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U.S. Department of State
95/09/20 Address:  Resources for Leadership
Office of the Spokesman


As Delivered 

                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                         OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN 
 
                SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                                 AT THE 
                     COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
                            WASHINGTON, D.C. 
 
                           SEPTEMBER 20, 1995 

 
 
                       RESOURCES FOR LEADERSHIP 
 
 
Thank you, Pete, for that kind introduction.  I want to say that I have 
great admiration for you and the many contributions you have made in 
your public and private sector careers.  In the last decade, no one has 
done more to alert the country to the urgency of tackling the federal 
budget deficit.  I had the honor of serving under you as Vice Chairman 
of the Council -- but our real affinity, of course, comes from our 
shared prairie roots  -- Pete's from Nebraska and mine from North 
Dakota.  Even though we both ended up in tall buildings in big cities, 
there were certain advantages to growing up in the wide open spaces on 
the spine of America.   
 
As you know, I originally planned to talk tonight about the links 
between economics and our foreign policy.  But this evening I have 
something much more immediate on my mind:  the importance of American 
leadership and the need to have adequate resources to maintain it.  Two 
areas that have been filling my hours this week -- the former Yugoslavia 
and the Middle East -- illustrate this need.  Let me begin with a brief 
comment on each, before moving on to my central theme. 
 
As we all painfully know, a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the 
former Yugoslavia has eluded the international community for more than 
three years.  But now, thanks to President Clinton's leadership and a 
renewed determination by the international community, we are moving 
forward on a diplomatic and military track that seems to be genuinely 
promising. 
 
Two months ago in London, we persuaded our allies that Serb attacks on 
safe areas would be met by substantial and decisive air strikes.  Since 
then, you have seen our highly effective NATO action implementing that 
decision.  Two weeks ago, our negotiating team headed by Dick Holbrooke 
helped to convince the parties to accept the continuation of Bosnia as a 
single state within its current internationally recognized borders. 
 
Just two and a half hours ago, the deadline for the Bosnian Serbs to 
move their heavy weapons from Sarajevo passed.  Based upon conversations 
that I had earlier today with our military authorities, and very recent 
information, I confidently expect that commanders in the field will say 
within just a few minutes that they have concluded that the Serbs have 
met that commitment.  This means that the NATO	bombing campaign can be 
suspended but only suspended so long as there is no threat to Sarajevo 
or other safe areas. 
 
Our negotiating team returned to Washington early this morning for 
consultations and instructions.  In the next few days, they will resume 
their intensive shuttle diplomacy, seeking sufficient agreement on key 
issues to allow direct negotiations on a final settlement to begin very 
soon. 
 
Without our military capacity and the will to use it, we would still be 
facing a stalemate in Bosnia.  At the same time, without diplomacy, 
military strength alone does not create the conditions that make lasting 
peace possible.  Diplomacy and force, we are reminded again, are 
indivisible instruments of American power, whether in Europe or 
elsewhere around the globe. 
 
In the Middle East, American diplomacy has been indispensable to the 
success of Arab-Israeli negotiations.  In recent days and weeks, we have 
been intensively involved behind the scenes in an effort to help Israel 
and the Palestinians reach agreement on the implementation of the second 
phase of the Declaration of Principles signed in Washington just over 
two years ago. 
 
The negotiations on the implementation of the second phase of the 
Declaration of Principles are an enormously complex undertaking, 
involving redeployment of Israeli troops, security arrangements, 
elections, and the transfer of authority to the Palestinians on the West 
Bank.  Little wonder that it has taken a little extra time to negotiate 
this agreement.  The wonder is that the parties are overcoming such 
difficult issues and are close to an agreement.  This agreement will 
reflect Israel's understandable security requirements, and for the first 
time, enable Palestinians throughout the West Bank to achieve control 
over the most fundamental aspects of their daily lives.  Once again, the 
parties will look to us to play a central role in providing the support 
that can make real the promise of peace. 
 
Bosnia and the Middle East are just two examples of the complex 
conflicts we continue to face in the post-Cold War world.  The progress 
made over the last few weeks carries a clear lesson:  When the world 
faces tough challenges, very little can be accomplished without American 
leadership.  And American leadership cannot be sustained on the cheap.  
 
As all of you know, the Council was founded seven decades ago to make 
the case for American leadership.  In the wake of World War I and our 
retreat into isolationism, the first generation of Council members began 
to address one of the great challenges in our democracy:  It began to 
construct a durable consensus for the proposition that commitments must 
be made and resources must be spent on behalf of a strong America and a 
better world. 
 
Now, with the end of the Cold War, we have unparalleled opportunities to 
advance our interests and our values.  Everywhere I go around the world, 
America is called upon to provide direction and leadership.  Open 
markets and open societies are ascendant on every continent, giving us 
great opportunities to enhance prosperity and stability.  But this 
promising state of affairs will endure only as long as we work to 
sustain it and to build on it.  We cannot wish into being the world we 
seek. 
 
Indeed, I believe that the importance of American leadership is a 
central lesson of this century.  As a global power with global 
interests, retreat is not a responsible option for the United States. 
 
This remains a dangerous world.  In the last few years, we have seen 
half a dozen armed conflicts in the former Soviet Union, territory that 
is still home to thousands of nuclear weapons.  We have to be constantly 
vigilant to make sure that countries like Iraq and North Korea are 
denied weapons of mass destruction and prevented from menacing their 
neighbors.  This imperative is underscored by the recent and clear 
confirmation that Saddam has sought to hide a massive biological weapons 
program.  Terrorism and organized crime also threaten our safety, as 
well as the survival of new democracies. 
 
As we look at today's world, the President and I have great hopes but no 
illusions.  Our budget reflects our understanding of the opportunities 
and threats we face, and it seeks the resources America needs to meet 
them.  In a world without dangers, the recent Congressional attempts to 
deny these resources might be more comprehensible.  But in the real 
world, these actions would weaken America at a time when we must remain 
strong. 
 
As Pete Petersen has so often reminded us, our nation faces no greater 
challenge than to get our own economic house in order.   Since the early 
Eighties, the deficit has constrained our ability to act and weakened 
our credibility with our allies and trading partners.  In that vein, I 
view the President's deficit cutting package of 1993 as one of our most 
important foreign policy achievements -- one that has made us stronger 
around the world.   
 
The State Department has not been and should not be exempt from budget 
cuts.  In fact, our international affairs spending has been reduced by 
45% in real terms in the last decade.  Under my direction, we have cut 
1,300 jobs and reduced administrative expenses by 5% in two years. 
 
The American people rightly demand that we apply the most rigorous 
standards when we decide how to spend their tax dollars.  At the same 
time, they have a fundamental expectation that their government will do 
what it must to protect America's security and prosperity.  The 
President and I have therefore drawn a line:  we will fight budgetary 
strictures so radical that they would damage our nation's interests and 
cripple our ability to lead. 
 
Regrettably, too many members of the current Congress appear set on 
crossing that line.  At every opportunity, the leaders of the new 
Congress call for American leadership.  Yet, many would deny us the 
minimum resources that any Administration would need to get the job 
done.  If the Senate follows the levels approved by the Commerce, 
Justice and State Appropriations Subcommittee, the State Department 
budget would be cut in one year by 20% -- the largest single reduction 
in foreign affairs spending in American history.  If these cuts remain, 
I will have no alternative but to recommend to the President that he 
veto the bill. 
 
Last November, on the day after the Congressional mid-term elections, I 
was in Seoul, Korea, on the first leg of a long trip through Asia.  I 
believed then, as I do now, that the election was not a license to lose 
sight of our global interests, or of the need for bipartisanship in 
foreign policy.  I therefore pledged that the United States would remain 
strong and steadfast in our commitments around the world. 
 
The bipartisan consensus on behalf of American engagement in the world 
has been a vital source of America's strength.  Five decades ago, that 
consensus enabled Democrats like Truman and Republicans like Vandenberg 
to come together to launch NATO and the Marshall Plan.  A few years 
later, Dwight Eisenhower ran for President in part to put the Republican 
party firmly -- and he hoped permanently -- on the side of global 
engagement.  In the last two years, that bipartisan consensus withstood 
the forces of isolationism and protectionism to pass NAFTA and GATT, and 
it has sustained our support for reform in the former Soviet Union and 
for the Middle East peace process. 
 
I was heartened to see former President Bush's statement yesterday 
warning against "the voices of isolation," and New York Mayor Giuliani's 
criticism of "the potent strain of isolationism that once again is 
infecting our political discourse."  I still hope that their view will 
ultimately prevail in the Congress. 
 
Bipartisanship has never precluded disagreement on matters of policy.  
But it does require agreement that we cannot protect our interests if we 
do not marshal the resources to stand by our commitments.  We cannot 
have it both ways.  Those who say they want a strong America have a duty 
to help keep America strong.  And diplomatic readiness is our first line 
of defense -- in large part so that we are not compelled to put our men 
and women in uniform in harm's way.  Morale, equipment, and 
communications are no less important to our diplomats than to our 
soldiers. 
 
Regrettably, in the last few months, both Houses of Congress have put 
forward drastic proposals to slash the foreign affairs budget.  The 
recent actions of the Senate Appropriations Committee pose perhaps the 
most immediate threat to our nation's interests. 
 
For example, the Senate appropriators would cut the State Department's 
basic operating budget by almost $300 million.  This could force us to 
close some 50 embassies and consulates -- the equivalent of every post 
in Asia or Africa.  It could force us to consider widespread furloughs 
and layoffs, closing passport offices, and halting the modernization of 
our communications system that is so long overdue. 
 
One casualty would be the principle of universality in our 
representation abroad -- the principle that there should be a U.S. 
mission in virtually every country.  Universal representation was 
invaluable earlier this year, when more than 170 countries in the world 
from Albania to Zambia had an equal say in the extension of the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Treaty, and an equal need to be persuaded by American 
diplomacy.  It is also essential when a crisis erupts in an unexpected 
place, whether in Burundi or Belarus, and when American citizens get 
into trouble abroad -- and they do get into trouble in the darndest 
places. 
 
Day in and day out, our ability to meet these challenges depends on our 
people in the field.  They are the ones responsible for the arms control 
agreements in Ukraine and Russia.  They are the ones who worked out the 
details of our intellectual property rights agreement with China, and 
who must ensure that it is enforced.  They are the ones who have to 
convince the parties in Bosnia to choose peace -- at grave risk, as we 
have seen, to their own lives.  That's why I get so angry when I hear 
disparaging comments about diplomats in long coats, high hats, and 
limousines. 
 
Last year, the people at our posts abroad responded to almost 2 million 
requests for service from Americans overseas.  We issued over 6 million 
passports -- a record number.  In the last few years, our people have 
helped American companies win billions of dollars in contracts.  Our 
posts are also the operating platform for more than 38 other agencies, 
including the Defense, Commerce, and Agriculture Departments, the FBI, 
and the DEA. 
 
When Congress mandates deep and devastating cuts, I often wonder if they 
have given any thought to where in the world we should start retreating.  
Should we pull people from our embassies in the Middle East, at a 
critical time for the peace process?  Should we close posts in Asia, the 
most dynamic market for our exports in the world?  Should we prepare 
less for the next Western Hemispheric summit, ignoring the most dramatic 
march to democracy in the world?  Had reductions of this magnitude been 
approved a few years ago, I wonder where the people on Capitol Hill 
would have chosen to cut back.  From Haiti?  From the Balkans?  From 
Northeast Asia?    
 
One of the primary tasks of our diplomats is to prevent crises that 
would otherwise cost us dearly.  Our Agreed Framework with North Korea, 
for example, which has frozen its nuclear program, is also saving us 
hundreds of millions of dollars right now.  Without it, we would have 
been compelled to increase dramatically our forces in Northeast Asia.  
Yet, we are having a hard time getting Congress to approve $20 million 
to help implement the agreement, as our modest contribution alongside 
the billions, not millions, that South Korea and Japan are prepared to 
contribute. 
 
I am also determined to resist the drastic cuts that have been proposed 
in our obligations to international institutions.  The Senate 
appropriators would slash our assessed contributions to international 
organizations by almost $400 million.  These measures could affect our 
obligations to NATO.  They would force us to cut support for the 
International Atomic Energy Agency, which is critical to our effort to 
ensure that countries like Iraq and North Korea do not become nuclear 
weapons states.  They would hurt the World Health Organization, which is 
leading the fight against diseases like AIDS and Ebola. 
 
Our peacekeeping contributions would be limited to only $250 million.  
This would force the withdrawal of peacekeepers and monitors from vital 
trouble spots, including the Middle East. We recognize that peacekeeping 
has not always achieved its intended purpose.  But just as surely, it 
has allowed us to advance our interests without forcing our troops to 
take all the risks or our taxpayers to foot all the bills.  Without 
peacekeeping as a tool, we would be left with an unacceptable choice 
each time a crisis arose:  a choice between acting alone and doing 
nothing. 
 
When we fail to pay our peacekeeping dues, we also compromise our 
ability to push for reform at the United Nations and other institutions.  
Far-reaching change is clearly needed.  But we will not convince our 
allies to support our proposals if they think we are using reform as an 
excuse to avoid our obligations.  We cannot reform and retreat at the 
same time. 
 
The Senate appropriators have also voted to cut the Arms Control and 
Disarmament Agency by more than 50 percent.  As you know, we are at the 
verge of major breakthroughs in this area, including a Comprehensive 
Test Ban.  Why would we choose this moment to decimate the resources we 
need to negotiate and verify such vital and complex arms control 
agreements? 
 
The Senate would also slash funding for the USIA and for international 
broadcasting, the voice of our values and one of the most cost-effective 
ways we have to project our influence.  
 
Let me add that these agencies -- ACDA, USIA, as well as the Agency for 
International Development -- have distinct missions that should be 
maintained.  The issue here is resources, not reorganization. 
 
The cuts I have already described are compounded by other Congressional 
proposals, which, if enacted, would slash foreign assistance by almost 
$3 billion.  This would devastate funding for multilateral development 
banks and for bilateral aid. 
 
I do not believe that President Eisenhower was wrong in calling foreign 
assistance America's "best investment."  I do not think that every 
Congress elected since World War II was wrong in providing steady 
support to American diplomats in the field.  I do not believe that every 
Administration since the days of FDR was wrong about the vital 
importance of international organizations. 
 
The budgetary proposals we have seen reveal, in my view, how short our 
historical memory is.  They reflect a troubling lack of appreciation for 
what the United States has accomplished in the world in the last 50 
years -- and how we have accomplished it.  Very simply, cuts of the 
magnitude we face would represent a fundamental break with America's 
tradition of leadership.  They are not responsible.  The ability of this 
and every future President to protect American interests is at risk. 
 
In addition to the budget cuts, I should add that the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee is at this moment holding up 30 Ambassadorial 
nominations.  It is also refusing to permit a vote on two treaties -- 
START II and the Chemical Weapons Convention -- on which there is 
virtually unanimous agreement in the Congress.  Taken together, the 
actions I have described this evening represent an unprecedented assault 
on the country's ability to carry out an effective foreign policy. 
 
I value the Council as a place for lively discussion and for healthy 
debate.  But whatever disagreements we may have on specific policy 
issues, I ask you to consider this:  If these cuts are made, in a few 
years we may not have the resources to conduct a foreign policy that is 
worth arguing about.  And that would be a tragedy for the United States 
and for the world as well. 
 
Today, time is short.  Each of us has to do a better job in defending 
the continuing need for American leadership.  If we succeed, I hope we 
can get back to the debate we ought to be having -- the debate about how 
to use America's strength, instead of whether we should be strong.   
 
Thank you. 
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