Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks today before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on national security and foreign policy priorities in the FY 2012 international affairs budget.
Secretary Clinton began her opening remarks by speaking on Libya. She said, "I recently took part in emergency meetings in Geneva to discuss the events unfolding in Libya, and I'd like to begin by offering a brief update. As the Chairman said, we have joined the Libyan people in demanding that Colonel Qadhafi must go, now, without further violence and bloodshed. And we are working to translate the world's outrage into action and results.
"Marathon diplomacy at the United Nations and with our allies has yielded quick, aggressive steps to pressure and isolate Libya's leaders. We welcome yesterday's decision to suspend Libya from the Human Rights Council, as I had urged a day earlier. USAID is focused on Libya's food and medical supplies, and is dispatching two expert humanitarian teams to help those fleeing the violence into Tunisia and Egypt. Our combatant commands are positioning assets to prepare to support these critical civilian missions. And we are taking no option off the table so long as the Libyan Government continues to turn its guns on its own people."
Secretary Clinton then addressed FY 2012 budget priorities and national security. She said, "Our progress is significant, but our work is ongoing. These missions are vital to our national security, and now would be absolutely the wrong time to pull back.
"The FY 2012 budget we discuss today will allow us to keep pressing ahead. It is a lean budget for lean times. I launched the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the so-called QDDR, to help us maximize the impact of every dollar we spend. We scrubbed this budget. We made painful but responsible cuts. For example, we cut economic assistance to Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia by 15 percent. We cut development assistance to over 20 countries by more than half.
"This year, for the first time, our request is divided into two parts. Our core budget request is $47 billion. That supports programs and partnerships in every country but North Korea. It is essentially flat from 2010 levels. The second part of our request funds the extraordinary, temporary portion of our war effort. This is the same way the Pentagon's request is funded, in a separate overseas contingency operations account known as OCO. Instead of covering our war expenses through supplemental appropriations, we are now taking a more transparent approach that reflects our fully integrated civilian-military effort on the ground. Our share of the President's $126 billion request for these exceptional wartime costs in frontline states is $8.7 billion."