February 14, 2011

USGLC Calls On Congress to Support President’s FY 2012 International Affairs Budget Request

Smart Power Funding is Critical to our National Security and Economic Growth

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition today rallied behind the Obama Administration’s FY 2012 International Affairs budget request for $53.1 billion, and urged Congress to fully fund the request.  At just over 1 percent of the federal budget and 7.1 percent of security funding, the International Affairs budget is a critical investment in America’s national security and economy. 

The FY 2012 International Affairs budget request is classified as part of America’s national security spending, continuing the bipartisan tradition begun under former President George W. Bush.  Military leaders from Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to General David Petraeus to Admiral Mike Mullen and more agree even in this difficult economic environment we must invest in civilian-led tools of global engagement. 

As Congress begins debate on the FY 2012 budget, the USGLC remains concerned about the deep 19% cuts from the House Appropriations Committee’s FY 2011 budget.  The International Affairs budget funds the entirety of America’s non-military national security operations abroad, and these cuts will negatively affect critically important programs such as U.S. counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency assistance to countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

One in five American jobs depends on trade and nearly half of U.S. exports go to developing countries, making the International Affairs budget an essential part of strengthening the nation’s economy and creating new markets for U.S. goods and services around the world.   

Please visit USGLC’s up-to-the-minute online Budget Center for detailed analysis on the President’s FY 2012 International Affairs budget request.

USGLC Leadership on FY 2012 International Affairs Budget Request

USGLC Honorary Chair and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell: “To meet the global challenges our nation faces, today, we must invest in our diplomatic and development resources.  Even though budgets are tight, I support the President for recognizing the International Affairs budget as a critical part of our national security funding.”

USGLC Advisory Council Member and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge:  “A strong and effective International Affairs budget is a great return on investment for the American taxpayer. This funding not only goes a long way toward keeping America safe in a dangerous world, but it builds markets for our products overseas  and keeps us competitive in the global economy.”

USGLC Advisory Council Member and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton: “At just over one percent of the federal budget, the International Affairs budget is an extraordinary bargain for the American people. This is a small investment to make for creating a better, safer, more stable world, as well as for creating jobs and strengthening our economy here at home, and I call on my former colleagues on Capitol Hill to support the President’s International Affairs budget request.”

USGLC National Security Advisory Council Co-Chair and former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps General Michael W. Hagee, USMC (Ret.):  “Investing in the International Affairs budget is an essential part of our national security, and the President’s request is on target.  In today’s complex world, our outstanding military must have a strong partner in our civilian-led agencies in order to secure the places most likely to foster terrorism and instability. This investment prevents conflicts before they occur and require a military solution.”

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.

# # #