Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs Budget
The following is a Press Release by the United states House of representatives Committee on foreign Affairs.]
Howard L. Berman (Democrat-California), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today [9 December 2009] sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama signed by 189 members of Congress requesting a robust International Affairs budget, which includes funding for bilateral diplomacy; international broadcasting; contributions to the United Nations; and humanitarian, development, and security assistance.
The following is the text of the letter:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you prepare your Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget, we are writing to express our strong support for a robust International Affairs budget. The critical programs funded in the International Affairs budget invest in the tools of development and diplomacy; foster economic and political stability on a global scale; strengthen our allies; and fight the spread of poverty, disease, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction. These investments are essential to strengthening our national security, building economic prosperity, and protecting the health and safety of all Americans, while demonstrating our moral values and humanitarian principles.
National Security: National security and foreign policy experts across the political spectrum support an increase in the International Affairs budget as an essential component of our national security. As Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated, "It has become clear that America's civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and under-funded for far too long--relative to what we traditionally spend on the military, and more important, relative to the responsibilities and challenges our nation has around the world."
Secretary Gates and other military leaders argue that our national security is dependent not only on a strong military force but also on increased investments in the full range of diplomatic, development, and humanitarian tools funded through the International Affairs budget. These investments improve our ability to track down terrorists and weapons, help reduce poverty and hunger, promote the security of key allies, and assist in the stabilization of fragile states that often provide quarter and safe haven to terrorists and others who seek to do us harm. …