Bipartisan Support for “Smart Power” Funding Critical to National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition today praised the Obama Administration’s FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request for $58.5 billion, and urges Congress to fully fund the request.  An essential part of national security funding, international affairs programs fund all of America’s civilian-led tools of global engagement, yet represent only 1.4% of the entire federal budget and 6.7% of the security agency budget.  This funding is essential to our country’s economic well-being and national security and will pay large dividends for America’s national interests.

This increased investment in the International Affairs Budget reflects the bipartisan consensus of 247 Members of Congress, who encouraged the President to make a robust request in a letter last month, and the numerous national security experts and military leaders who have called for greater investments in our civilian-led agencies.

The USGLC recognizes that a majority of the increase this year is focused on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and that critical initiatives to enhance our civilian capacity and invest in long-term development are not keeping pace with our growing global challenges.

The FY11 International Affairs Budget is a cost-effective investment in protecting our national interests and we urge Congress to fully support the request.

Please visit our website for USGLC’s detailed analysis on the President’s FY11 International Affairs Budget Request.

USGLC Leadership on FY 2011 International Affairs Budget Request

USGLC Honorary Chair and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell: “We live in a dangerous world and a world of opportunity. Increasing our diplomatic and development resources is absolutely critical and money well spent to deal with the dangers and seize the opportunities. I commend the President for his commitment to these urgently-needed investments in our nation’s economic and national security.”

USGLC Advisory Council Member and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge: “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.”

USGLC Advisory Council Member and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton: “Diplomacy and development play an important role in advancing U.S. interests around the globe.  For less than two pennies on the budget dollar, our civilian-led tools of global engagement help us tackle the array of challenges facing our nation.  To protect our national security and strengthen our economic competitiveness, we need to invest more in these tools.  I urge Congress to approve the President’s request for the International Affairs Budget.”

FAST FACTS: FY 2011 International Affairs Budget Request

  • As part of national security funding, the President’s request of $58.5 billion for the International Affairs Budget represents a $6.1 billion or 11.6% increase over the total FY10 enacted International Affairs spending. However, the request is only 2.8% above likely total FY2010 amounts, given the $41 billion FY 2010 supplemental request for the war, which includes $4.5 billion for International Affairs spending for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.
  • The growth of the International Affairs Budget is concentrated heavily on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, in line with the Administration’s revised military strategy and additional troops in Afghanistan.  Nearly 60% of the increase for International Affairs goes to what the State Department calls these “Frontline States,” leaving a modest growth of $2.5 billion for all other International Affairs programs.
  • The requested increase for the FY11 International Affairs Budget represents just 0.16% of the total budget request.
  • The International Affairs Budget funds the State Department’s diplomatic programs, the U.S. Agency for International Development, assistance for U.S. allies, global health initiatives, food aid, and numerous other development and humanitarian assistance programs.   Together, these programs reduce disease, famine, instability and hopelessness that can create conditions where extremism and conflict take root.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.

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