Today, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah discussed the FY 2013 State Department and USAID budget. Deputy Secretary Nides said, "State and USAID account for just one percent of the federal budget. ... Today, I want to explain how we use that one percent to make the outsized contribution to America's prosperity, security, and leadership."
Deputy Secretary Nides continued, "This budget follows a year of transformational change in the world, as you all know. New powers are emerging, America is strengthening relationships in the Asia Pacific region, while keeping commitments around the world. In Iraq, we completed the largest military-to-civilian transition since the Marshall Plan, and the budget reflects the beginning of a normalizing of our footprint. And Afghanistan has 33,000 U.S. troops who surged in come home. Our civilians will continue to do their work to secure our hard-won gains. This budget also reflects that.
"Meanwhile, the Middle East is reinventing itself before our eyes. And since I presented last year's budget, there hasn't been a day when we weren't managing multiple crises at once. The demands on us have never been higher, and you will see all of that in this budget request. Of course, this is also a time of economic hardship in our country, and we all get that here. And so this budget seeks to stretch every tax dollar as far as possible without compromising our core national security interests."