Opening Statement for Hearing on Military Role in Foreign Policy

Article excerpt

[The following are excerpts from a transcript of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republican Leader Dick Lugar's opening statement at the committee hearing on defining the military's role in foreign policy, July 31, 2008.]

During the last five years, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has focused much attention on how we can improve our diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities and integrate them more effectively with the military component of national power. Since 2003, we have been advocating through hearings and legislation the establishment of a civilian counterpart to the military in post-conflict situations. We have argued for a rapidly deployable civilian corps that is trained to work with the military on stabilization and reconstruction missions in hostile environments. This is the intent of the Lugar-Biden-Hagel legislation that passed the Senate in 2006 and passed this Committee again this year. Increasing the capacity of civilian agencies and integrating them with our military power is essential if we are to be ready for the next post-conflict mission.

The Pentagon's role in foreign assistance also has been of longstanding interest to the Committee. In 2006, I directed the Republican staff of the Committee to investigate the expanding role of the U.S. military in areas that traditionally have been in the portfolio of the State Department. The resulting report, "Embassies as Command Posts in the Campaign Against Terror," was led by former Senior Professional StaffMember Mary Locke, who will be testifying on the second panel. The report documented the rise in development and humanitarian assistance that is being funded and managed by the Pentagon. The report recommended that all security assistance, including Section 1206, be included under the Secretary of State's authority in a coordination process for rationalizing and prioritizing foreign assistance.

The role of the Defense Department in stabilization and reconstruction, foreign assistance, and public information programs has grown in the post September 11 environment. This new role includes increased funding, new authorities, and new platforms such as AFRICOM [Africa Command]. It also has produced new models for inter-agency coordination as reflected in SOUTHCOM [Southern Command] and the approval process for Section 1206 projects.

It is clear that our military and civilian capabilities are severely out of balance. In 2001, Defense spending comprised just 5.2 percent of total U.S. official development assistance. According to preliminary figures, this has increased to 15 percent in 2007. While Congress maintains generous levels of funding to our military, funding for our diplomacy and foreign assistance persistently falls short. …