95/05/18 Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee  Return to: Index of 1995 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the State Department homepage.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
95/05/18 TESTIMONY:  INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN

                                 STATEMENT BY
                     SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
                                  BEFORE THE
                      SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE
                      SUBCOMMITTEE ON FOREIGN OPERATIONS

                                 MAY 18, 1995


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I am pleased to appear before the Senate 
Foreign Operations Subcommittee for the first time this year -- and 
before the Congress for the twelfth time since January.  I have few 
responsibilities more important than maintaining a close dialogue with 
members of the Senate and House.  And I have few objectives more 
immediate than securing full funding of our International Affairs 
budget.

I want to say at the outset, Mr. Chairman, how much I appreciate the 
leadership that you and Senator Leahy have provided.  At a time of 
urgent need for bipartisanship in foreign policy, the Republican and 
Democratic leaders of this subcommittee have made a strong case on 
behalf of American engagement in the world.  As you have said, Mr. 
Chairman, enacting the Senate Budget Committee's cuts "will leave this 
president, the next president, our nation and our citizens with no 
global options other than sending in troops."  Surely the American 
people deserve better than that.

Mr. Chairman, I know you share my belief that America's engagement in 
the world is no less important today than it was during the past half-
century.  Indeed, with the end of the Cold War, our challenges abroad 
have become more complex.  Our security depends increasingly on 
combating threats like nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and narcotics 
trafficking -- threats that call for more rather than less international 
cooperation.  Our prosperity depends increasingly on foreign trade and 
investment.

As the sole remaining superpower, we have an unprecedented opportunity 
to shape the world we seek -- a world of open societies and open 
markets.  I am optimistic enough to believe that this hopeful state of 
affairs will endure as long as we work to preserve and advance it.  But 
Mr. Chairman, we cannot simply wish that world into being.

Mr. Chairman, I have reviewed the budget committee resolutions and their 
impact on our ability to conduct this nation's foreign policy.  You know 
I prefer to speak with diplomatic discretion.  But in this instance, I 
am compelled to be blunt.  The cuts contained in the resolutions would 
damage our nation's interests and cripple our ability to lead.  They are 
irresponsible.  And I will continue to oppose them. 

At issue is far more than cost-effectiveness and deficit reduction -- 
objectives on which I think we agree.  At issue is the role that the 
United States should play in the world.  At risk is the strength of 
America's leadership and the credibility of America's commitments.  And 
at stake are the security and well-being of all Americans.

As our opportunities and challenges around the world have grown, the 
resources we have dedicated to advancing them have shrunk.  During the 
last ten years, our International Affairs budget -- the 150 Account -- 
has dwindled from 2.5 to 1.3 percent of the federal budget.  It has 
absorbed substantial real cuts in the last several years, and is now 45 
percent lower in real terms than it was one decade ago.  Yet despite 
these significant reductions, the Budget Committees have proposed plans 
that would slash international spending even further -- from $20.3 
billion in the current budget to about $18 billion next year, and 
plummeting to $12.5 billion in the year 2000.

Mr. Chairman, our nation's foreign policy cannot be supported on the 
cheap.  We cannot protect our interests as the world's most powerful 
nation if we do not marshal the resources to stand by our commitments.  
We cannot lead if we do not have the tools of leadership at our 
disposal.  We cannot have it both ways.

Those who say they want a strong America have a responsibility to help 
keep America strong.  Rhetoric without resources projects weakness, not 
strength.  It worries our friends, emboldens our enemies, and imperils 
the security and well-being of the American people.

Mr. Chairman, the United States spent trillions of dollars to defend the 
free world during the Cold War -- and we did not do it with military 
strength alone.  It would be a tragic and ironic mistake if we now 
refused to spend a tiny fraction of that sum to consolidate the 
remarkable gains we have made.

Consider what we get for our International Affairs budget request of 
$21.2 billion:

--  Our budget helps us strengthen American security by fighting the 
spread of nuclear weapons and technology.

--  Our budget helps us protect American lives by combating terrorists, 
drug traffickers, and international criminals.

--  Our budget helps us create American jobs by opening foreign markets 
and promoting U.S. exports.  And, 

--  Our budget helps us give force to American principles by bolstering 
peace, human rights and democracy from Cuba to Cambodia.

Moreover, the preventive diplomacy that the International Affairs budget 
funds is our first and least costly line of defense.  Compare the cost 
of diplomatic action to stem proliferation to the price we would pay if 
rogue states obtained nuclear weapons.  Compare the cost of promoting 
development to the price of coping with famine and refugees.  If we gut 
our diplomatic readiness today, we will face much greater costs and 
crises down the line.

Less than two weeks ago, the concerted diplomacy our budget supports 
made the decisive contribution to the indefinite extension of the 
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  For 25 years, the NPT has been 
the cornerstone of global efforts to reduce the danger of nuclear 
weapons.  Its extension has been a central priority for this 
Administration.  We have pursued it aggressively in both our 
multilateral and bilateral diplomacy.  This historic diplomatic victory 
will keep not just the United States but the world safer from the threat 
of nuclear destruction.  We owe thanks and praise to the dedicated men 
and women in Washington, at the United Nations, and at all our posts 
overseas who made this signal achievement possible.

Over the past two years alone, we have expedited the detargeting and 
dismantlement of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union and 
facilitated the departure of Russian troops from the Baltics.  We have 
promoted open trade and access for American exports in key regions like 
Asia and Latin America.  We have used our overseas resources to capture 
Ramzi Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing.  
And we have restored democracy in Haiti, assisted the transition from 
apartheid in South Africa, and helped to end the violence in Northern 
Ireland.

Mr. Chairman, with this Committee's strong support, our budget has also 
advanced peace and security in the Middle East -- a goal of every 
administration for half a century.  Your unwavering assistance to Israel 
and Egypt has been indispensable to the peace process.  Over the past 
two and a half years, the political landscape of the region has been 
transformed.  Israel and Jordan are at peace.  Israel and the 
Palestinians are working together to implement the Declaration of 
Principles and to put their conflict behind them.  And the United States 
is a full partner in efforts aimed at achieving new agreements with 
Syria and Lebanon that would make the peace truly comprehensive.

At the same time, we are trying to promote Arab-Israeli reconciliation 
throughout the region and to facilitate the public and private sector 
economic investments that are the necessary foundation for peace.

Mr. Chairman, American leadership is the essential underpinning of this 
process.  Past agreements were built on it.  Future advances depend on 
it.  That leadership must include a readiness to support all parties 
that take risks for peace.  As Prime Minister Rabin said in Washington 
last week, "the foreign aid which America extends to the Middle East 
remains one of the key pillars supporting the peace process."

The chances for real Arab-Israeli peace are more promising than at any 
time in two generations.  It is essential that the executive and 
legislative branches work together to sustain our commitments not only 
to Israel but to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians.  Without this 
assistance we will undercut those who are willing to act in support of 
peace and embolden those who are determined to kill the chances for 
peace.

In the Persian Gulf, we remain determined to contain the dangers posed 
by Iraq and Iran.  I know we are all greatly concerned about the fate of 
the two Americans detained in Iraq.  We are working vigorously through a 
range of diplomatic channels to secure their freedom, reserving all of 
our options in this process.  Iraq has nothing to gain from continuing 
to hold these men in custody.

Iran continues to be a violent opponent of the Middle East peace process 
and the chief state sponsor of terrorism in the world.  Iran is also on 
a determined course to acquire weapons of mass destruction -- including 
nuclear weapons.  Rejecting this outlaw behavior, President Clinton on 
May 8 signed an executive order severing all remaining U.S. trade and 
investment links with Iran.  I have repeatedly pressed our G-7 partners 
to exercise maximum restraint in their economic relationships with Iran, 
and will continue to seek their cooperation in making Iran pay a price 
for its repugnant activities.  We believe that the international 
community must take concrete steps -- and more steps than it has taken 
in the past -- to deny Iran the resources that enable Tehran to support 
its threatening policies.

The World Trade Center bombing, the gas attacks in Tokyo and the bombing 
in Oklahoma City have brought home the ruthlessness of terrorists and 
the frightening ease with which they can obtain destructive technology.  
I urge the Congress to act quickly to approve the President's Omnibus 
Counterterrorism Act of 1995, and the Antiterrorism Amendments Act he 
submitted in May.  

But in addition to these vital law enforcement efforts, it is essential 
that we sustain our diplomatic engagement and foreign assistance.  For 
the sake of our nation's security, we must continue to encourage peace, 
respect for human rights and the rule of law, and economic development 
in those regions of the world where terrorist threats are most likely to 
emerge.  Terrorism is often spawned in conditions of conflict, 
lawlessness, and poverty.

In my judgment, the extreme cuts at hand would undermine these important 
objectives.

Assistance to Russia and the Other New Independent States

I want to begin today by discussing the President's trip to Moscow and 
Kiev, as well as our assistance to Russia and the New Independent 
States.  

Mr. Chairman, the United States has an enormous stake in a constructive 
relationship with a reforming Russia.  The real question now is not 
whether to engage with Russia, but how.  Our approach is one of 
pragmatic engagement.  We will cooperate where our interests coincide, 
and speak openly and act appropriately when Russian actions run counter 
to our interests.

We understand that the uncertain situation in Russia is likely to 
persist for some time.  While reform moves ahead in Russia, its success 
is not assured.  Our policy has both purpose and perspective -- it is 
focused on advancing vital American interests over the long haul.

The President went to Moscow and Kiev to commemorate the end of World 
War II, and to honor the sacrifice that the people of Russia, Ukraine, 
Belarus and the other nations of the region made during that conflict.  
The trip provided the occasion for President Clinton's sixth summit with 
President Yeltsin and for the first presidential state visit to an 
independent Ukraine.

Our discussions in Moscow were constructive and produced concrete 
benefits for the American people.  These summits, which we hold every 
six months, allow us to pursue a businesslike relationship with Russia 
that has advanced the security of both our countries.  It is important 
to step back and assess the summit with a long view.  Although much 
remains to be done and we still have clear differences on a number of 
matters, it is my judgment that we made significant progress on issues 
of importance to the American people.

We took an important step forward in our comprehensive strategy for 
security in Europe.  President Clinton stressed to President Yeltsin 
that this strategy includes a steady, deliberate process for adding new 
members to NATO.  He made it clear to President Yeltsin that the 
alliance is staying on the path that it has set.  At the same time, and 
in parallel with that process, it is in everyone's interest that Russia 
participate in building a more secure and integrated Europe.  Russia 
should not isolate itself from European security structures.  So we 
welcome Russia's decision at the summit to proceed with its 
participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace, and to begin a broader 
dialogue with the Alliance.

We made important progress on several other security issues:

--  First, we agreed on basic principles with respect to the ABM treaty 
and theater missile defenses -- principles which reaffirmed our 
commitment to the treaty while recognizing that we must be able to 
deploy effective theater missile defenses;

--  Second, the Russians agreed to our visits to Russian military 
biological facilities, starting this summer;

--  Third, Russian leaders responded positively to our position that 
space-launched vehicles are subject to START I provisions  -- allowing 
START I implementation to go forward;

--  Fourth, we reaffirmed our joint commitment to seek the ratification 
of START II;

--  Fifth, we agreed to make the process of dismantling nuclear weapons 
more transparent and irreversible;

--  Finally, we agreed to accelerate cooperation to enhance protection 
of nuclear materials.

On the issue of Iran, this subcommittee is well aware of my views, as 
well as the President's recent decision to ban U.S. trade and investment 
in that country.  The President provided President Yeltsin with clear 
evidence of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, its support for 
terrorism, and its opposition to the Middle East peace process.  

Though we have not yet achieved everything we want with respect to 
containing Iran, we made important progress.  President Yeltsin agreed 
to close Russia's conventional arms sales to Iran, a precondition for 
becoming a founding member of the post-COCOM export control regime.  He 
also agreed to abandon the centrifuge sale -- one of the most dangerous 
elements of Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran.  The Russians also 
agreed to review their reactor sale to Iran under the auspices of Vice 
President Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin.  We will continue to 
stress that this sale serves neither Russia's interests nor the 
international community's.  We believe that Russia should accept the 
position that every member of the G-7 has taken:  that any nuclear 
cooperation with Iran is too dangerous to be permitted.

On Chechnya, President Clinton reiterated that Russia should abandon its 
search for a military solution to the conflict.  While it is important 
that the OSCE assistance group is in Grozny, Russia must now fully 
cooperate with it to reach a genuine political settlement, and to allow 
the unimpeded delivery of food and medicine. 

Mr. Chairman, we simply disagree with President Yeltsin's 
characterization of the situation in Chechnya.  In fact, that brutal 
conflict has intensified in recent days.  The continuing violence has 
killed thousands of innocent civilians, damaged Russian reform, hurt 
Russia's standing in the international community, and called into 
question Russia's commitment to international norms -- including the 
principles of the OSCE.  The pace and depth of Russia's integration into 
Western institutions, including the G-7, is bound to be affected by 
Russia's conduct in this situation. 

Mr. Chairman, I also want to discuss our assistance programs for the 
states of the former Soviet Union.  The test for any program must be 
whether it advances the interests of the United States.  The American 
people rightly expect no less.

Our budget request for Russia continues carefully targeted assistance 
programs that increase our security, expand our prosperity, and promote 
our interest in democratic reform.  Nunn-Lugar programs will continue to 
advance our strategic interest in dismantling nuclear weapons.  Our 
assistance will continue to bolster the vital elements of a working 
democracy, including a free press.  It supports privatization -- a 
process that has put more than half of Russia's economy in private hands 
-- and it opens opportunities for U.S. companies.  Most assistance goes 
to private organizations and local governments outside Moscow -- 
supporting the devolution of power from the center that is so crucial to 
the success of reform.  In short, assistance has put America on the 
right side of the struggle for change in Russia.  

I know it is tempting to end or curtail these programs to punish Russia 
when it does something we oppose.  I am all for maximizing our leverage.  
But I have reviewed our assistance programs and concluded that cutting 
them back now would not make sense.  It would not serve the interests of 
the American people.  We ought to ask ourselves some tough questions:  
Should we stop the funding necessary to dismantle the nuclear weapons 
that once targeted American cities?  Should we cut off support for 
privatization and free elections -- wiping out programs that strengthen 
the very forces in Russian society that share our interests and values, 
the very forces, indeed, most likely to oppose the war in Chechnya?

As you know, Mr. Chairman, more than half of our assistance to the New 
Independent States of the former Soviet Union now goes to countries 
other than Russia.  It is equally essential that we maintain funding for 
these programs.  

Ukraine is especially critical.  With its size and position, juxtaposed 
between Russia and Central Europe, it is a linchpin of European 
security.  The President's visit to Kiev underscored the importance we 
attach to Ukraine's present and future as an independent, non-nuclear, 
and reforming state.

The United States has consistently led the international community in 
support of Ukraine's courageous and far-reaching economic reforms.  Last 
year, we convinced the G-7 to pledge over $4 billion for that country.  
And Ukraine is now the fourth largest recipient of U.S. assistance after 
Israel, Egypt and Russia.  Mr. Chairman, I strongly appreciate your 
leadership on this matter.

Development Assistance and Humanitarian Relief

Many of the budget committees' deepest proposed cuts would come from 
development assistance and, to a lesser degree, humanitarian relief -- 
programs that support our interests and are consistent with our ideals.  
Mr. Chairman, I share your belief that our assistance should "contribute 
to a cure," not just offer "temporary relief from symptoms."

But the drastic cuts proposed by the budget committees will not achieve 
these goals.  These cuts would weaken our leverage, undermine our 
leadership, and prevent us from making a difference where it counts.  
Any savings they yield today could never cover the costs they impose 
tomorrow, whether in humanitarian crises abroad or lost economic 
opportunities at home.

Senator Leahy, in your recent statements, you have made the strong case 
that these programs are in the national interest.  They help to prevent 
the outbreak of conflicts and unrest that would otherwise call for 
costly international intervention.  They promote export opportunities 
for American companies and jobs for American workers.  They lay the 
groundwork for sustainable development and accountable government -- two 
objectives that have eluded too much of the world for too long.

And not incidentally, our assistance programs save lives.  Our programs 
to expand immunization and rehydration therapy in Africa, for example, 
save an estimated 800,000 children each year.   

The small proportion -- less than one percent -- of our budget that we 
devote to foreign assistance is already the lowest percentage among the 
21 leading industrialized nations.  Our assistance can make the 
difference between life and death.

Let me focus briefly on Africa, where our leadership and investments 
have been vital in spurring reform.  It is impossible to underestimate 
the challenges facing this vast continent.  But despite the headlines of 
disease and despair, the economies of almost 20 African countries have 
grown annually by more than 4 percent.  All of these nations have been 
strongly supported by the International Development Association (IDA).  
Our contributions to IDA are a fundamental part of the assistance we 
provide to the Multilateral Development Banks.  We get a tremendous bang 
for every MDB buck: in total, for every dollar we contributed to the 
MDBs last year, the banks were able to provide 20 dollars in assistance.  
Denying these resources could stop Africa's fragile reform process in 
its tracks.

Our assistance is in the best tradition of American generosity.  It is 
the best way to help poor nations develop the capacity to become self-
sufficient.  At the same time, as our assistance supports economic 
growth, it will help ensure that American companies and American workers 
derive the fullest possible economic benefit.

Let me assure you, Mr. Chairman, that this Administration will continue 
to insist that aid recipients in Africa pursue sound economic policies 
and respect the rule of law.  Unless they do, our aid will indeed do 
little more than "fuel failure."

We cannot afford to abandon the foreign assistance effort that President 
Eisenhower used to say represented America's "best investment."  He was 
right.  The aid for which he fought continues to pay off for the 
American people.  American firms now enjoy annual export sales to South 
Korea worth triple the amount of assistance we provided in the decade 
after the Korean War.  Our exports to Latin America in 1993 alone were 
two and a half times more than the total economic assistance we provided 
over the previous 44 years.

I look forward to working with this Committee and the Congress to make 
our assistance efforts as efficient and as effective as possible.  But 
as the President has said, "We did not win the Cold War to walk away and 
blow the peace on penny-wise, pound-foolish budgeting."

Let me add, Mr. Chairman, that I am of course familiar with your 
proposal to abolish USAID and to consolidate that agency's functions 
with the State Department.  As I have emphasized in prior testimonies, I 
am convinced that AID, USIA, and ACDA each has a distinct mission that 
can best be performed if they remain separate agencies under my general 
supervision.  I agree with the Vice President that the financial and 
other costs of consolidating AID, ACDA and USIA into the State 
Department outweigh the benefits.

In fulfillment of this Administration's National Performance Review, 
each of the foreign affairs agencies has been proceeding vigorously with 
streamlining efforts.  AID and USIA have been at the forefront of this 
restructuring effort.  ACDA also has been seriously streamlining.  At 
the State Department, I have launched a Strategic Management Initiative 
that is helping us close unnecessary posts, eliminate layers of 
management, slash administrative expenses, strengthen our policy 
teamwork, and refocus our reporting and analysis.  But without adequate 
resources, no amount of reform will enable us to meet the challenges 
that America will face in the post-Cold War world.

Our programs and operations are inextricably linked.  For example, the 
platforms provided by our 266 posts overseas make it possible for the 
programs in your bill to be implemented.  I am convinced that U.S. 
interests and leadership will suffer directly if, because of funding 
constraints, we are unable to deploy skilled, trained personnel to work 
on the front-lines overseas in safe and adequate facilities with modern 
information and communications systems.

Supporting American Exports, Investment, and Jobs

Mr. Chairman, I want to call your attention to another area under the 
jurisdiction of this subcommittee that faces severe budgetary threat.  
This Administration has achieved an unprecedented degree of focus and 
coordination in our export promotion efforts.  Over the past two years, 
the support targeted through Eximbank, OPIC, TDA and the Commerce 
Department has helped to create one-million high-paying American jobs.  
The Senate Budget Committee's proposed cuts to the 150 account would 
erode their capacity to support American exports, investment and jobs.

As Secretary of State, I have repeatedly emphasized the top priority 
that the Clinton Administration attaches to America's economic security 
as a goal of our foreign policy.  Along with our development assistance, 
our export and investment promotion efforts help to strengthen free 
markets and modernize vital sectors in developing economies around the 
world.  They lift living standards and multiply future demand for 
American goods.  And they contribute to our other core foreign policy 
goals.  By helping to build prosperity, they reinforce stability in new 
democracies struggling to overcome legacies of repression and conflict.

American Leadership in the United Nations

Another alarming aspect of the recent policy debate in Washington is the 
short-sighted assault against international peacekeeping and the United 
Nations.  Let me take a moment to explain why this Administration, like 
every Administration since Harry Truman, believes the United Nations can 
be an important instrument of U.S. foreign policy.

As several of our recent accomplishments suggest, American leadership 
requires that we remain ready to back our diplomacy with credible 
threats of force.  To this end, President Clinton is determined that the 
U.S. military remain the most powerful and effective fighting force in 
the world -- as it certainly is now.

When our vital interests are at stake, we must remain prepared to defend 
them alone.  But sometimes by leveraging our power and resources, and by 
leading through alliances and institutions like the UN, we can advance 
our interest in global stability without asking our soldiers to take all 
the risks or our taxpayers to pay all the bills.  That is a sensible 
bargain I know the American people support.

During the Cold War, UN peacekeepers kept a lid on regional disputes 
that might have led to superpower confrontation.  Since the Cold War 
ended, the UN has helped to resolve conflicts in places like Cambodia, 
El Salvador, and Nicaragua, where, in one way or another, the United 
States had once been engaged.  Everyone acknowledges that some missions 
have failed.  But no one would deny that many missions have succeeded, 
even under the most difficult circumstances.

And of course, the UN is about far more than peacekeeping.  It provides 
a mechanism for enforcing international sanctions and isolating rogue 
states.  Its many programs and agencies care for refugees, inoculate 
children, fight epidemic diseases like AIDS and Ebola, help to address 
unrestrained population growth, and help to keep nuclear weapons from 
falling into the wrong hands.  Indeed, our successful effort to obtain 
indefinite extension of the NPT could not have been achieved without our 
active engagement at the UN.  These activities are important to America 
and supported by the vast majority of Americans.

There is no question that the UN can and must become more effective.  
This Congress and its predecessors have rightly insisted on reform, and 
this Administration has been pushing for genuine progress.  Thanks to 
our joint efforts, the UN now has an office with the functions of an 
Inspector General and with a mandate to crack down on waste, fraud and 
abuse.  The UN's new Under Secretary-General for Management, Joseph 
Connor, has embarked on an aggressive campaign to change the UN's 
management culture.  In a sharp break from the past, the UN will submit 
a budget this year calling for real spending cuts.

All these efforts depend on our continued leadership at the UN.  We will 
not succeed if our allies think we are using reform as an excuse to 
avoid our financial obligations.  We cannot reform and retreat at the 
same time.

Unfortunately, there are now proposals before Congress that would force 
us to retreat from the UN in virtually every area of its activity.  S. 
5, the Senate counterpart to H.R. 7, would effectively end U.S. 
contributions to UN peacekeeping.  The leadership of the Senate Budget 
Committee is calling for an end to almost all U.S. voluntary 
contributions to UN agencies save the IAEA and UNICEF.  A bill before 
the House International Relations Committee is less extreme, but would 
require massive cuts, and micromanage the funds that remain.

The restrictions on peacekeeping would grievously harm American 
interests.  They would force us to withdraw peacekeepers and monitors 
from vital trouble spots around the world, including the Golan Heights, 
Cyprus, and the Caucasus, and prevent the deployment of missions that 
enjoy broad bipartisan support, such as Angola.  They would leave us 
with an unacceptable choice each time a crisis arose:  a choice between 
acting alone and doing nothing.

The sharp reductions in our contributions to UN agencies would wipe out 
decades of bipartisan U.S. leadership in the UN.  They would require 
slashing our voluntary contributions to the UN Development Program 
(UNDP), the lead agency for UN technical assistance coordination.  The 
UNDP focuses on programs that help the needy to help themselves, such as 
job creation, advancement of women, poverty reduction, and environmental 
regeneration.  Withdrawing our support could spark a chain reaction, 
depleting resources for programs that support American interests: human 
rights, family planning, humanitarian assistance, and the environment.

I do not believe that every Administration since the days of FDR was 
wrong about the importance of international organizations to our 
interests.  I do not believe that President Truman and Senator 
Vandenberg were wrong.  Neither were President Bush and Secretary Baker.  
I trust that this Congress will share that view as these issues are 
debated in the days ahead.
 
America's Tradition of Leadership

This raises a larger point about many of the budgetary proposals we have 
seen, which in my view reveal how short our historical memory seems to 
be.  They reflect, I think, a troubling lack of appreciation for what 
America accomplished in the world during the last 50 years, and a lack 
of confidence in our ability to shape the future.  Very simply, cuts of 
the magnitude being suggested would represent a fundamental break with 
America's tradition of leadership.

Leadership in foreign policy means more than responding to the issue of 
the day.  It means anticipating the issues that will affect Americans 
down the road.  It means making the long-term investments that will reap 
greater dividends -- or prevent greater costs -- in the future.  And it 
means standing by our principles and keeping our word.

Slashing our International Affairs budget would represent, both 
substantively and symbolically, an abdication of that leadership.  
Refusing to work in alliances and institutions would undermine our 
influence abroad.  If we cast aside half a century of American 
engagement, there is no other country with the strength or the vision to 
replace us.  But there are plenty of forces that would like to exploit 
the vacuum that we would leave behind.

Last November's elections may have changed the balance of power between 
the parties.  But they did not change -- indeed, they enhanced -- our 
responsibility to cooperate on a bipartisan basis in foreign affairs.  
The election was not a license to lose sight of our nation's global 
interests or to walk away from our commitments in the world.

Our generation has a responsibility to sustain, not to squander, that 
leadership role.  I look forward to working closely with this Committee 
to achieve that goal.

To the top of this page