March 13, 2018
WASHINGTON – The USGLC’s President and CEO, Liz Schrayer, released the following statement on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to Secretary of State:
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition congratulates Mike Pompeo on his nomination by President Trump to be the next Secretary of State. At a time of rising global turbulence, this is the right time for a chief diplomat who fundamentally gets that the military alone cannot keep America safe. A tank commander at the end of the Cold War, he understands better than most that it takes development and diplomacy alongside defense to advance American global leadership. With his Kansas roots, he knows that addressing the nexus of famine and food insecurity is a vital U.S. interest.
We call on the next Secretary of State to recognize and strengthen the indispensable role of our diplomats and development professionals – and protect the resources America needs to advance our interests around the world. We urge the Senate’s quick consideration.
Background on his statements on development and diplomacy
On U.S. global leadership: As CIA Director, Pompeo recently observed that “It’s often the case that in a dangerous world, America is the only country that can present the leadership that can solve many, many problems.” As a member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission during his time in Congress, he said, “I will continue to advocate for a foreign policy focused on our long-held principles of advancing freedom and justice that also upholds the national interests of the United States. America must lead to keep Americans safe, and keeping Americans safe is my constitutional responsibility.”
On global food security: Pompeo has been a leading voice on the importance of responding to food insecurity and its impact on America’s national security. At a 2016 USGLC event in South Carolina, he praised America’s leadership on global food security in the battle against terrorism, calling it “another important issue to keep America safe, that we don’t have famine and starvation causing…folks who want to put on bomb vests instead of engage in… commerce.”
On the battle against ISIS: “There’s a State Department function here. There’s an Armed Services, Department of Defense function. But there is an enormous intelligence piece to this so that we can both find and fix the enemy… making sure we identify friends inside the region that can help us there.”
On opportunities in Africa: “There are real opportunities in Africa as well, places where I think we can – along with our partners – begin to develop a set of relationships. There’s a big counter-terrorism threat there, one that we’ve done a mediocre job at addressing, and I think we can – if we present a more organized solution – we can come up with some very, very good outcomes.”
On the Yemen humanitarian crisis: “The President was very concerned about the humanitarian issues taking place in Yemen, the risk of cholera and the starvation that was taking place and he kept pushing us about what was really taking place, what was the real layout, what was happening in the port, and what was possible given the configuration of forces on the ground. And he pushed us for a couple days until we were able to deliver him a satisfactory picture where he then could make a decision about which of our friends to call to try to make sure that problem was at least diminished or mitigated.”
On International Affairs resources: Early in his time in Congress, Pompeo voted to cut funding for certain international programs, but over time he built an increasingly supportive record. He supported legislation such as Global Food Security Act of 2016, the Zika Response Appropriations Act of 2016, and the Fiscal Year 2014 State Department Authorization. He also co-sponsored the Reach Every Mother and Child Act.
During his time at the CIA he stated, “We work closely with the State Department, nearly every place that we operate, and it’s important that they have the resources to do that… “With respect to the budget fights, I’m someone who came from the policy world that always thought government could do better even with a little less of money and I still firmly believe that not only at the State Department, but at my agency too.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) 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.