As former Secretary of Defense Gates has said, “You would find…extraordinary support across the entire Defense Department” for the State Department “and for their budget,” a fact that been made readily apparent over the last month. In written and oral testimony in Congress, our military’s most senior officers have made it clear that the Administration’s proposed cuts would not only make their jobs harder, but that a strong, fully resourced International Affairs Budget is vital to an effective national security strategy.
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Veterans for Smart Power
In today’s interconnected world, America must use all of the instruments of national security and foreign policy at its disposal. America’s civilian tools of diplomacy and development are critical, which is why the USGLC supports a strong and effective International Affairs Budget for:
- Protecting National Security by fighting terrorism, stabilizing weak and fragile states, combating weapons proliferation, and promoting global stability;
- Building Economic Prosperity by developing international markets, driving economic development, creating American jobs, and expanding exports;
- Strengthening Humanitarian Values by saving lives, alleviating global poverty and hunger, fighting HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and expanding educational opportunities for women and girls.
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America’s leadership in institutions like World Bank and IMF is critical to influencing the agenda on global economic growth and development— which, in turn, shapes opportunities for American businesses to invest around the world. At next week’s World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting, businesses and NGOs will join finance ministers and development leaders from around the world to address today’s global challenges and opportunities. What will America's voice be, given recent proposed budget cuts?
USAID and State have complimentary missions with different goals that advance America’s interests around the world. USAID is focused on “ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies,” while the State Department’s mission is to “shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just and democratic world.”
In The Spotlight
Economic development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.Robert Gates Former Secretary of Defense
The account we’re talking about can make the difference between a safe America or an at-risk America… if you don’t see it as a national security tool, then I think that we are missing the mark as a nation.Lindsey Graham United States Senator
If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.General James Mattis Former Commander of United States Central Command
It would make Americans less safe and harm our economy to turn away from the world at a time when our leadership and engagement is especially necessary. We would miss opportunities for greater prosperity and stability and sow the seeds of greater indebtedness.Senator Bob Corker Ranking Member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee
The programs supported by the International Affairs Budget are as essential to our national security as defense programs. Development and diplomacy protect our nation by addressing the root causes of terrorism and conflict. But it’s not just about security. By building new markets overseas for American products, the International Affairs Budget creates jobs and boosts the economy here at home.Tom Ridge Former Secretary of Homeland Security
The investments we make today in the developing world will help create the jobs of tomorrow here in America. Right now, the tough choice is to maintain foreign assistance, not to cut it. Right now, the bold act of leadership is to defend spending on key international programs, not to attack it.Bill Gates Chairman of Microsoft
Greater engagement through diplomacy and development is not an option in today’s world: it is a necessity. Investing in American diplomacy serves the interests of our country in all corners of the globe and helps create a better, safer world.Madeleine Albright Former Secretary of State