Hadley and Albright to Congress: protect State and USAID from “arbitrary and senseless cuts”
“it would be a mistake to increase defense spending at the expense of other critical investments in national security – especially those in diplomacy, development, democracy, and peacebuilding”
WASHINGTON — In joint written testimony submitted ahead of their appearance before the House Armed Services Committee today, the national security advisor to President George W. Bush, Stephen J. Hadley, and the secretary of state to President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright urged Congress to reject President Trump’s dangerous budget proposal and to protect the international affairs budget.
“For this and other reasons, U.S. military power will remain vital in a renewed international order. We appreciate this committee’s efforts to ensure that our military remains the best-trained, best-equipped, and best-led force on earth. Given the variety of threats facing our country, it makes sense to continue upgrading and enhancing our country’s military capabilities and deterrent power. But we strongly believe that it would be a mistake to increase defense spending at the expense of other critical investments in national security – especially those in diplomacy, development, democracy, and peacebuilding.
“We know from experience that force, and the credible possibility of its use, are essential to defend our vital interests and keep America safe. But as one of us has said in the past, force alone can be a blunt instrument, and there are many problems it cannot solve. The military leaders who so frequently testify before this committee would be the first to tell you that they cannot succeed in their missions without the vital capabilities that our civilian agencies bring to the table.
“Gutting these capabilities will put an unacceptable burden on our men and women in uniform, and would make America less safe. We need to fund these other civilian elements of American power as robustly as we do the military element.
“We recognize that government can always be made more efficient and effective, but the best way to accomplish that goal is to build a budget based on a sound strategy. This administration first needs to take the time to staff the Departments and agencies, and to develop a national security strategy. As members of the legislative branch, it is your responsibility to ensure that every dollar is spent wisely, but it is also your responsibility to protect our national security institutions from arbitrary and senseless cuts.”