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Archive for February, 2012

Mme. Secretary testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee today to explain the rationale for her 2013 budget proposals.  When she is before this committee, it always seems that time it at a premium,  and so she ends up submitting much of what she would like to say and explain as text.  Apparently that was the case today regarding her opening remarks.

Assessing U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities Amidst Economic Challenges: The Foreign Relations Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Testimony

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Opening Remarks Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
Washington, DC
February 29, 2012

 


Thank you very much, Madam Chairman and Ranking Member, and it is very good to be back here. I am grateful to your committee and the members for the support and consultation that we’ve enjoyed over these past three years. I look forward to your questions. I will submit my entire statement to the record and look forward to having a chance to exchange views with you today. Thank you.

 

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Budget Hearing for the Department of State and USAID

Testimony

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

February 29, 2012


May I change out my chair for that chair right there? Thank you. I very much appreciate that. That’s much better.

Well, let me begin by thanking the chairwoman for her leadership along with Ranking Member Lowey. I have found this to be a committee that is so concerned about what’s right for our country, especially in a time of constrained resources. I always feel like I have an open door, and I hope you do as well – all of you on this committee – because we’re living in a very volatile and difficult time.

Before I begin, I want to say a few words about North Korea. And with your permission, I want to just share with you the statement that we just put out. We are looking to a continuing effort and we have completed a third exploratory round of U.S.-North Korean bilateral talks to improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization. North Korea has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities.

The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities and confirm the disablement of the five-megawatt reactor and associated facilities.

Now, the United States, I will be quick to add, still has profound concerns, but on the occasion of Kim Jong-il’s death, I said that it is our hope that the new leadership will choose to guide their nation onto the path of peace by living up to its obligations. Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions.

We also have agreed to meet with the North to finalize administrative details necessary to move forward with a proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance.

Now, this is just one more reminder that the world is transforming around us, from Arab revolutions to the rise of new economic powers to a more dispersed by still dangerous al-Qaida terrorist network to nuclear diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. In this time, only the United States of America has the reach, the resources, and the relationships to anchor a more peaceful and prosperous world.

The State Department and USAID budget we discuss today is a proven investment in our national and economic security, but it is something more. It is a down payment on American leadership.

When I took this job, I saw a world that needed America but also one that questioned our focus and our staying power. So we have worked together in a bipartisan fashion to put American leadership on a firm foundation for the decades ahead. We have ended one war, we are winding down another. We have cemented our place as a Pacific power while maintaining our alliances across the Atlantic. We have elevated the role of economics within our diplomacy, and so much else. We are necessarily updating our diplomacy and development for the 21st century. And after the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, we created two new bureaus focused on counterterrorism and on energy, Chairman Rogers – and I’d be happy to go into that because it is critically important – and we reorganized a third one focused on fragile states.

Now, like most Americans in these tough economic times, we did make difficult tradeoffs and painful cuts. We have requested 18 percent less for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia. We are scaling back construction, and I will certainly tell everyone to keep an eye on the Embassy in London. We are improving procurement and we are taking other steps for greater efficiencies.

Of the Foreign Ops request, $51.6 billion represents USAID and State Department requests, and that is an increase of less than the rate of inflation, just over 1 percent of the federal budget.

I just want to quickly highlight five priorities.

First, our request allows us to sustain our vital national security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and reflects temporary extraordinary costs of operating on the front lines. As President Obama has said, “The tide of war is receding.” But we still have to establish firm relationships in Iraq and Afghanistan to go forward in developing a positive partnership.

In Iraq, civilians are now in the lead as we try to work to help Iraq develop a stable, sovereign, democratic country. And we have increased our civilian budget, but State and USAID together are asking for only one-tenth of the $48 billion the U.S. Government spent on Iraq as recently as 2011. Defense spending, as all of you know so well, is now $40 billion less than just two years ago. So we are certainly seeing increases in civilian presence but dramatic decreases in federal outlays.

Despite this past week’s violence, we expect similar government-wide savings in Afghanistan. This year’s request supports the ongoing transition. Next door in Pakistan, we have a challenging but critical relationship. We continue to work together on counterterrorism, economic stability, regional cooperation.

Second, in the Asia Pacific we are making an unprecedented effort to build a strong network of relationships and institutions, because we believe in the century ahead no region will be more consequential to America’s economic and security interests.

As we tighten our belts around the world, we are investing the diplomatic attention necessary to do more. In Asia, I call it forward-deployed diplomacy. It includes even pursuing a possible opening in Burma.

Third, we are intently focused on the wave of change sweeping the Arab world. Alongside our bilateral and security support, we are proposing a $770 million Middle East and North Africa incentive fund. There are two reasons for that, Madam Chairwoman. First, we know from past experience we need a fund of money that is flexible and easily deployed after consultation with Congress, as we did after the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1989, such a fund was established just for Poland and Hungary in the cost of $1 billion for two countries. After the war between Georgia and Russia, we had a fund of a billion dollars just for Georgia. So we think there’s precedent, and it certainly does pay off in terms of American presence and responsiveness.

Secondly, what we found this past year is that there were a lot of circumstances that were coming up all the time that we had, in no way, predicted prior to the budget. So we need to have credible proposals that are evaluated by rigorous analysis and by the Congress to commit to democratic change, building effective institutions, and broad-based growth. And this budget request also will allow us, Chairman Dicks, to help the Syrian people survive a brutal assault and plan for a future without Assad.

It continues our assistance for civil society and Arab partners in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and elsewhere. It does provide, Mrs. Lowey, a record level of support for our ally, Israel. It makes possible our diplomacy around the world and, through the great work of the Congress and our diplomacy at the UN and elsewhere, the toughest sanctions that Iran has ever faced.

The fourth priority is what I call economic statecraft – how do we use diplomacy and development to create American jobs? We have more than 1,000 State Department economic officers working to help American businesses connect to new markets and consumers. Every single day, we are working with our largest corporations to our smallest businesses, pushing back against corruption, red tape, favoritism, distorted currencies, intellectual property theft. And we have worked closely together to pass three free trade agreements that will create tens of thousands of American jobs, and we hope to work with Congress to ensure that as Russia enters the WTO, foreign competitors don’t have an advantage over American businesses.

And finally, we are elevating development alongside diplomacy and defense. Poverty, disease, hunger, climate change destabilize societies, sow the seeds for future conflicts. Through the Global Health Initiative, we are consolidating programs, increasing our partners’ capacity, shifting responsibilities to host countries that helps us target our resources where they are most needed. Along with our Feed the Future Initiative to drive agricultural growth and improve nutrition, we think we’re making cost-effective, results-oriented investments. We want to see measureable outcomes.

Now these five priorities are each crucial to American leadership and they rely on the work of some of the most capable, hardest working, bravest people I have ever met – the men and women of State and USAID. Working with them is one of the great honors I’ve had in public life.

Let me end by just saying that American leadership is very personal to me. It is my job everywhere I go. And after three years, 95 countries, over 700,000 miles, I know very well what it means to land in a plane that says United States of America on the side. People look to us to protect our allies, stand by our principles, serve as an honest broker in making peace, to fight hunger, disease, poverty, to stand up to bullies and tyrants. And American leadership is not just respected; it is required. It takes more than just resolve; it does take resources. This country is an unparalleled force for good in the world, and we all want to make sure it stays that way, so I would urge respectfully that you work with us to continue making this investment in both strong American leadership and a more peaceful and prosperous future for us all.

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

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Public Schedule for February 29, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
February 29, 2012

 


SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

10:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, on Capitol Hill.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

1:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Capitol Hill.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

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National Security & Foreign Policy Priorities in the FY 2013 International Affairs Budget

Testimony

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
February 28, 2012

Thank you very much, and I greatly appreciate Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, members of the committee to be here once again to have this opportunity. And I want thank you for the support that this committee has given to the State Department and USAID over the last three quite consequential and unpredictable years. And I especially am grateful for the very kind words about our diplomats and development experts who are serving around the world, some in very difficult circumstances.You have seen the world transforming right before your eyes, from Arab revolutions to the rise of new economic powers to a more dispersed but still dangerous al-Qaida and terrorist network. And in this time, only the United States of America has the reach, resources, and relationships to anchor a more peaceful and prosperous world. The State Department and USAID budget we discuss today is a proven investment in our national and economic security, but it is also something more. It is a down payment on America’s leadership.

When I took this job, I saw a world that needed America, but also one that questioned our focus and our staying power. So we have worked together to put American leadership on a firm foundation for the decades ahead. We have ended one war and are winding down another. We have cemented our place as a Pacific power. We have also maintained our alliance across the Atlantic. We have elevated the role of economics within our diplomacy, and we have reached beyond governments to engage directly with people with a special focus on women and girls.

We are updating diplomacy and development for the 21st century and finding ways to work smarter and more efficiently. And after the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, we created two new bureaus, taking the work we were already doing on counterterrorism and combining it with other assets within the State Department to create a much more focused effort on counterterrorism and on energy. And I really commend Senator Lugar, because it was his idea. It was his talking with me when I was visiting with him prior to my confirmation that made me determined that we would actually accomplish this. And we have reorganized our assets into a bureau focused on fragile states.

Now, like many Americans in these tough economic times, we have certainly made difficult tradeoffs and painful cuts. We have requested 18 percent less for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, preserving our most essential programs and using the savings for more urgent needs elsewhere. We are scaling back construction of our embassies and consulates, improving procurement to save money, and taking steps across the board to lower costs.

Our request of 51.6 billion represents an increase of less than the rate of inflation and just over 1 percent of the federal budget, and this is coming at the very same time that our responsibilities are multiplying around the world.

Today, I want briefly to highlight five priorities.

First, our request allows us to sustain our vital national security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and reflects the temporary extraordinary costs of operating on the front lines. As President Obama has said, the tide of war is receding, but as troops come home, thankfully, civilians remain to carry out the critical missions of diplomacy and development.

In Iraq, civilians are now in the lead, helping that country emerge as a stable, sovereign, democratic power. This increases our civilian budget, but State and USAID are asking for only one-tenth of the $48 billion the U.S. Government spent on Iraq as recently as 2011. The 2013 U.S. Government-wide request for Iraq, including defense spending, is now $40 billion less than it was just two years ago. So we are doing what must be done to try to normalize our relationship at a far lower cost than what we have been expending.

Over time, despite the tragic violence of this past week, we expect to see similar government-wide savings in Afghanistan. This year’s request will support the ongoing transition, helping Afghans take responsibility for their own security and their own future, and ensuring that this country is never again a safe haven for terrorists.

We remain committed to working on issues of joint interest with Pakistan, including counterterrorism, economic stability, and regional cooperation.

Second, in the Asia Pacific, the Administration is making an unprecedented effort to build a strong network of relationships and institutions, because we believe, in the century ahead, no region will be more consequential to our economic and security future. As we tighten our belts around the world, we are investing the diplomatic attention necessary to do more with less. In Asia, we are pursuing what I call forward-deployed diplomacy – strengthening our alliances, launching new strategic dialogues and economic initiatives, creating and joining important multilateral institutions, even pursuing a possible opening with Burma – all of which underscores America will remain a Pacific power.

Third, we are focused on the wave of change sweeping the Arab world. As the nation transforms, so must our engagement. Alongside our bilateral and security support, we are proposing a $770 million Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund. This fund will support credible proposals validated by rigorous analysis and by Congress from countries that make a meaningful commitment to democratic change, effective institutions, and broad-based economic growth. In an unpredictable time, it lets us respond to unanticipated needs in a way that reflects both our agility and our leadership in the region.

This budget request would also allow us to help the Syrian people survive a brutal assault and plan for a future without Assad. It continues our assistance for civil society and Arab partners in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and elsewhere. It provides a record level of support for our ally Israel and it makes possible our diplomacy at the UN and around the world, which has now put in place, with your help, the toughest sanctions that I think any country has ever faced against Iran.

The fourth priority is what I call economic statecraft; in particular, how we use diplomacy and development to create American jobs. We’ve more than 1,000 State Department economic officers working to help American businesses connect to new markets and consumers. We are pushing back every day against corruption, red tape, favoritism, distorted currencies, and intellectual property theft.

Our investment in development also helps us create the trading partners of the future. We have worked closely on three trade agreements that we believe will create tens of thousands of jobs in America, and we hope to work with Congress to ensure that as Russia enters the WTO, foreign competitors do not have an advantage over American businesses.

And finally, we are elevating development alongside diplomacy and defense. Poverty, disease, hunger, climate change can destabilize societies and sow the seeds for future conflicts. We think we need to make strategic investments today in order that we can meet our traditional foreign policy goals in the future. Through the Global Health Initiative, through our Feed the Future Initiative, we are consolidating programs, increasing our partners’ capacity, shifting responsibilities to host countries, and making an impact in areas of health and hunger that will be a real credit to our country going forward.

And as we transform development, we really have to deliver measurable results. Our long-term objective must be to empower people to create and seize their own futures.

These five priorities are each crucial to American leadership, and they rely on the work of some of the most capable, hardest working, and bravest people I’ve ever met: the men and women of State and USAID. Working with them is one of the greatest honors I’ve had in public life.

With so much on the line, from the Arab world to the Asia Pacific, we simply cannot pull back. Investments in American leadership did not cause our fiscal challenges, and retreating from the world will not solve them.

Let me end on a personal note. American leadership means a great deal to me personally. It is my job everywhere I go. And after three years, 95 countries, and over 700,000 miles, I know very well what it means to land in a plane that says the United States of America on the side. People look to us to protect our allies; stand by our principles; serve as an honest broker in making peace; to fight hunger, poverty, and disease; to stand up to bullies and tyrants everywhere. American leadership is not just respected. It is required. And it takes more than just resolve. It takes resources.

This country is an unparalleled force for good in the world, and we all want to make sure it stays that way. So I would urge you to work with us to make this investment in strong American leadership and the more peaceful and prosperous future that I believe will result. Thank you.

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Opening Remarks Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Testimony

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Opening Remarks Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Washington, DC

February 28, 2012


Thank you very much, Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Graham and members of the committee; it is good to be back here in the Senate again, and I greatly appreciate the excellent working relationship that we have had over the last three-plus years. I wish also to register my concern and my best wishes for Senator Kirk. Of course, I wrote him as soon as I heard about his health challenges, and we all wish him a speedy return.

I also greatly appreciate the travel that both of you have just described having taken. I think it’s absolutely essential to see what is going on in the world with your own eyes and to hear from leaders and citizens with your own ears. So let me express to you and to all members our appreciation.

We know how quickly the world is transforming, from Arab revolutions to the rise of new economic powers, to a more dispersed but still dangerous al-Qaida terrorist threat. In this time, only the United States of America has the reach, resources, and relationships to anchor a more peaceful and prosperous world. The State Department and USAID budget we discuss today is a proven investment in our national and economic security, but it’s also something more. It is a down payment on continuing American leadership.

When I took this job, I saw a world that needed America, but also one that questioned our focus and our staying power. So we have worked together to put American leadership on a firm foundation for the decades ahead. We have ended one war, we are winding down another. We’ve cemented our place as a Pacific power while maintaining our alliance across the Atlantic. We have elevated the role of economics within our diplomacy, and we have reached beyond governments to engage directly with people with a special focus on women and girls.

We are updating our diplomacy and development for the 21st century and finding ways to work smarter and more efficiently. After the first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, we created two new bureaus focused on counterterrorism and energy, and reorganized a third focused on fragile states.

Now, like many Americans in our tough economic times, we’ve made difficult tradeoffs and painful cuts. We have requested 18 percent less for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, preserving our most essential programs and using the savings for more urgent needs elsewhere. We are scaling back on construction, improving procurement, and taking steps across the board to lower costs.

Now, within the Foreign Ops budget, the State Department and USAID are requesting $51.6 billion. That represents an increase of less than the rate of inflation and just over 1 percent of the federal budget, even as our responsibilities multiply around the world.

Today, I want to highlight five priorities.

First, our request allows us to sustain our vital national security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and reflects the temporary extraordinary costs of operating on the front lines. As President Obama has said, the tide of war is receding, but as troops come home, civilians remain to carry out the critical missions of diplomacy and development.

In Iraq, civilians are now in the lead, helping that country emerge as a stable, sovereign, democratic partner. This does increase our civilian budget, but State and USAID are asking for only one-tenth of the $48 billion the United States Government spent on Iraq as recently as 2011. The 2013 U.S. Government-wide request for Iraq, including defense spending, is now $40 billion less than it was just two years ago. So we think that this is a continuing good investment to stabilize the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform, our civilians, our taxpayers, have made.

Over time, despite the past weeks’ violence, we expect to see similar government-wide savings in Afghanistan. This year’s request will support the ongoing transition, helping Afghans take responsibility for their own future and ensure their country is never again a safe haven for terrorists who can target us.

Next door, we have a challenging but critical relationship with Pakistan, and we remain committed to working on issues of joint interest, including counterterrorism, economic stability, and regional cooperation.

Second, in the Asia Pacific, this Administration is making an unprecedented effort to build a strong network of relationships and institutions in which the United States is anchored. In the century ahead, no region will be more consequential. As we tighten our belts around the world, we are investing the diplomatic attention necessary to do more with less. In Asia, we pursue what we call forward-deployed diplomacy – strengthening our alliances, launching new strategic dialogues and economic initiatives, creating and joining important multilateral institutions, pursuing a possible opening with Burma – all of which underscores that America will remain a Pacific power.

Third, we are focused on the wave of change sweeping the Arab world. As the region transforms, so must our engagement. Alongside our bilateral and security support, we are proposing a $770 million Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund. This fund will support credible proposals validated by rigorous analysis and by Congress from countries that make a meaningful commitment to democratic change, effective institution building, and broad-based economic growth. In an unpredictable time, it lets us respond to all of the unanticipated needs in a way that reflects our leadership and agility in the region.

This budget request would also allow us to help the Syrian people survive a brutal assault and plan for a future without Assad. It continues our assistance for civil society and Arab partners in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere. And I want to echo Senator Graham’s emphasis on Tunisia, a country that I think deserves a lot of attention and support from the United States.

The budget also provides a record level of support for Israel and it makes possible our diplomacy at the UN and around the world, which has now put in place, with your help, the toughest sanctions Iran or any nation has ever faced.

The fourth priority is what I call economic statecraft; in particular, how we use diplomacy and development to create American jobs – jobs in Ohio and New Jersey and Maryland and Vermont and South Carolina and Indiana. We have more than 1,000 State Department economic officers working to help American businesses connect to new markets and consumers. We are pushing back against corruption, red tape, favoritism, distorted currencies, and intellectual property theft.

Our investment in development helps create the trading partners of the future, and we have worked closely on the three trade agreements that we believe will create tens of thousands of new American jobs. We hope to work with Congress to ensure that as Russia enters the WTO, foreign competitors do not have an advantage over American businesses.

And finally, we are elevating development alongside diplomacy and defense within foreign policy. Poverty, disease, hunger, climate change can destabilize entire societies and sow the seeds for future conflict. We have to make strategic investments today to meet even our traditional foreign policy goals tomorrow. Through the Global Health Initiative, we are consolidating programs, increasing partners’ capacities, and shifting responsibilities to help target our resources where they are most needed and highest impact, including in areas like maternal and child health. Our Feed the Future Initiative is helping millions of men, women, and children by driving agricultural growth and improving nutrition to hasten the day when countries no longer need food aid at all.

As we pursue these initiatives, we are transforming the way we do development, making it a priority to partner with governments, local groups, and the private sector to deliver measurable results. Ultimately, our goal is to empower people to create and seize their own opportunities.

These five priorities, Mr. Chairman, are each crucial for American leadership, and they rely on the work of some of the most capable, hardest working, and bravest people I have ever met: the men and women of State and USAID. Working with them is one of the greatest honors I have had in public life. So with so much on the line, we simply cannot pull back. And I know this subcommittee understands this.

But for me, American leadership is personal. After three years, 95 countries, over 700,000 miles, I know very well what it means to land in a plane that says United States of America on the side, to have that flag right there as I walk down the stairs. People look to us to protect our allies and stand by our principles and serve as an honest broker in making peace; in fighting hunger, poverty, and disease; to standing up to bullies and tyrants. American leadership is not just respected, it is required, and it takes more than just resolve and a lot of hours in the plane. It takes resources.

This country is an unparalleled force for good in the world, and we all want to make sure it stays that way. So I urge you to work with us to make this investment in strong American leadership and a more peaceful and prosperous future. Thank you very much.

Read Full Post »

Public Schedule for February 28, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
February 28, 2012

 


SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

10:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee Foreign Operations Hearing, on Capitol Hill.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

2:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, on Capitol Hill.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

7:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends Secretary Panetta’s dinner for NATO, at the Department of Defense.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

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According to information given to a poll worker directly from the Michigan Democratic Party, there will be a write-in option on the ballot tomorrow, however, write-in votes will not be counted.  The other two possibilities on the ballot are Barack Obama, of course, and “uncommitted.”   Those will be counted.  So, as difficult as it may be, you should probably resist the temptation to write Hillary in and vote “uncommitted” if you oppose Obama as the nominee.  That way you can send uncommitted delegates to Charlotte.

On another note, we need to get 1000 Hillary delegates ( or more!)  from each state at Americans Elect for the online convention in June.  You cannot be validated as a registered voter if you register using fake information.  The site is very secure and trustworthy.  I know the questions are very specific, but they are trying to assure that all delegates are eligible to vote.

Here is the link where you can register.  After you do that, you must go through a few more steps to be a validated voter.

Here is Hillary’s page, but to track and support her, you need to start with the link above.

 

Let’s get those numbers up!

 

 

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