December 6, 2010
“As various deficit reduction proposals circulate, one of the consistent themes emerging is the need to broaden our definition of national security and keep it a funding priority. We agree with both the Presidential Debt Commission and Bipartisan Policy Center drafts when they urge Congress to consider the International Affairs Budget as part of security funding along with homeland security and defense.
“Our civilian tools of development and diplomacy are critical, along with our military, to keeping our nation safe and secure. As our development experts and diplomats take on more leadership in places like Iraq, we must provide them with the adequate resources to get the job done. In the words of Secretary of Defense Gates, ‘Without development we will not be successful in Iraq or Afghanistan.’
“As the President and Congress work on next year’s budget, they must recognize that our civilian agencies have been underfunded for far too long, and a strong and effective International Affairs Budget is needed now more than ever to meet the global challenges we face today.”
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 diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.