December 16, 2015
We are pleased to see an important and absolutely necessary increase in overall funding for the International Affairs Budget, which is critical to meet the rising emergency crises around the globe. However, this is driven by the decision to increase the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account and cut base funding. The very concerning decrease of close to 5 percent for core international programs undermines our ability to address ongoing complex threats overseas in the years to come.
The base funding levels have not been this low since Fiscal Year 2009 – well before the myriad of new threats we face today, including the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS, an increasingly belligerent Russia, and epidemics like Ebola. It is our strong hope that future budget negotiations will address this dramatic shortfall in base funding that is essential for America to remain a global leader.
In today’s interconnected world, America cannot afford to pull back. Programs funded through the International Affairs Budget protect our national security, create opportunity, and promote our highest values. American leadership overseas is needed now more than ever and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to strengthen our development and diplomacy programs.
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, 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.