May 28, 2010

International Affairs Budget Update 5/28/10

1.     Nearly 40% of Senate Calls for Full Funding of FY 11 International Affairs Budget
2.     Secretary Clinton Calls for Integrated National Security Budget
3.     Senate Approves FY 10 Supplemental; House Mark-up Postponed
4.     Administration Releases New National Security Strategy

1.     Nearly 40% of Senate Calls for Full Funding of FY 11 International Affairs Budget

This week a bipartisan group of 37 Senators — led by John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Christopher Bond (R-MO) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) – sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) urging them to fully fund the president’s $58.8 billion  International Affairs Budget request.

This letter is an extraordinary show of bipartisan support given the political environment and growing election jitters.  In fact, the letter garnered almost three times as many signatures as last year’s similar letter to Senate Appropriators.

2.     Secretary Clinton Calls for Integrated National Security Budget

This week Secretary Clinton called for an integrated national security budget, linking the State Department, USAID and the Department of Defense budgets together.  In answering a question at a Brookings Institute event, Clinton said, “You cannot look at a defense budget, a State Department budget, and a USAID budget without defense overwhelming the combined efforts of the other two and without us falling back into the old stovepipes that I think are no longer relevant for the challenges of today.”

Clinton continued, “I think if you look at all the aspects that go into the budget requests that we’re making, I was very pleased that both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen wrote really strong letters to the House and Senate leadership and the appropriators and the budgeteers to make the case that we have to start looking at a national security budget. So we want to begin to talk about a national security budget, and then you can see the tradeoffs and the savings.”

3.     Senate Approves FY 10 Supplemental; House Mark-Up Postponed

This week the full Senate took up the $59 billion war, disaster assistance and Haiti supplemental for FY10, voting late Thursday to pass the supplemental by a 67-28 vote. The Senate version of the bill contains $6.1 billion in funding for the International Affairs Budget, the vast majority for Haiti and the “Frontline States” of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

4.     Administration Releases New National Security Strategy

The Obama Administration released its first National Security Strategy on Thursday, and the document is heavily rooted in smart power principles. The Administration’s rollout included a speech at Brookings by Secretary Clinton and a speech by National Security Advisor Jim Jones at the State Department’s Foreign Press Center. There was an extensive consultative process that led up to this release, including deputies meetings and outside consultations with eminent former officials from both parties, including Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The new strategy calls for strengthening nonmilitary tools of national power and details the key strategic role of development and diplomacy.

The document expands on the Bush Administration’s “3D strategy”, which for the first time introduced development and diplomacy into the National Security Strategy, to a more robust discussion of our non-military tools.  This is an important and welcomed evolution of today’s strategic thinking about the critical role of development and diplomacy in our national security.