Former U.S. Secretaries Of State Urge Congress Not To Cut International Affairs Budget

“As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins mark up today of the first foreign affairs authorization bill in five years, all eight living former U.S. Secretaries of State have written a letter [.pdf]  urging Congress not to cut the international affairs budget,” Politico’s Laura Rozen writes on her blog.

“Increasing the investment in our civilian international capabilities will keep America safer by, among other things, addressing the root causes of terrorism and extremism, supporting key allies, and demonstrating America’s proud tradition of global leadership,” they wrote in a letter organized by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. “The signatories include two Democrats — Madeleine K. Albright and Warren Christopher, and six Republicans: James A. Baker, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Henry A. Kissinger, Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and George P. Shultz,” the blog writes (4/27).

Foreign Policy’s blog, “The Cable,” notes that just last week “Sen. Kent Conrad’s Budget Committee approved a resolution slashing $4 billion from Obama’s request.” The blog also reports that “House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman issued a strong statement defending the president’s budget Monday.” Berman said, “This budget outline would slash critical funding to our Foreign Service Officers and development professionals precisely at the time when the President is seeking to stand up our civilian capacity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq … The notion that this budget would have no impact on our national security funding is simply misleading” (Rogin, 4/27).

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