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U.S. Department of State
93/03/10 Testimony on Budget Priorities for Shaping A New Foreign Policy 
Office of the Spokesman

Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Statement before the 
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary
House Appropriations Committee

Washington, DC
March 10, 1993

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.  I'm pleased to make my first 
official congressional appearance as Secretary of State before this 
subcommittee.  I realize how important you are to the work of the 
committee and to the work of the State Department.  Our joint challenge, 
of course, is to shape a new foreign policy in a world that's 
fundamentally changed.  Today, I want to try to discuss, as you say, an 
overview as to how we can best direct our resources to meet this 
extraordinary challenge.

Mr. Chairman, because it's my first official appearance on Capitol Hill, 
with your permission I'll impose on your time, perhaps more than I would 
under other circumstances, by making a somewhat longer than usual 
statement.  Of course, the members of your committee are uniquely 
qualified to take on the hard work of determining the priorities and 
organizing the resources of the State Department to achieve those 
priorities.  My appearance here begins what I hope will be a 
relationship that's marked by candor and cooperation on all sides.  I 
think that kind of candor and cooperation will be essential if we are to 
meet the challenges that this fundamentally new world presents to us.

We'll work closely with you to try to determine the priorities and to 
articulate the new strategies.  But I think, Mr. Chairman, it's 
important that we work together to explain and justify our foreign 
policy to the American people.  As I said at my confirmation hearing, 
foreign policymakers cannot afford to ignore the public, for there's a 
real danger that then the public will ignore us.  

We must work together to explain the stake that the American people have 
in an activist and an internationalist foreign policy, to explain 
clearly the need for preventive diplomacy, to deal with problems before 
they become crises, [and] to stress the priority that we all feel for 
ensuring open and fair trade and the expansion of new markets; and we 
must underscore the benefits that will flow to our nation from active 
promotion of democracy, including, hopefully, from a reduced [Department 
of] Defense budget, greater economic opportunity, a cleaner environment, 
and a safer world.

Along these lines, Mr. Chairman, I intend to travel around the country 
to explain our foreign policy initiatives and seek the support of the 
American people.  I'm going to Chicago on the 22nd of this month to 
begin that process, and, if it's proper, I might encourage you and the 
members of your committee to do the same in your districts and around 
the country.  I know [that] you do that on a regular basis.

Collectively, I think we have a responsibility to try to define our 
foreign policy to the American people and to define America's role in 
the new world.  We need to think about how to deal with the new threats 
we're facing, how to deal with the difficult challenges as well as the 
breath-taking opportunities that come to us in this new era.  And, very 
relevant to this committee and to the budget, we need to take a look at 
the foreign policy institutions to make sure that they take into account 
the realities of the new age and not be stuck with those of the prior 

I really can't stress this last point too much.  The State Department as 
we know it, the US Agency for International Development [USAID], the US 
Information Agency [USIA],  [and] the Arms Control and Disarmament 
Agency [ACDA] are all creatures of the Cold War period.  They evolved 
during an era when our nation was facing a single, overwhelming 
challenge--that is, the challenge of containing the communist threat.  
With the demise of communism, that threat is passed.  Containment has 
served its purpose, and it's taken its rightful place in our history.

And yet our foreign policy institutions continue in large measure to 
mirror the Cold War imperatives.  Maps have changed considerably faster 
than mind-sets.  Budgets and bureaucracies still reflect the reality of 
a world that's passed.  For our institutions, including the State 
Department, it may be that it was easier to deal in an earlier time when 
almost any program could be justified in terms of the global struggle 
against communism.  That struggle is passed, and that easy rationale of 
the past is also a thing of the past.

Here, as elsewhere, I think the American people are ahead of us and have 
proven themselves to be wise.  They know our policies must be tested and 
retested against the facts of the new and uncertain world we face.  They 
demand very rightfully that we get money back--value back--for every 
dollar we spend; to make sure that the dollars we spend promote their 
interests and their values.  They understand that foreign policy must 
conform to new functions, not the old world, and they expect action.

It's our determination--President Clinton and the Administration--to 
provide that kind of action.  Although our Administration is only 2 
months old, we've already begun to redirect our American foreign policy, 
to refocus our aid budgets, and to reform our institutions.  I'd like to 
share my thoughts on each of these topics with you today.

A New Foundation For Foreign Policy

American foreign policy in the years ahead will be grounded in what 
President Clinton has called the three "pillars" of our national 
interest:  first, revitalizing our economy; second, updating our 
security forces for a new era; and, third, protecting democracy as the 
best means to protect our own national security while expanding the 
reach of freedom, human rights, prosperity, and peace.

Our watchword always must be action, not reaction; timely prevention, 
rather than costly cure.

Let me speak a paragraph or so on each one of these three pillars, Mr. 
Chairman.  First, we must renew the American economy.  The single most 
important thing that Congress can do to ensure that American foreign 
policy is effective is to enact the President's economic program and to 
do so as soon as possible. We certainly cannot be strong abroad unless 
we're strong at home.

In the post-Cold War global economy, there's no such thing as a purely 
domestic policy.  Over and over again, I heard in my recent 9-day trip 
to the Middle East and Europe that the whole world is watching our 
economic policy and how well we deal with our economic situation.

President Clinton's economic program, which he laid out, of course, in 
his [State of the Union] address to Congress, as well as his recent 
speech at American University [Dispatch, Vol. 4, No. 9, p. 113], 
challenges American firms, workers, and farmers to win in world markets, 
to reduce our national reliance on foreign creditors, and to sustain our 
foreign commitments.

We remain the world's most powerful economy with vast manufacturing, 
service, and agriculture sectors.  We're the world's largest exporter, 
and we are the world's largest market.  We must use all the tools at our 
disposal to generate growth here at home and bring down barriers to our 
goods and services worldwide.  And by "all of our barriers," I mean GATT 
[the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade], NAFTA [North American Free 
Trade Agreement]--with the parallel agreements--as well as vigorous 
export promotion.

As a second pillar, we must update our security structures to meet the 
realities of the post-Cold War period.  This begins with adapting our 
military forces to meet the new and old threats to national security.  
But we must even go further than that.  In tandem with our partners, we 
must continue to mold our alliances like NATO to meet new missions.  

More robust peace-keeping and even peace-making capabilities are needed, 
given the potential for ethnic conflicts that challenge our conscience 
and threaten international peace.  Strengthened non-proliferation 
regimes are also essential if we are to prevent new and dangerous 
threats from emerging on the international landscape.

Let me emphasize the strong commitment I feel personally to making 
strides on non-proliferation now that we're in this new era.

Third--as the third pillar--we must encourage the democratic revolution 
that has swept so much of the world.  By promoting democracy and free 
markets, we do more to honor the universal values upon which our nation 
is founded.  We must go beyond just the moral aspect of it to ensure our 
own security and prosperity.

Democracies tend not to make war on other democracies.  They are more 
reliable partners in diplomacy, business, trade, arms agreements, and 
global environmental protection.  We should have no illusions.  
Democracy cannot be imposed from above.  By its very nature it must be 
built from underneath, from the bottom up.

We should embrace and promote this process by sustained support for 
democratic institution-building in the former Soviet bloc and elsewhere.  
And we should by collective engagement, working in partnership with 
other great democracies, promote democracy around the globe.

Financial Constraints And Foreign Policy

Successful foreign policy, of course, doesn't just happen.  It's not 
just a statement of policy.  It requires resources--financial resources 
and human resources.  Like all of you committee members, I am acutely 
aware of the budgetary constraints under which we operate.  Our fiscal 
crisis is real, and so is President Clinton's commitment to tackling it.  
Foreign affairs constitutes only a very small part of the overall budget 
[and] State Department operations, even a smaller part.  

But the time has long since passed when we could overlook even the most 
minute line in the federal budget.  The FY 1994 budget, as you 
indicated, Mr. Chairman, is something we'll submit in a few weeks, and 
it will reflect that reality.  It will be a tough budget for tough 
times.  It will be a flexible budget that seeks austerity, not as a 
hardship to be endured but as a challenge to innovate and do our job 
better.  Above all, we hope that this budget will mark a transitional 
step to a truly focused budget that sets priorities and puts resources 
behind them.

As you indicated, Mr. Chairman, I'm not able to discuss our funding 
requests in detail because they have not yet been finalized.  But I will 
say this:  All reflect one or more of the pillars I mentioned--economic 
renewal, new security structures, and promotion of democracy.  But our 
priorities also stress another important theme.  They all reflect and 
represent our investment in the future.

Our budget will stress the importance of US business internationally and 
our support for US business.  State must work closely with our agencies 
like [the] Commerce [Department], the Export-Import [Exim] Bank, and 
USAID to create a comprehensive and coordinated export strategy.  We 
must do even more than that by upgrading the Department's own economic 
and business support capabilities.  We must turn State into what I've 
termed an "American desk"--an American desk for businessmen here and 
abroad, complementing the important work of the foreign commercial 
service.  The dividend from this will be economic growth and job 
creation here at home.

As I indicated, another top priority will be non-proliferation.  If the 
lawlessness of [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein has taught us any single 
lesson, it is that weapons of mass destruction, especially when combined 
with missile technology, can transform a petty tyrant into a threat to 
world peace and stability.  We must assist the new states of the former 
Soviet Union to control and account for nuclear material.  We must help 
them and other countries to establish effective support and control 
systems for the weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, 
and we must strengthen international supplier regimes and support 
existing and new arms control agreements.  All of this must be part of a 
comprehensive strategy to halt and, indeed, reverse proliferation.

In this connection, Mr. Chairman, let me emphasize the importance of 
moving forward to ratification of the Strategic Arms Reduction [START] 
Treaties around the world--in the former Soviet Union--and also to move 
forward with the ratification of START II here in the United States.

Another priority is enhanced multinational peace-keeping and peace-
making.  The end of the Cold War has unleashed long-suppressed ethnic 
and religious and sectional conflict in the former Soviet bloc and 
elsewhere.  But it has opened up new possibilities also for 
international cooperation.  Our task is to harness that cooperation to 
contain and to prevent future conflict.

The tragedies in Somalia and the Balkans bear grim witness to the price 
of international delay--a human price paid daily in pain, privation, and 
death.  Here, international peacekeeping--especially by the United 
Nations--can and must play a critical role.  Capabilities must be 
enhanced to permit prompt, effective, preventive action, and the United 
States must be prepared to pay its fair share.  Millions invested in 
peace-keeping now may save hundreds of millions of dollars in relief 

We can never forget either that peace-keeping saves more than dollars.  
Rightly done, it also saves lives.  It may avert greater dangers that 
would require even larger military expenditures down the road.

I know [that] this committee has supported peace-keeping funds in the 
past, and I look forward to working with you--all the members of the 
committee--to meet our responsibilities in the future.

Our budget will also promote democracy, especially in the states of the 
former Soviet Union.  If a democratic government and free enterprise 
prevail in the former Soviet bloc, America will gain not only partners 
in peace but a vast, growing market for American goods and services.  

On the other hand, if this brave experiment in freedom fails, we could 
see an insecure Europe once again, and once again we would see our 
defense budgets rise.  Assisting democracy in the Soviet Union and, 
indeed, around the world is more than a helping hand--it's an investment 
in American security and prosperity.

As the President pointed out in his speech at American University just a 
few days ago:

If we were willing to spend trillions of dollars to ensure communism's 
defeat in the Cold War, surely we should be willing to invest a tiny 
fraction of that to support democracy's success where communism failed.

Our FY 1994 budget will also advance our global agenda.  Population 
control and protection of the environment cannot be second-tier foreign 
policy priorities any longer.  By encouraging responsible population 
programs, we assist poor countries to achieve sustainable growth.  By 
actively moving to combat environmental degradation, we can improve the 
quality of life in poor and rich countries alike and open up new 
possibilities for US business.

By combating international scourges like nepotism, narcotics, and 
terrorism, we make America and the world a safer place.  These are 
investments with real human returns.

These priorities--these investments--will be prominent in our 1994 
fiscal year budget presentations.  Some may require modest increases in 
funding.  Others may not.  But all reflect this new focus.  All will be 
met within overall stringent limitations.

Reorganization of the State Department

Just as important as how much we spend is how we spend it.  The 
challenges of the 1990s have already brought new flexibility and 
discipline to the State Department.  Confronted by the collapse of the 
Soviet empire, we've opened 20 new posts in just 2 years.  Faced with 
budget realities, we're moving in cooperation with Congress to close 
about an equal number of posts, and we're evaluating staffing levels of 
State and other agencies at both new and established missions.  The 
State Department must do more than just accept the hard decisions thrust 
on us.  We must fundamentally reorganize ourselves for the post-Cold War 
era, and I want to speak a bit more about that.

I'm convinced that the Department of State cannot hope to respond to the 
many challenges of this era unless we improve the way we deal with tough 
and complex problems that cut across traditional bureaucratic 
boundaries.  We must find creative ways both to increase the efficiency 
of the policy process and to enhance the administration of the many 
programs we manage.  A stifling bureaucracy, an obsolete division of 
duties, or cumbersome decision-making are luxuries that we just cannot 
afford in this new period.

I'm therefore committed, Mr. Chairman, to a broad-based reform of the 
State Department's organization and operations.

The reorganization plan that I announced last month [Dispatch, Vol. 4, 
No. 6, p. 69] includes the designation of the Deputy Secretary and five 
Under Secretaries as my principal foreign policy advisers.  Portfolios 
have been shifted and modified to mirror the post-Cold War missions.  
More importantly, we intend to create a new Under Secretary for Global 
Affairs responsible for issues as varied--but critical--as human rights, 
democratization, the environment, refugees, narcotics, and terrorism.  
President Clinton's nomination of Senator Tim Wirth--a person who I 
think you all know and whose accomplishments are well known to you--
sends a clear signal on the importance that the Administration attaches 
to these global responsibilities.

Our reorganization will also create new focal points for key foreign 
policy initiatives--notably, an Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser 
for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union.  President 
Clinton has nominated Strobe Talbott--a trusted friend and an eminent 
expert in this area--to manage the full range of our relations with this 
vital and volatile region.  I can say that we're already benefiting from 
Strobe Talbott's advice as the President prepares for the summit with 
[Russian] President Yeltsin on April 4 in Vancouver, British Columbia 

Our reorganization plan not only adds these two new important positions, 
but it also will reduce excessive layering within the Department of 
State and do much to streamline our policy processes.  We've set a 
target of cutting back the number of our Deputy Assistant Secretaries 
and their equivalents by up to 40%, and we're well on the way to doing 
that.  Wherever possible, we intend to force decision-making down.  Our 
objective is a quicker policy-making, more open policy-making, and 
better policy-making.

Mr. Chairman, we also intend to eliminate 11 bureaus or important 
positions, all in the way of trying to be more economical and to 
streamline our processes.  I think we can do the job better with fewer 
resources and [by] cutting out a substantial amount of an intermediate 

I've implemented some of these initiatives.  Some will require 
congressional action, and we'll seek the counsel of you and your other 
colleagues in    the House and Senate as we move forward with this very 
important institutional reform to which I am strongly committed.

It's so important that I've asked Deputy Secretary Clif Wharton--a man 
of extraordinary ability and very broad experience in business--to 
direct our efforts to create a State Department for the 21st century.  
In addition to implementing the current reorganization plan, I've asked 
Dr. Wharton to oversee and improve the way the executive branch manages 
the international affairs budget.  We simply must do a better job of 
assessing our priorities and allocating our resources.

I've also asked other key members of the State Department's team--
especially Under Secretary-designate [for Management] Brian Atwood--to 
focus efforts on modernizing the Department of State.  We must assure 
clearer financial accountability for our operations.  We must invest in 
better training for our personnel, both Foreign Service and Civil 
Service.  And we must work unceasingly to ensure that the face the 
Department shows to the world is an American face of diversity.  In 
short, we must remake the State Department.

As I've gone around the world, especially on my recent trip, I've been 
struck by the lack of diversity in the representatives of other 
governments.  We can't solve that problem, but we can deal with our own 
problem, and I'm going to make one of our highest priorities to increase 
the diversity within the higher ranks of the State Department.  We're 
doing considerably better at the entry levels, but there's much room for 
improvement here.

I've also asked Dr. Wharton to examine the role of the US Agency for 
International Development and to report to me his recommendations before 
the end of April.  USAID, like the State Department as a whole, must 
plainly change.  And we look forward to working  with Congress to 
restructure our assistance program to reflect our foreign policy 
priorities, such as promoting democracy, enhancing competitiveness, and 
supporting the peace process.  We also need to reorganize--and we need 
your thinking on this--we need to reorganize ACDA, the USIA, and the 
Board for International Broadcasting to take into account the new world 

The need for a truly integrated foreign policy certainly demands this 
kind of a reorganization and nothing less.


Mr. Chairman, as I conclude, let me say [that] I was struck as I 
prepared this testimony by the extent to which the challenges 
confronting the State Department closely parallel those confronting our 
nation as a whole.  President Clinton's call for investment, for 
innovation, for putting people first, resonates as strongly in Foggy 
Bottom as it does on Main Street.  I'm really dedicated to seeing that 
the State Department, along with the other departments of government, 
answers the President's call.

This is a call for a renewal, and it really touches a deeply American 
chord.  It echoes with our history.  In 1862, Abraham Lincoln wrote that 
as our case is new, we must think anew and act anew.  Our case is, 
thankfully, somewhat less grave than that facing Lincoln, but the 
injunction remains as compelling, then, today as it was a hundred years 
ago.  It holds true for American foreign policy, just as it does for 
American domestic policy.

The Cold War has ended and with it the imperatives that define America's 
role in the world.  With it we must have new policies, and we must 
reorganize our foreign policy establishment.  It's time to think anew 
and to act anew.  This will take vision on your part and on our part.  
We'll have to work hard.  It will take courage to shift away from old 
priorities.  It will take a real partnership--between Democrats and 
Republicans, between Congress and the executive branch--and also a 
partnership between government and the American people, to convince the 
American people that we're acting in their interest.

So far as I'm concerned, my partnership with this committee begins 
today, and I look forward to a good relationship.  I know I can count on 
you, and I'll tell you that you can count on me. (###)