has rehabilitated 205 schools, 140 health clinics, and trained 13 battalions of the Afghan National Army. Also, President Bush's commitment to de-mine and repave the entire stretch of the Kabul-to-Kandahar Highway was fulfilled. The road had not been functional for 20 years; what was once a 30-hour journey has now been reduced to a journey of only 5 to 6 hours.

But more importantly, we're starting to connect the country back together once again with this kind of road effort and road efforts that will be forthcoming in the next year.

While the Afghanistan of today is very different from the Afghanistan of September in 2001, there is still much left to accomplish. In the near term, the United States will assist the Government of Afghanistan in its preparations for elections next June to make sure that they are free and fair. To demonstrate tangible benefits to the Afghan people, we will continue to implement assistance on an accelerated basis, and the request before you today contains $1.2 billion in assistance for Afghanistan that will concentrate on education, health, infrastructure and assistance to the Afghan National Army.

Mr. Chairman, the challenges we face in Iraq and Afghanistan are hugely complex, daunting and dangerous, but we can overcome them. It's hard to rebuild with one hand and fight off attacks with the other, but we're going to do it. We're going to fight off these attacks and we're not going to walk away from either of these two countries until the mission has been accomplished.

We regret every life that is lost, whether that life is American, British, Canadian, Spanish, Italian, German, Iraqi, Afghan or any other of the brave and dedicated people who are involved in this effort. But these men and women know, and their families know, that they do not risk life and limb in vain.

They know that together, we are changing the world. We are bringing freedom and democracy to people who have never known it before or who have had it denied to them for ages. We are drying up the swamps in which terrorism can flourish. We are bringing hope where hope was a forlorn stranger just a short time ago. And in the Taliban and in Saddam Hussein, we have eliminated two of the world's most dangerous regimes.

Mr. Chairman, as part of the war on terrorism, President Bush established a clear policy to work with other nations to meet the challenges of defeating terror networks with global reach. This commitment extends to the front line states who have joined us in the war on terrorism and to those nations that are key to successful transition to democracy in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our assistance enables countries cooperating closely with the United States to prevent future attacks, to improve counterterrorism capabilities and to tighten border controls. As I mentioned earlier, the 2005 budget provides for more than $5.7 billion for assistance to countries around the world that have joined us in this effort, including Turkey, Jordan, Afghanistan, of course, Colombia, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

While progress has been made attacking terrorist organizations, both globally and regionally, much work remains to be done. And the President's budget strengthens our financial commitment to our coalition partners to get this work finished.

Mr. Chairman, one aspect of the war on terrorism is going after weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation. I thank you for what you have done with the Nunn-Lugar program over the years. That's one of the key programs that goes after this challenge. You have seen what has happened now that we've bottled up Libya and removing their potential to be both a source and an owner of weapons of mass destruction. You've seen what's happened in Pakistan recently.

And yesterday, President Bush spoke at the National Defense University, as you noted, and outlined a new approach from the Administration to this growing danger. He described how we worked for years to uncover the AQ Khan network. We never ignored it. We knew all about it. But we had to quietly go about identifying all elements of this network and then dealing with it. And by learning more through our efforts with Libya about the network, we were able to take the case to President Musharraf and let him know of the danger that lurked inside of Pakistan, a danger to Pakistan, a danger to the rest of the world.

The President spoke to President Musharraf on a number of occasions. I spoke to President Musharraf about this on a number of occasions. My staff did a quick check last night and President Musharraf and I have had 82 phone calls over the last two plus years, many of which dealt with these kinds of issues. And I'm very pleased with the action that President Musharraf has taken in response to his recognition of the danger presented by this network, as well as the encouragement we have given him to deal with this danger.

I think the President's speech yesterday provides new opportunities to go after this proliferation challenge and I'm sure it will enjoy the support of this committee.

Mr. Chairman, I could go on and go down every one of the items that you listed or every one of the items that Senator Biden listed, but I might find myself repeating too many points that would take away from the time available for members of the committee to raise the specific questions and give me a chance to respond to those questions.

So let me close, Mr. Chairman, merely by saying, once again, how much we appreciate all the efforts that this committee has made to support us, and to say how proud I am of what my Department has been doing in all these areas, whether it's matters of war, getting rid of a tyrant like Saddam Hussein; or whether it's matters of peace, solving regional conflicts in Liberia, in Sudan, in the Congo; seeing results in Libya, seeing some movement in Iran; or whether it's going after some of the greatest problems we have on the face of the earth that are not tyrants or wars, but are disease and pestilence, poverty, ignorance -- the Millennium Challenge Account, our HIV/AIDS work, or the wonderful work done by USAID.

All of these efforts are so important to creating the kind of world we want to live in, and they often go unsung. People don't often write headline stories about food being delivered or inoculations being administered or great people out in USAID land or in our embassies that day to day go and get this work done for the American people.

On their behalf, I thank you for your support and I am prepared for your questions.


Released on February 12, 2004

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