April 10, 2013

President’s FY 2014 International Affairs Budget Request Balances America’s Strategic Interests with Fiscal Constraints

Flat Request Follows Years of Deep Cuts

Washington, DC —The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition applauds the Obama Administration for its $52 billion International Affairs Budget request (which includes $3.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations), and urges Congress to support this balanced approach to protecting our security and global economic interests through our tools of development and diplomacy.

The President’s request is flat compared to this year’s total enacted International Affairs Budget, though still represents a cut over the past four years despite the growing number of crises America faces around the world. The request makes some tough choices, prioritizing protection of our diplomats and embassies, areas of strategic importance like the Middle East, reforms to make our civilian operations more effective, and greater leveraging of the partnerships with the private sector.  At the same time, it significantly reduces resources for the Frontline states of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and scales back on USAID’s presence in eleven countries.

Given the many global crises America is facing around the world, national security and business leaders continue to recognize the important role the International Affairs Budget plays in protecting our nation and in creating new markets for our goods and services around the world.  Last month, the head of U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, told Senators, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”  And as 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., pulling back from our engagement in the world puts our economy at risk.

At just over one percent of the entire federal budget, our development and diplomatic operations are a smart investment for American taxpayers.  The President’s request offers a responsible way to meet our national security and economic needs in a dangerous world, while also demonstrating the best of who we are as Americans.

Read the detailed analysis on the FY 2014 International Affairs Budget request, which will be up later this afternoon.

USGLC Leaders on the FY 2014 International Affairs Budget Request:

USGLC Advisory Council Member and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci:  “The challenges facing us in today’s world require strong American engagement, and that’s why the International Affairs Budget is so critical.  If we step back and put our heads in the sand, our security will be at risk and require more costly military intervention in the long run.”

USGLC Advisory Council Member and first Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge:  “While we certainly need to get our fiscal house in order, the International Affairs Budget is one of the most cost-effective investments America can make.  Neither our security nor our economy can afford attempts to isolate our nation and pull back from the world.”

USGLC National Security Advisory Council Co-Chair General Michael Hagee, USMC (Ret.):  “We cannot afford to shortchange our national security, and further cuts to the International Affairs Budget will do just that.  Our development and diplomatic tools are critical to preventing conflict before it occurs, avoiding the need for military intervention.”

USGLC Co-President and Caterpillar Global Governmental Affairs Director Bill Lane:  “With over half of our exports going to the developing world, investing in these emerging markets is essential to America’s bottom line.  Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget are more important than ever to keeping the American economy running full steam ahead.”

USGLC Co-President and Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles:  “Helping children and families in the developing world improve their lives is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do.  This is not just about our values as a nation—to help others help themselves—but also our national security and economic prosperity.”     

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.