April 27, 2010
Albright, Baker, Christopher, Eagleburger, Kissinger, Powell, Rice and Shultz Support President’s Budget
Washington, DC — In a powerful demonstration of bipartisan unity, all eight former Secretaries of State teamed up today to write Congress urging them to support the President’s $58.5 billion FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request. From both Democratic and Republican Administrations, the Secretaries joined together in reiterating the critical role development and diplomacy programs play in our national security, economic prosperity and humanitarian values.
“Our former chief diplomats know America can no longer afford to shortchange our civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy, and we urge Congress to heed their advice,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC Executive Director. “All eight former Secretaries of State speaking with one voice is testament to the important role the International Affairs Budget plays in our nation’s security and prosperity.”
“Increasing the investment in our civilian international capabilities will keep America safer by, among other things, addressing the root causes of terrorism and extremism, supporting key allies, and demonstrating America’s proud tradition of global leadership,” say the Secretaries in their letter. “This is why we join Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and national security and foreign policy experts from across the political spectrum to support an increase in the International Affairs Budget.”
This strong, bipartisan show of support from the Secretaries comes as Congress begins critical deliberations around next year’s budget. Last week the Senate Budget Committee cut $4 billion, or 7%, from the President’s International Affairs Budget request—the Committee’s entire discretionary spending cut in its FY 2011 budget resolution.
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.
Secretaries of State Letter to Congress
April 27, 2010
Dear Member of Congress:
As former Secretaries of State who have served in either Democratic or Republican administrations, we urge you to support the FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request. There is broad bipartisan agreement in Congress — as well as among current and past administrations — that programs funded by the International Affairs Budget provide critical investments in global development, diplomacy and democracy. We know from our collective experience that these strategic tools are essential to achieving our goals of protecting national security, building economic prosperity, and providing humanitarian assistance.
In order to accomplish those goals, the U.S. requires a full range of civilian and military options. Yet, despite modest increases over the last decade, the International Affairs Budget remains under-funded. It represents less than 1.5 percent of all federal spending. As a result, our civilian-led development and diplomatic efforts are often hindered, thus placing unnecessary burdens on our men and women in uniform.
Increasing the investment in our civilian international capabilities will keep America safer by, among other things, addressing the root causes of terrorism and extremism, supporting key allies, and demonstrating America’s proud tradition of global leadership. This is why we join Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and national security and foreign policy experts from across the political spectrum to support an increase in the International Affairs Budget. We must guarantee that our nation is fully equipped to address the array of challenges and opportunities that exist around the world today.
We urge you to support the funding level proposed by President Barack Obama for the International Affairs Budget and to oppose any effort to cut that request. This is one area where Democrats and Republicans can agree and should come together to help ensure a more secure and prosperous future for our nation.
Madeleine K. Albright James A. Baker
U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001 U.S. Secretary of State, 1989-1992
Warren Christopher Lawrence S. Eagleburger
U.S. Secretary of State, 1993-1997 U.S. Secretary of State, 1992-1993
Henry A. Kissinger Colin L. Powell
U.S. Secretary of State, 1973-1977 U.S. Secretary of State, 2001-2005
Condoleezza Rice George P. Shultz
U.S. Secretary of State, 2005-2009 U.S. Secretary of State, 1982-1989