The Foreign Service Journal, September 2011

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 1 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 7 L ETTERS A Message from D As you know firsthand, the men and women of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Devel- opment serve in Washington and in every corner of the world in support of our foreign policy objectives. During the past two years, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has worked with Congress to identify the resources required to perform our critical mis- sions around the world and to elevate diplomacy and development — the components of our civilian power — in partnership with defense as the three pillars of our national security strategy. Whether providing humanitarian assistance or countering terrorism, our work saves lives and promotes a more secure future. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said, “The work performed by diplomatic and de- velopment professionals helps to build the foundation for more stable, demo- cratic and prosperous societies.” That is why President Barack Obama has designated our entire budget — both core functions and the portion for Overseas Contingency Operations — as part of a broader, governmentwide national security budget. As State and USAID are being asked tomake extraordinary and critical contributions to our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, these un- precedented efforts require new re- sources. We have provided Congress with a transparent OCO budget that portrays the whole-of-government ap- proach to these operations by aligning military and civilian costs. As the num- ber of troops in Iraq is reduced and the scope of the State Department and USAID’s duties increases, the Depart- ment of Defense’s costs will decrease by $45 billion, while our proposed in- crease is less than $4 billion. That’s an impressive savings by any yardstick. Our mission in Iraq is difficult and challenging. AFSA’s president, Ambas- sador Susan Johnson, raised good ques- tions in her Senate testimony earlier this summer. But we are working around the clock to get the resources and the personnel to make sure we maintain and build on the military’s success. A fully funded OCO budget is critical to that effort. Meanwhile, at the same time that we are taking on increased responsibil- ities abroad and promoting our national security in newways, we face a difficult budget climate. For Fiscal Year 2012, Pres. Obama requested $47 billion for the State Department and USAID’s core operations and programs. He also requested $8.7 billion for OCO to pay for the extraordinary — but temporary — costs of State Department and USAID operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Department of De- fense takes the same approach to such extraordinary costs in its budget. We will soon learn what to expect from the legislation raising the debt ceiling, which included instructions for future reductions in spending. For the first time, the State Department — along with Defense, Homeland Secu- rity and some veterans’ affairs spending — has been was included in the “secu- rity” spending category. While the final allocations remain unknown at press time, we do know that maintaining leadership requires re- solve and resources. As Sec. Clinton has said, “American leadership is not a birthright; it’s an achievement.” Our diplomats, development ex- perts and programs are critical to American leadership. Our diplomacy and development efforts around the world enhance our national security. Our programs help create jobs at home by promoting trade and economic op- portunities for American businesses abroad. We know too well that hunger and economic deprivation lead to greater instability. Continued engagement and sufficient resources are needed to pro- mote U.S. interests around the globe. Significant cuts to the State Depart- ment and USAID budgets — which total just over 1 percent of the entire federal budget —will not make a dent in the deficit or debt. But they will de- grade our ability to address issues that threaten American interests. I hope this gives you a better un- derstanding of the debate here in