April 1, 2011
Washington, DC —70 retired top military leaders are calling on Congress to support a strong and effective International Affairs Budget and reiterating how critical this funding is to our national security in a letter released by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s (USGLC) National Security Advisory Council (NSAC).
“We face tremendous challenges around the world, today, and we must have our military working hand-in-hand with diplomats and development experts to meet these challenges,” said NSAC Co-Chair General Michael W. Hagee, USMC (Ret.). “Without the proper resources for our civilian agencies, our national security is at risk.”
“The International Affairs Budget is an essential part of our national security funding,” said NSAC Co-Chair Admiral James Loy, USCG (Ret.). “As Congress continues their budget debates, our hope is they understand that the price paid in inadequate diplomatic and developmental efforts is usually measured in the lives of soldiers and sailors.”
With a deep 19% cut to the Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs Budget recently passed by the House and additional cuts possible for Fiscal Year 2012, Members of Congress should heed the advice of our most respected men and women in uniform on why this funding is so important to our national security.
In the letter, the military leaders say together, “Development and diplomacy keep us safer by addressing threats in the most dangerous corners of the world and by preventing conflicts before they occur.” They continue saying, “At just over one percent of federal spending, the International Affairs Budget is a strong return on our investment.”
These 70 leaders are part of a growing number of military officers who recognize the critical need for the civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy. In fact, a recent poll found nearly 90 percent of active duty and retired military officers agree the tools of diplomacy and development are critical to achieving U.S. national security objectives and a strong military alone is not enough to protect America.
The International Affairs Budget promotes a better, safer America and world by protecting national security, building economic prosperity and strengthening humanitarian values. Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget stabilize fragile states, combat terrorism and deter threats before they reach America’s shores. Visit the USGLC website for a copy of the letter and a list of all the signatories.
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.