June 17, 2006

Foreign Policy Leaders Call for U.S. To Increase Investment in International Affairs Budget

June 17, 2006

Powell, Albright & Giambastiani Urge Greater Support or Programs to Meet the Global Challenges of the 21st Century

Washington , D.C. – Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a roundtable discussion on the importance of U.S. global engagement featuring foreign policy experts General Colin Powell, Secretary Madeleine Albright and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Edmund Giambastiani. The discussion focused on the importance of programs funded by the U.S. International Affairs Budget particularly at this moment when the United States is facing difficult and complex global challenges. These international programs are critical to protecting our national security, strengthening our humanitarian values and building economic prosperity.

“The International Affairs Budget is a fundamental tool in our fight against global terrorism and in our effort to promote global stability,” said General Powell, former Secretary of State and Honorary Chair of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign Advisory Board. “The diplomatic, economic and humanitarian efforts funded by this budget help ensure that the U.S. has the capabilities meet these challenges.”

Unfortunately, in Congress, the International Affairs Budget currently faces a potential cut of two billion dollars from the President’s requested increase for FY2007 that will leave our diplomatic frontlines and other vital international programs dangerously under funded. These cuts are particularly disturbing when the U.S. already spends 15% less today on international programs in real terms than at the height of the Cold War.

“The Unites States must adequately invest in the International Affairs Budget in order to meet the new and evolving global challenges of the 21st Century,” noted Secretary Albright. “These programs provide our country with the ability to respond to fragile situations around the world and help prevent future crises – they should not be shortchanged.”

For a little more than one percent of the total U.S. Federal Budget, the International Affairs Budget funds various, long-standing programs around the globe that ensure the security and well-being of Americans.

There is a growing recognition among national security experts, business leaders and members of Congress that programs funded by the budget help achieve broader strategic goals linked to U.S. security and global stability. For example, the recently revised U.S. National Security Strategy and the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) both urge investments in diplomacy and development alongside defense – also known as the 3-D strategy.

“The Pentagon recognizes the need to invest more robustly in America ‘s international civilian capabilities,” said Admiral Giambastiani. “These development and diplomatic efforts not only help prevent conflicts before they reach American shores, but also provide much needed civilian capabilities to support the Joint Warfighter and assist the military in carrying out its mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other operations around the world.”

The discussion was moderated by Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent before 450 members and supporters of the USGLC and the Chamber from around the country. The event attracted a diverse crowd representative of the growing and varied support for the International Affairs Budget. Among the attendees were representatives from the business community including Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin and Motorola, as well as leaders of humanitarian organizations such as Mercy Corps, CARE, and Catholic Relief Services.

The roundtable is the highlight of a two-day conference, the 2006 Washington Conference: Meeting the Global Challenges of the 21st Century, hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and the Center for U.S. Global Engagement.

About the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign

The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) is a broad-based coalition of 400 businesses and non-governmental organizations that supports continued global engagement and a robust United States International Affairs Budget. Founded in 1995, the USGLC came together to respond to a growing sense of post-Cold War isolationism and the threat of excessive cuts to the International Affairs Budget.

Today, members of the USGLC – a vibrant network of business, community and NGO leaders from around the country – advocates in our nation’s capital on behalf of the International Affairs Budget and works to educate and engage the American public around the country. Additionally, the USGLC has a network of statewide Steering Committees in nearly 20 states. For additional information, visit our Web site at www.usglc.org.

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