March 22, 2017

Military Leaders on Capitol Hill Today Push to Protect State Department, USAID Budget

Hill meetings follow letter from 120+ retired generals and admirals to Congress in support of a robust International Affairs Budget

WASHINGTON – Members of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council — an elite group of retired 3 and 4 star generals and admirals — are on Capitol Hill today urging Members of Congress to support fully funding the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The high-ranking military officers’ visit to Capitol Hill today follows the now widely-cited letter to House and Senate Leadership last month defending the State Department, USAID, and other development agencies as “critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.”

The generals and admirals are reiterating this message in more than 15 Hill meetings today on both sides of the aisle. Scheduled meetings include Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI).

“In Iraq, I learned very quickly that military force alone wouldn’t solve the problems that confronted our forces,” said General George W. Casey, Jr., former Chief of Staff, United States Army.  “Today our soldiers need strong civilian partners to sustain the military’s hard-earned gains. These civilian partners need resources to be effective, just like the military – which is why I’m on Capitol Hill today urging our elected officials to ensure the State Department and USAID have the resources they need to be effective partners in our country’s security.”

General Casey served as the commanding general in Iraq from 2004 to 2007.

Last week, the Administration proposed slashing funding for the State Department and foreign assistance by more than 31% percent in its preliminary FY18 budget request. From the Freedom Caucus to the Progressive Caucus, dozens of members of Congress from both sides of the aisle were quick to oppose the proposed cuts. Click here to see what they had to say.


The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.