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Senator Bill Nelson
Senator Gordon Smith
FOREIGN POLICY OVERVIEW AND THE PRESIDENT'S FISCAL YEAR 2003 FOREIGN AFFAIRS BUDGET REQUEST
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2002
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:17 a.m., in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., (chairman of the committee), presiding.
Present: Senators Biden, Sarbanes, Feingold, Wellstone, Boxer, Helms, Lugar, Hagel, Chafee, Brownback, and Enzi.
The CHAIRMAN. Good morning. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to the committee. We are delighted to have you here and we look forward to having a chance to hear what you have to say. You have had a good run here and I want to compliment you on the way you have handled yourself, the Department and the administration, let me begin by saying that.
Let me do a little housekeeping first. I will have an opening statement that will be about 5 minutes, maybe less. Then I will go to Senator Helms and then we will go to the Secretary. We are going to, unfortunately, have a vote at 10:30. We will go to the end of the Secretary's statement and if need be, if the vote time runs out, we will come back and hear the remainder of it, and then the committee will break for the time it takes for the entire committee to go and vote and come back with your permission, Mr. Secretary. Today the Committee on Foreign Relations begins what we hope to be a series of hearings to review American foreign policy in the wake of the attacks on the United States last September. The essential objectives of the hearings are two-fold: to highlight the serious national security challenges facing this country, and to ensure that we are allocating our resources properly to meet those challenges. In other words, to do the job the Congress is supposed to do.
We began with Secretary of State Powell, who has done, as I said, a first-rate job in guiding American foreign policy, particularly since the attacks of September 11, but I would say there has really been no change. You have done it well from the very beginning and you have not missed a beat.
The administration has skillfully assembled and led an international coalition to wage a war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban and to attack the threat of terrorism on all fronts-militarily, dip
lomatically, legally and financially. Mr. Secretary, we welcome you back to the committee.
Out of the destruction of September 11 came seeds of opportunity in my view, and I know you believe that as well. The challenge for the United States now seems to me to ensure that we seize the opportunities that are available to build a new framework for international affairs for the 21st century.
In that regard, we will be interested in hearing from the Secretary today and in months ahead on several key issues, and I'd just like to highlight a handful.
First, are we doing enough to secure our victory in Afghanistan? America's armed forces have waged a brilliant campaign to end the tyrannical rule of the Taliban, but having spent 4 days not too long ago in Kabul, and I know Mr. Secretary, you have been there as well, it is clear that much remains to be done.
Al-Qaeda and Taliban elements remain active in many parts of the country. Security is inadequate not only in the countryside, but even in Kabul itself, and the task of reconstruction of a nation devastated by two decades of war is immense, although it does not require a Marshall Plan.
We have to complete the job in Afghanistan, militarily against terrorists and the Taliban operatives, and through U.S. participation in a multinational security force in my view, and economically in a partnership with other nations to rebuild the country, which was started in Tokyo.
Second, what are the implications for the President's declaration last week that North Korea, Iran and Iraq comprise an "axis of evil"? Was this merely a rhetorical device designed to lump together three nations who we have long considered dangerous rogue states, or does it indicate a significant shift in U.S. policy toward these nations?
I agree with the President that each nation poses a security threat to the United States and to the civilized world. But they are hardly identical or allied with each other, and our policies toward them have up to now involved very different strategies.
For example, working with our partners in South Korea and Japan, we have until now and maybe continue as well to embrace a policy of engagement with North Korea, so as to achieve an agreement for a verifiable end to the country's long-range missile program and sales as well as their nuclear program. Does this mean that that approach is no longer in play here?
Third, what is the current state of U.S. strategic and nonproliferation policy? Since the Secretary was last before us, there have been several significant events. One, the administration announced the United States would withdraw from the ABM Treaty. Two, the administration concluded after a lengthy review that most ongoing nonproliferation programs with Russia and other Eurasian states should be sustained. And the new National Intelligence Estimate affirmed that the United States remains at greater risk from the nonmissile delivery of a weapon of mass destruction than from the delivery of ballistic missiles. Do we have the balance right in terms of our expenditures?
I hope the Secretary can update us on the administration's discussions with Russia, on mutual arms reductions, particularly the
question of whether the administration intends to reach an agreement on a binding treaty that would be submitted to the Senate. Any understanding with Russia on the future of our respective nuclear arsenals must, in my view, rest on more than a handshake. And let me make my view clear. Any formal agreement on mutual force reductions should be in the form of a treaty.
The Senate did not allow the previous administration to do an end run around it on arms control and I don't believe we should allow this one to do it either, if that was the intent, and I do not know what the intent is.
I also believe that the events of September 11 and the subsequent discovery of information about al-Qaeda's efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction, combined with the National Intelligence Estimate, make it imperative that we focus more resources on what should be our highest national security priority, and that is preventing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
And finally, is the President's budget for international affairs adequate to protect our national security? The President requests $25.4 billion, which is less than the amount provided in 2002, if you include the emergency additions we added to the budget.
The question is if you take that away, there is about a 6 percent increase. Is that enough? True, as compared to the regular appropriations contemplated before September 11, this budget, as I said, contains a 5.9 percent increase in nominal terms. But these are not regular times, as the President has correctly emphasized. The budget this year should be measured against the total spending for last year. By that standard, the budget for fiscal 2003 appears to assume that we can return to the status quo ante.
Aside from the promised expansion of the Peace Corps, a development that I welcome, and a continuation of the Secretary's proposal to address the personnel shortfall in the Department, which I think is critical, there appear to be few significant initiatives or increases in the foreign affairs budget that reflect the changed world in which we live.
The President's budget provides for a significant increase in the Department of Defense and homeland security, but it appears to fall short in providing enough resources for our first line of defense, our diplomatic corps. I might add, I just spoke today with our charge, former Ambassador in Afghanistan, and the Secretary makes this point all the time-more of our diplomatic corps are at risk with less protection, although, by the way, these young Marines you all trained, they are something else. They are something else. But at any rate, diplomats are more at risk than even our men in uniform. More have been killed in recent years, and so I want to talk to the Secretary about that. I know he shares the
Let me turn now to my friend, Senator Helms, who has had a brilliant career in this committee and this is the beginning of the final lap, and I expect it will be a sprint between now and the time this Congress ends. But I welcome his comments. I should say, Mr. Chairman, when you finish speaking, maybe we should leave and vote so the Secretary can be uninterrupted in his statement. [The prepared statement of Senator Biden follows:]