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President's FY 2005 supplemental budget request.

(Opening Remarks As Delivered Before the Senate Appropriations Committee Washington, DC February 17, 2005)

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, Senator Byrd, members of the Committee, I welcome and appreciate this opportunity to support and describe the President's fiscal year 2005 supplemental budget request, as it relates to our diplomatic efforts.

Today I would like to address the $5.6 billion intended for urgent and essential international affairs activities. This is spending that we believe is absolutely crucial to our national security. I also wish to underscore that the supplemental funds for international affairs activities that we are requesting are meant to cover costs we could not have anticipated in fiscal year 2005 in the budget request, or to help us seize new opportunities that have arisen to advance the cause of freedom and peace since that time.

This supplemental funding will ensure that we are able to respond speedily and effectively to the needs of our steadfast coalition partners in the war on terror, to newly elected governments who are seeking our stabilizing assistance to move forward with reforms, and to the men, women and children swept up in humanitarian emergencies who have turned to us in need.

Let me now highlight several key elements of the supplemental request. The historic elections in Afghanistan and Iraq were dramatic victories for the human spirit. The Iraqi and Afghan peoples have bravely set their countries on a course to democracy. The supplemental funds we are seeking will help stabilize and accelerate their democratic progress.

The $2.2 billion in international affairs funding that we propose for Afghanistan would help to widen the reach of the Karzai government, particularly in this critical time before the spring parliamentary elections. The funds would go to high-impact projects that could show results in the short-term or complete programs funded in prior supplemental requests. We seek approximately $265 million for democracy and governance programs there. These monies would assist the government in the upcoming parliamentary elections, train parliamentarians and support activities to strengthen the rule of law, independent media and civil society.

We intend to put a special emphasis on efforts to increase the participation of women in public life. $796 million is for infrastructure rehabilitation and reconstruction to improve the lives of Afghan citizens. This money would go to such activities as completing our commitment for roads, building schools and health clinics and expanding the work of our civil military provincial reconstruction teams as quickly as possible. $509 million would be applied to a comprehensive counter narcotics effort with initiatives in five areas: public information, law enforcement, alternative livelihoods, interdiction and eradication. About $233 million of this funding would be needed to replenish resources that were reprogrammed earlier so that we could begin to fund this urgent counter narcotics activity. And $400 million is to accelerate efforts to provide assistance to the Afghan police so that they can increasingly assume responsibility for their own nation's security. We're requesting also $60 million to fund increased operating and security costs of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, given the security situation there.

Members of the Committee, we are also requesting $1.4 billion for Iraq in international operations funding. For our diplomatic efforts in Iraq, we are requesting $690 million to cover the extraordinary security and support costs of our operating--of operating our embassy and $658 million to construct a secure new embassy compound for our mission in Baghdad. Theses costs are directly related to the security and well-being of our men and women who are very much in danger's way in Baghdad.

The supplemental request would also support key partners in freedom. We propose $150 million for Pakistan to improve its border security and increase interoperability with U.S. and coalition forces. Jordan, one of the frontline states in this war on terrorism, would receive $100 million in economic assistance to promote stabilizing growth there and $100 million in military assistance to bolster Jordan's counterterrorism and border security efforts.

All of our partners are critical to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the prosecution of the global war on terror. Therefore, we seek $400 million for support and assistance to partners that have faced financial and military hardship, as well as political hardship, as a result of having contributed to the coalition efforts. Half of that funding would go to military funding so that security assistance could be provided to key partners with troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan; the other half would go to the Global War on Terror Partners Fund for economic assistance, which could be applied in a timely way to strengthen our ability of our partners to contribute to democracy and security around the world.

Mr. Chairman, we have seen how states where chaos and corruption and cruelty reign pose a threat to our neighbors, but also to us. President Bush has charged us at the State Department with coordinating our nation's post-conflict and stabilization efforts. We are asking for a little over $17 million in supplemental funding for startup and personnel costs for the Department's new Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization.

Another objective in this supplemental is to help our compassionate response to humanitarian emergencies. We are proposing $701 million for tsunami relief and long-term recovery and construction programs in that devastated area.

We seek, too, $242 million to replenish funds spent to meet the emergency humanitarian needs arising from the Darfur crisis in Sudan.

Since we submitted our fiscal year 2005 budget request, the United States has strongly supported the establishment by the United Nations Security Council of peacekeeping missions for Sudan/Darfur, Cote D'Ivoire, Haiti and Burundi. This supplemental requests $780 million to pay the assessed costs for these new missions. These are missions that were not assessed at the time of the 2005 budget request. In addition, up to $55 million of this request may be available to support a voluntary contribution to a possible Sudan war crimes tribunal.

Supplemental funding can help us not only to meet unanticipated needs in emergencies, but it can also help us to seize unexpected and welcome opportunities in a timely fashion. The successful Palestinian elections of January 9th and the Israeli withdrawal plan from the Gaza and parts of the West Bank have created a new climate that is propitious for movement back to the roadmap. Both Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas have called this a time of opportunity, and President Bush has announced an additional $350 million to help the Palestinians build their infrastructure and sustain their reform process. $200 million of that is included in this supplemental.

Supplemental funding can also help us to seize opportunities to translate the recent victory for democracy in Ukraine into successful governance. We seek $60 million in supplemental funding that would go to help Ukraine's new leaders in advance of the March 2006 parliamentary elections seize this opportunity to consolidate their gains.

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, this time of global transformation calls for transformational diplomacy. More than ever, in today's fast-evolving international environment, America's diplomats need to have the resources to act swiftly and effectively to avert dangers and seize opportunities that allow us to tip the global balance of power toward freedom. The supplemental funding that we are seeking will help us to do just that.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I'm pleased to answer any questions that you or the Committee's Members may have.

Condoleezza Rice

U.S. Secretary of State
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Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2004
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