Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen delivered remarks at the luncheon for the 2011 Global Chiefs of Missions Conference at the U.S. Department of State on February 2, 2011. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton introduced Admiral Mullen. She said, "Although he has committed his life to serving our country in the United States Navy, he is someone who grasps in a very deep and profound way a vision of integrated American power and is one of the State Department's and USAID's strongest advocates and champions."
Admiral Mullen expressed his appreciation for the work that State Department officials do around the world. He said, "Certainly, as someone that grew up in the Navy, I was trained very early in ports around the world how important the country team was. And actually, it was a very well-blended interagency team in whatever country I existed, and so came to have an understanding about that and certainly look at that at a much higher level, and can't say enough about the importance of the team right now. And as someone who has spent over four decades in the military, I am very fond of saying that we don't create policy; we execute policy. And policy has the lead, and you are at the fore in that regard.
"And obviously, we've been going through some fairly significant challenges in the last few days, and it is very easy to see in that this relationship between policy -- I'm sorry, between the civilian lead and, obviously, the military support. And I'll just use this as an example. There is no -- there isn't a better example of that right now. And I appreciate all that, in a very difficult situation, the strength of that leadership and the conviction of that leadership. And obviously, we are, from a military standpoint, here to support.
"It hasn't just been a $1.3 billion investment in Egypt over the last 30 years. It hasn't just been dollars, and it hasn't just been a military investment in their armed services, which have been a critical part. It has been an investment on the part of the United States that goes back, actually, a long way, even further back than 30 years in terms of the relationship -- the historic relationship we've had with a country. And so this part of it -- to see it gel and to see it focus in this very, very difficult time -- is a wonderful example."
The Admiral continued, "...I really think we have got to get the State Department budget right. And this has nothing to do with the past -- again, it has everything to do with the future -- we took too much money away. And when you take money away from the State Department, more than anything else, you take people away. Because in our terms, people are your main battery, your main effort. And so having a robust enough budget to be able to meet the needs of our times is absolutely mandatory."
You can view the Admiral's complete remarks here.