11 February 2004
Foreign Affairs Budget Reflects Priority of War on Terrorism
Powell testifies to House International Relations
Committee Feb. 11
Winning the war on terrorism is the Bush administration's top
foreign policy goal, Secretary of State Colin Powell said during
testimony on the president's fiscal year (FY) 2005 International
The amount requested for the Department of State, the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID), and other foreign affairs
agencies totals $31.5 billion, Powell told members of the House
International Relations Committee February 11. Almost half of that
goes directly to support counterterrorism efforts through assistance
to allies and through programs which strengthen the diplomatic
posture of the United States, he said.
"To eradicate terrorism, the United States must help create stable
governments in nations that once supported terrorism, go after
terrorist support mechanisms as well as the terrorists themselves,
and help alleviate conditions in the world that enable terrorists
to bring in new recruits," Powell testified.
Almost $21 billion, he said, will be used for reconstruction and
humanitarian assistance in Iraq to "ease the transition from dictatorship
to democracy and lay the foundation for a market economy and a
political system that respects human rights and represents the
voices of all Iraqis."
A stable and democratic Afghanistan is another of the administration's
priorities, Powell said. The FY 2005 budget contains $1.2 billion
for, among other things, building more schools and health clinics
in that country and training and equipping the Afghan army. In
addition, having fulfilled his commitment to demine and repave
the entire Kabul-Kandahar highway, President Bush now plans to
extend that road to Herat "so that people and commerce will be
linked east and west across Afghanistan."
Front-line states that have stood beside the U.S. in fighting
terrorism --- Turkey, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia
and the Philippines --- will receive more than $5.7 billion in
assistance to improve their counterterrorism capabilities. Another
$577 million is designated to support Colombian President Uribe's
campaign against drugs and terrorism.
Funds for expanding democracy in the Middle East include $150
million for the interagency Middle East Partnership Initiative
and $80 million for the National Endowment for Democracy.
Believing that "democracy flourishes with freedom of information
and exposure to diverse ideas," President Bush has requested $61
million for two new public diplomacy efforts -- Partnerships for
Learning, and Youth Exchange and Study -- planned as academic and
professional exchange programs focused on Muslim youth. More than
$70 million is provided for Arabic and Persian radio and television
broadcasts in that region. In early 2004, Powell said, the United
States will launch the Middle East Television Network, an Arabic
language satellite network.
The president's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief would receive $2.8
billion to fight HIV/AIDS in the 14 countries in Africa and the
Caribbean most afflicted with this disease. Additional AIDS programs
continue in other countries.
Powell also explained the budget requests for emergency humanitarian
assistance, security upgrades of U.S. embassies and consulates,
new border security programs, the staffing and training initiatives
for diplomatic readiness, and administration funding priorities
on trade and economic growth.
Following is the text of his prepared remarks:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
February 11, 2004
SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN L. POWELL
THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET REQUEST FOR FY 2005
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
February 11, 2004
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity
to testify on the State Department's portion of the President's
Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2005.
The President's FY2005 International Affairs Budget for the Department
of State, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies totals $31.5
billion, broken down as follows:
-- Foreign Operations: $21.3 billion
-- State Operations: $8.4 billion
-- P.L. 480 Food Aid: $1.2 billion
-- International Broadcasting: $569 million
-- U.S. Institute of Peace: $22 million
Mr. Chairman, the President's top foreign policy priority is winning
the war on terrorism. Forty-eight percent of the President's budget
for foreign affairs directly supports that priority by assisting
our allies and strengthening the United States' diplomatic posture.
For example: $1.2 billion supports Afghanistan reconstruction,
security and democracy-building, and more than $5.7 billion is
provided for assistance to countries around the world that have
joined us in the war on terrorism, and $3.5 billion indirectly
supports the war on terrorism by strengthening our ability to respond
to emergencies and conflict situations. Moreover, $190 million
is aimed at expanding democracy in the Greater Middle East, in
part to help alleviate the conditions that spawn terrorists.
In addition, $5.3 billion is targeted for the President's bold
initiatives to fight HIV/AIDS and create the Millennium Challenge
Corporation, both of which will support stability and improve the
quality of life for the world's poor -- and, again, help to relieve
conditions that cause resentment and despair.
Mr. Chairman, let me elaborate a bit on how some of these dollars
will be spent.
WINNING THE WAR ON TERRORISM
Winning on the battlefield with our superb military forces is
just one step in defeating terrorism. To eradicate terrorism, the
United States must help create stable governments in nations that
once supported terrorism, go after terrorist support mechanisms
as well as the terrorists themselves, and help alleviate conditions
in the world that enable terrorists to bring in new recruits. To
this end, in FY 2005 the State Department and USAID will continue
to focus on the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, support
our coalition partners to further our counterterrorism, law enforcement
and intelligence cooperation, and expand democracy and help generate
prosperity, especially in the Middle East.
BUILDING A FREE AND PROSPEROUS IRAQ
The United States faces one of its greatest challenges in developing
a secure, free and prosperous Iraq. The U.S. government is contributing
almost $21 billion in reconstruction funds and humanitarian assistance
to this effort. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
are expected to provide another $4--to-8 billion in loans and grants
over the next three years. These resources, coupled with the growing
assistance of international donors, will ease the transition from
dictatorship to democracy and lay the foundation for a market economy
and a political system that respects human rights and represents
the voices of all Iraqis.
The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and the Iraqi Governing
Council (IGC) have made great strides in the areas of security,
economic stability and growth, and democratization. Iraqi security
forces now comprise more than half of the total security forces
in the country. In addition, the CPA has established a new Iraqi
Army, issued a new currency and refurbished and equipped schools
and hospitals. And, as you know, the CPA is taking steps to return
sovereignty to the Iraqi people this summer.
Much work remains to be done. Working with our coalition partners,
we will continue to train Iraqi police, border guards, the Civil
Defense Corps and the Army in order to ensure the country's security
as we effect a timely transition to democratic self-governance
and a stable future.
At the same time, we are helping provide critical infrastructure,
including clean water, electricity and reliable telecommunications
systems which are essential for meeting basic human needs as well
as for economic and democratic development. Thousands of brave
Americans, in uniform and in mufti, are in Iraq now working tirelessly
to help Iraqis succeed in this historic effort. Alongside their
military colleagues, USAID, State Department and the Departments
of the Treasury and Commerce are working to implement infrastructure,
democracy building, education, health and economic development
programs. These efforts are producing real progress in Iraq.
WINNING THE PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN
Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan is another high priority for this administration.
The U.S. is committed to helping build a stable and democratic
Afghanistan that is free from terror and no longer harbors threats
to our security. After we and our coalition partners defeated the
Taliban government, we faced the daunting task of helping the Afghan
people rebuild their country. We have demonstrated our commitment
to this effort by providing over $3.7 billion in economic and security
assistance to Afghanistan since 2001.
Through our assistance and the assistance of the international
community, the government of Afghanistan is successfully navigating
the transition that began in October 2001. Afghanistan adopted
a constitution last month and is preparing for democratic national
elections in June. With technical assistance from the U.S., Afghanistan
successfully introduced a new stable currency in October 2002 and
is working to improve revenue collection in the provinces. The
lives of women and girls are improving as women pursue economic
and political opportunities and girls return to school. Since 2001,
the United States has rehabilitated 205 schools and 140 health
clinics and trained 13 battalions of the Afghan National Army (ANA).
Also, President Bush's commitment to demine and repave the entire
stretch of the Kabul-Kandahar highway was fulfilled. The road had
not been functional for over 20 years. What was once a 30-hour
journey can now be accomplished in 5 or 6 hours.
While the Afghanistan of today is very different from the Afghanistan
of September 2001, there is still much left to accomplish. In the
near term, the United States will assist the government of Afghanistan
in its preparations for elections in June to ensure that they are
free and fair. To demonstrate tangible benefits to the Afghan people,
we will continue to implement assistance on an accelerated basis.
The FY 2005 budget contains $1.2 billion in assistance for Afghanistan
that will be focused on education, health, infrastructure, and
assistance to the ANA, including drawdown authority and Department
of Defense "train and equip" [funds]. For example, U.S. assistance
efforts will concentrate on rehabilitation and construction of
an additional 275 schools and 150 health clinics by June 2004,
and complete training and equipping of 15 army battalions. The
U.S. will also extend the Kabul-Kandahar road to Herat so that
people and commerce will be linked East and West across Afghanistan
with a ground transportation link between three of the largest
SUPPORT FOR OUR COALITION PARTNERS
As part of the war on terrorism, President Bush established a
clear policy to work with other nations to meet the challenges
of defeating terror networks with global reach. This commitment
extends to the front-line states that have joined us in the war
on terrorism, and to those nations that are key to successful transitions
to democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our assistance enables countries cooperating closely with the
United States to prevent future attacks, improve counterterrorism
capabilities and tighten border controls. As I indicated earlier,
the FY 2005 budget for International Affairs provides more than
$5.7 billion for assistance to countries around the world that
have joined us in the war on terrorism, including Turkey, Jordan,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
U.S. assistance has also resulted in unparalleled law enforcement
and intelligence cooperation that has destroyed terrorist cells,
disrupted terrorist operations and prevented attacks. There are
many counterterrorism successes in cooperating countries and international
organizations. For example:
-- Pakistan has apprehended more than 500 al-Qaeda terrorists
and members of the Taliban through the leadership of President
Musharraf, stronger border security measures and law enforcement
cooperation throughout the country.
-- Jordan continues its strong counterterrorism efforts, including
arresting two individuals with links to al-Qaeda who admitted responsibility
for the October 2002 murder of USAID Foreign Service officer Lawrence
Foley in Amman.
-- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has endorsed an ambitious
transformation agenda designed to enhance its capabilities by increasing
deployment speed and agility to address new threats of terrorism.
-- Colombia has developed a democratic security strategy as a
blueprint for waging a unified, aggressive counterterror-counternarcotics
campaign against designated foreign terrorist organizations and
other illegal, armed groups.
The U.S. and its Southeast Asian allies and friends have made
significant advances against the regional terrorist organization
Jemaah Islamiyah which was responsible for the Bali attack in 2002
that killed more than 200 people. In early August 2003 an Indonesian
court convicted and sentenced to death a key figure in that bombing.
Since September 11, 2001, 173 countries have issued orders to
freeze the assets of terrorists. As a result, terror networks have
lost access to nearly $200 million in more than 1,400 terrorist-related
accounts around the world. The World Bank, International Monetary
Fund and other multilateral development banks have also played
an important role in this fight by strengthening international
defenses against terrorist finance.
While progress has been made attacking terrorist organizations
both globally and regionally, much work remains to be done. The
FY 2005 President's Budget strengthens our financial commitment
to our coalition partners to wage the global war on terror. Highlights
of the President's request include $700 million for Pakistan to
help advance security and economic opportunity for Pakistan's citizens,
including a multi-year educational support program; $461 million
for Jordan to increase economic opportunities for Jordanian communities
and strengthen Jordan's ability to secure its borders; and $577
million for Colombia to support President Uribe's unified campaign
against drugs and terrorism.
In September 2003, at the United Nations, President Bush said: "All
governments that support terror are complicit in a war against
civilization. No government should ignore the threat of terror,
because to look the other way gives terrorists the chance to regroup
and recruit and prepare. And all nations that fight terror, as
if the lives of their own people depend on it, will earn the favorable
judgment of history." We are helping countries to that judgment.
EXPANSION OF DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
We believe that expanding democracy in the Middle East is critical
to eradicating international terrorism. But in many nations of
the Middle East, democracy is at best an unwelcome guest and at
worst a total stranger. The U.S. continues to increase its diplomatic
and assistance activities in the Middle East to promote democratic
voices -- focusing particularly on women -- in the political process,
support increased accountability in government, assist local efforts
to strengthen respect for the rule of law, assist independent media,
and invest in the next generation of leaders.
As the President emphasized in his speech last November at the
National Endowment for Democracy (NED), reform in the Middle East
is of vital importance to the future of peace and stability in
that region as well as to the national security of the United States.
As long as freedom and democracy do not flourish in the Middle
East, resentment and despair will continue to grow -- and the region
will serve as an exporter of violence and terror to free nations.
For the United States, promoting democracy and freedom in the Middle
East is a difficult, yet essential calling.
There are promising developments upon which to build. The government
of Jordan, for example, is committed to accelerating reform. Results
include free and fair elections, three women holding Cabinet Minister
positions for the first time in Jordan's history, and major investments
in education. Positive developments also can be found in Morocco,
which held parliamentary elections last year that were acclaimed
as free, fair and transparent.
In April 2003, the administration launched the Middle East Partnership
Initiative (MEPI), an intensive interagency effort to support political
and education reform and economic development in the region. The
President continues his commitment by providing $150 million in
FY 2005 for these efforts.
To enhance this U.S. g[overnment] effort with a key NGO [non-governmental
organization], the President has doubled the NED budget to $80
million specifically to create a Greater Middle East Leadership
and Democracy Initiative. NED is a leader in efforts to strengthen
democracy and tolerance around the world through its work with
civil society. We want that work to flourish.
As President Bush said in his November speech at NED: "The United
States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom
in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence
and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield
the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region
of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace."
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
And the advance of freedom is aided decisively by the words of
Democracy flourishes with freedom of information and exposure
to diverse ideas. The President's FY 2005 budget promotes expansion
of democracy in the Middle East by providing public access to information
through exchange programs and the Middle East Television Network.
New public diplomacy efforts including the Partnerships for Learning
(P4L) and Youth Exchange and Study (YES) initiatives have been
created to reach a younger and more diverse audience through academic
and professional exchange programs. In FY 2005, the P4L and the
YES programs, funded at $61 million, will focus more on youth of
the Muslim world, specifically targeting non-traditional, non-elite,
often female and non-English speaking youth.
U.S. broadcasting initiatives in the Middle East encourage the
development of a free press in the American tradition and provide
Middle Eastern viewers and listeners access to a variety of ideas.
The U.S. revamped its Arabic radio broadcasts in 2002 with the
introduction of Radio Sawa, which broadcasts to the region 24 hours
a day. As a result, audience size for our Arabic broadcasting increased
from under 2 percent in 2001 to over 30 percent in 2003. Based
on this successful model, the U.S. introduced Radio Farda to broadcast
to Iran around the clock. Building on this success, the FY 2005
President's Budget Request provides over $70 million for Arabic
and Persian radio and television broadcasts to the Middle East.
In early 2004, the United States will launch the Middle East Television
Network, an Arabic language satellite network that will have the
capability of reaching millions of viewers and will provide a means
for Middle Easterners to better understand democracy and free market
policies, as well as the U.S. and its people.
OUR NEW APPROACH TO GLOBAL PROSPERITY
President Bush's approach to global economic growth emphasizes
proven American values: governing justly, investing in people,
and encouraging economic freedom. President Bush has pledged to
increase economic engagement with and support for countries that
commit to these goals through an ambitious trade agenda and new
approaches to development assistance focusing on country performance
and measurable results.
THE MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE ACCOUNT (MCA)
In February of 2003, we sent the Congress a budget request for
the MCA and legislation to authorize the creation of the Millennium
Challenge Corporation (MCC), the agency designed to support innovative
development strategies and to ensure accountability for results.
The MCC will fund only proposals for grants that have clear, measurable
objectives, a sound financial plan and indicators for assessing
The Congress appropriated $1 billion for MCA for FY 2004. The
FY 2005 budget request of $2.5 billion makes a significant second-year
increase to the MCA and paves the way to reaching the President's
commitment of $5 billion in FY 2006.
TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY (TPA)
President Bush recognizes that the fastest, surest way to move
from poverty to prosperity is through expanded and freer trade.
America and the world benefit from free trade. For this reason,
one of his first actions upon taking office in 2001 was to seek
TPA, allowing him to negotiate market-opening agreements with other
countries. The President aims to continue vigorously to pursue
his free trade agenda in order to lift developing countries out
of poverty, while creating high-paying job opportunities for America's
workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers and benefiting all Americans
through lower prices and wider choices. As the President said in
April, 2001, at the Organization of American States: "Open trade
fuels the engines of economic growth that creates new jobs and
new income. It applies the power of markets to the needs of the
poor. It spurs the process of economic and legal reform. It helps
dismantle protectionist bureaucracies that stifle incentive and
invite corruption. And open trade reinforces the habits of liberty
that sustain democracy over the long term."
Since receiving TPA in 2002, the President has made good on his
promise, completing free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore,
which were quickly approved by Congress and went into effect on
January 1. We have recently completed negotiations with five Central
American countries on the Central America Free Trade Agreement
(CAFTA) and are working to bring the Dominican Republic into that
agreement. Earlier this week, we announced the conclusion of an
agreement with Australia. Negotiations are ongoing with Morocco,
the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Bahrain, and on the
Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). We are concluding
comprehensive agreements that include market access for goods and
services, strong intellectual property and investment provisions,
and include commitments for strong environmental and labor protections
by our partners. These arrangements benefit Americans and our trading
Building on this significant progress, the President intends to
launch free trade negotiations with Thailand, Panama, and the Andean
countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. The President
has also stated his vision for a Middle East Free Trade Area by
2013, to ignite economic growth and expand opportunity in this
critical region. Finally, the President is committed to wrapping
up successfully the World Trade Organization's Doha agenda. The
United States has taken the lead in re-energizing these negotiations
following the Cancun Ministerial.
CARING FOR THE WORLD'S MOST VULNERABLE CITIZENS
EMERGENCY PLAN FOR AIDS RELIEF
When President Bush took office in January 2001, the HIV/AIDS
pandemic was at an all-time high, with the estimated number of
adults and children living with HIV/AIDS globally at 37 million,
with 68 percent of those individuals living in sub-Saharan Africa.
From fiscal years 1993 to 2001 the total U.S. government global
AIDS budget was about $1.9 billion. As part of the Emergency Plan
for AIDS Relief, the President proposed $2 billion in fiscal year
2004 as the first installment of a five-year, $15 billion initiative,
surpassing nine years of funding in a single year. The President's
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief represents the single largest international
public health initiative ever attempted to defeat a disease. The
President's Plan targets an unprecedented level of assistance to
the 14 most afflicted countries in Africa and the Caribbean to
wage and win the war against HIV/AIDS. In addition, programs will
continue in 75 other countries.
By 2008, we believe the President's Plan will prevent seven million
new infections, treat two million HIV-infected people, and care
for 10 million HIV-infected individuals and those orphaned by AIDS
in Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Announced during President Bush's State of the Union address on
January 28, 2003, the Emergency Plan provides $15 billion over
five years for those countries hardest hit by the pandemic, including
$1 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria. The FY 2005 budget provides $2.8 billion from State, USAID,
and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to combat
global AIDS, more than tripling funding for international HIV/AIDS
since the President took office.
Over the past year, we have worked with the Congress to pass legislation
laying the groundwork for this effort and to appoint a senior official
at the State Department to coordinate all U.S. government international
HIV/AIDS activities. Ambassador Randall Tobias has been confirmed
by Congress and has now taken steps to assure immediate relief
to the selected countries. He announced mechanisms to initiate
services in five key areas, such as care for orphans and vulnerable
children as well as care and antiretroviral treatment for HIV-infected
As a crucial next step, the FY 2005 budget request expands on
the Emergency Plan. By working together as a highly collaborative
team, and placing primary ownership of these efforts in the hands
of the countries that we are helping -- just as, you will recall,
the Marshall Plan did so successfully in post-WWII Europe -- the
Department of State, USAID and HHS can use significantly increased
resources quickly and effectively to achieve the President's ambitious
goals in the fight against global AIDS.
Mr. Chairman, President Bush summed it up this way in April of
last year: "There are only two possible responses to suffering
on this scale. We can turn our eyes away in resignation and despair,
or we can take decisive, historic action to turn the tide against
this disease and give the hope of life to millions who need our
help now. The United States of America chooses the path of action
and the path of hope." These dollars put us squarely on that path.
EMERGENCY HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE -- HELPING OTHERS IN NEED
The President's budget request reflects a continued commitment
to humanitarian assistance. The request maintains U.S. leadership
in providing food and non-food assistance to refugees, internally
displaced persons, and other vulnerable people in all corners of
the world. In addition, the budget reflects the findings of the
Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) evaluations completed for
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and for USAID's
Public Law 480 Title II international food assistance, which confirmed
a clear purpose for these programs.
In 2003, the administration provided funding to several international
and non-governmental organizations to assist nearly 200,000 Angolan
refugees and internally displaced persons return home after decades
of civil war.
In an Ethiopia enveloped by drought, the administration led international
efforts to prevent widespread famine among 13 million vulnerable
people, providing over one million metric tons of emergency food
aid (valued at nearly half a billion dollars) to the World Food
Program and NGOs, funding immunizations for weakened children,
and supplying emergency seeds to farmers.
In Sudan, the administration worked with the United Nations and
the government of Sudan so that vital assistance could be delivered
to the Sudanese people. This year the U.S. will provide about $210
million in vital assistance to the people in the south, including
approximately 125,000 metric tons (valued at nearly $115 million)
in food aid, as well as non-food assistance, such as sanitation
and water. We anticipate that a comprehensive peace agreement in
Sudan will allow us to expand significantly our development assistance
to help the Sudanese people in effecting a long-awaited recovery
following decades of civil war. The FY 2005 budget includes $436
million in humanitarian and development, economic, and security
assistance funding, much of which will be contingent upon a peace
settlement between the government and the south.
The FY 2005 budget ensures that the administration can continue
to respond quickly and appropriately to victims of conflict and
natural disasters and to help those in greatest need of food, shelter,
health care and other essential assistance, including those in
areas starting to recover from conflict and war, such as Liberia.
In particular, the budget requests funding for a flexible account
to give the President the ability to respond to unforeseen emergency
needs, the Emergency Fund for Complex Foreign Crises, funded at
KEEPING AMERICANS SAFE AT HOME AND ABROAD
Mr. Chairman, we also have a sacred responsibility to look to
the security of our citizens, here and overseas, when that security
is a part of our responsibility.
CAPITAL SECURITY COST SHARING PROGRAM
The State Department has the responsibility to protect more than
60,000 U.S. government employees who work in embassies and consulates
abroad. Since the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa,
the State Department has improved physical security overseas; however,
as many of you are well aware, many posts are still not secure
enough to withstand terrorist attacks and other dangers. To correct
this problem, in 1999 the State Department launched a security
upgrade and construction program to begin to address requirements
in our more than 260 embassies and consulates.
Working with the Congress, President Bush has accelerated the
pace of improving and building new secure facilities. Moreover,
we have reorganized the Overseas Buildings Office to manage the
effort with speed, efficiency, and effectiveness. Within the budget,
we are launching a plan to replace the remaining 150 embassies
and consulates that do not meet current security standards over
the next 14 years, for a total cost of $17.5 billion. To fund construction
of these new embassy compounds, we will begin the Capital Security
Cost Sharing (CSCS) Program in FY 2005. We will implement this
program in phases over the next five years.
Each agency with staff overseas will contribute annually towards
construction of the new facilities based on the number of positions
and the type of space they occupy. We arrived at the cost shares
in the FY 2005 President's budget request in consultations with
each agency and the State Department's Overseas Buildings Office.
CSCS is also a major component of the President's Management Agenda
Initiative on Rightsizing. Along with securing facilities, we have
focused on assuring that overseas staffing is deployed where they
are most needed to serve U.S. interests. As agencies assess the
real cost of maintaining staff overseas, they will adjust their
overseas staffing levels. In this way, new embassies will be built
to suit appropriate staffing levels. The program is already producing
rightsizing results. Agencies are taking steps to eliminate unfilled
positions from their books to reduce any unnecessary CSCS charges,
which in turn is leading to smaller embassy construction requirements.
Prior to September 11, 2001, the State Department's consular officers
focused primarily on screening applicants based on whether they
intended to work or reside legally in the United States. In deciding
who should receive a visa, consular officers relied on State Department
information systems as the primary basis for identifying potential
terrorists. The State Department gave overseas consular officers
the discretion to determine the level of scrutiny that should be
applied to visa applications and encouraged the streamlining of
Today, Consular Affairs at the State Department, working with
both Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of Citizenship
and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security,
are cooperating to achieve our goals more effectively by sharing
information and integrating information systems.
The Department of State has invested substantial time, money,
and effort in revamping its visa and passport process as well as
its provision of American Citizen Services. The Department has
more than doubled its database holdings on individuals who should
not be issued visas, increased training for all consular officers,
established special programs to vet applications more comprehensively,
increased the number of skilled, American staff working in consular
sections overseas, and improved data-sharing among agencies. The
State Department, along with the Department of Homeland Security,
is currently developing biometrics, such as fingerprints, digital
photographs or iris scans, for both visas and passports in order
to fulfill requirements of the Patriot and Border Security Acts
and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
As a part of the State Department's efforts to screen visa applicants
more effectively, and in particular to ensure that a suspected
terrorist does not receive a visa to enter the United States, we
will be an active partner in the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).
The TSC, established in December 2003, will maintain a single,
consolidated watchlist of terrorist suspects to be shared with
federal, state, local and private entities in accordance with applicable
law. The Department of State will also participate in the Terrorist
Threat Integration Center (TTIC), a joint effort aimed at reducing
the potential of intelligence gaps domestically and abroad.
To achieve our goal of secure borders and open doors, in FY 2005
the State Department plans to expand the use of biometrics to improve
security in the visa and passport processes; more effectively fill
gaps worldwide by hiring people with specific skills including
language expertise; improve and maintain all consular systems;
and more broadly expand data sharing with all agencies with border
control or immigration related responsibilities. The budget in
FY 2005 includes $175 million for biometric projects including
photographs and fingerprints to comply with Border Security and
The Border Security program underwent a PART analysis in the development
of the FY 2004 and FY 2005 budgets and this budget request reflects
the results of those analyses. The Department is moving ahead on
program management improvements that clearly link to the Department
of Homeland Security goals related to visa policy.
THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF DIPLOMATIC READINESS
We created the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI) in 2002 to
address staffing and training gaps that had become very adverse
to the conduct of America's diplomacy. The goal of DRI was to hire
1,158 new foreign and civil service employees over a three-year
period. These new hires, the first over-attrition hires in years,
would allow us to provide training opportunities for our people
and greatly improve the Department's ability to respond to crises
and emerging priorities overseas and at critical domestic locations.
To bring these new people on board -- and to select the best men
and women possible -- we significantly improved Department hiring
processes, to include recruiting personnel from more diverse experience
and cultural backgrounds and people who could fill critical skill
gaps. In the process, we broke records in recruiting and thus had
the best and the brightest from which to select. The Department
of State will be reaping the benefits from this process for many
years to come. We also created new mandatory leadership and management
training, enhanced public diplomacy and consular training, and
made significant increases in the amount of language training available
for new Foreign Service Officers. DRI hiring has supported the
Department's efforts in responding to crises since September 11th
and provided the additional resources necessary to staff overseas
locations that truly represent the front line in the war on terrorism.
Some of these positions, however, are being diverted to support
new requirements not envisioned by DRI, such as permanently staffing
new embassies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and possibly in Tripoli.
Because of this, the FY 2005 budget request provides additional
resources to continue our DRI commitment.
DRI has allowed the Department to focus on recruiting, training
and retaining a high-quality workforce, sized to requirements that
can respond more flexibly to the dynamic and demanding world in
which we live. We need to continue it.
USAID has begun a similar effort to address gaps in staffing in
technical skills, calling it the Development Readiness Initiative.
USAID plans to hire approximately 40 Foreign Service Officers in
FY 2004 under this initiative. This Budget Request includes authority
for USAID to hire up to 50 additional Foreign Service Officers
in FY 2005, in order to fill critical skill gaps identified through
a comprehensive workforce analysis.
Mr. Chairman, I have focused your attention for long enough. There
is more in the President's Budget Request for FY 2005; but what
I have outlined above represents the top priorities for the State
Department. I will be pleased to answer any questions you have
about these priorities or about any other portion of the budget
request in which you are interested. If I cannot answer the question
myself, I have a Department full of great people who can; and I
will get you an answer for the record.