|By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, December 23, 2001 - 3:34 am: Edit Post|
Here is an email from the NPCA Advocacy list asking for leters of support for an expanded Peace Corps:
Dear Friends of the Peace Corps,
Please communicate with any and all of the listed officials below, in support of an enlarged foreign affairs budget for 2003, and with it, an enlarged Peace Corps budget and expanded Peace Corps!
It is important you do it this week or next, before things close down for the holidays, if at all possible. Preference is for email and fax, because regular mail is still delayed here.
Attached as an illustration is the letter sent by Dane Smith, NPCA President, to key officials, with a focus on the Office of Management and Budget. YOUR focus should be on the OTHER officials.
Thank you for acting on this urgent and important matter!
Ed Crane, NPCA Advocacy Coordinator
Letter to Mr. Cleveland:
December 5, 2001
Ms. Robin Cleveland, Associate Director
National Security and International Affairs
Office of Management and Budget
Executive Office of the President
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Ms. Cleveland:
As this is a crucial time for final decisions regarding resources for foreign affairs, we thought it might be useful to provide you and your staff with some of our primary concerns regarding the forthcoming FY-2003 budget cycle. These concerns include total funding levels for foreign affairs, and greater support for an expanded Peace Corps.
Total Funding Levels
We believe that the Administration's request for FY-2003 should be at a level significantly higher than last year's and should provide for real growth in resources. Substantial new investments will be absolutely essential to meet our strategic and global obligations as a direct result of the events of September 11. New initiatives throughout the Middle East and other predominantly Muslim areas will be dramatic, and the budget must reflect this new reality. The new global environment requires significant expansion of our diplomatic capacity in the rest of the world as well. Even before September 11th several studies by independent analysts confirmed the serious need to rebuild our international affairs apparatus.
During the cold war, America invested 3% or more of the Federal Budget in diplomacy and overseas development. That figure has fallen to 1%. The events of September 11th and thereafter have proven the value of "preventive diplomacy" and the costs of neglect of our diplomatic resources. The depredations of underfunding of our diplomatic infrastructure over many years have left America without adequate tools to protect U.S. interests, our national security or to promote the advancement of our values around the world. We now face a new and complex threat to our security, prosperity and values. This war will be won or lost in the hearts and minds of our friends as well as our adversaries. We must be willing to invest at considerably higher levels than today to prevail in the new environment.
The 150 Account must be treated as a "national security" account and approached in the same way as the other accounts in this category. We believe a bipartisan decision should be made this year to adjust the past budget limitations for the out years in the new circumstances. There are several funding areas that require special attention as additions, not as substitutes, in the 150 Account. These range from embassy security, public diplomacy, development assistance, and related post-Afghanistan "nation building" to long-term civic development, crisis prevention and intervention. In addition, payment of our U.N. obligations should be completed. These added costs, in our view, need to be placed either above normal budget caps or in an emergency category as is being done for our Defense and Intelligence budgets.
The Peace Corps
The Peace Corps promotes peace and national security by building positive relationships among the people and cultures of the world. The Peace Corps provides a crucial element of preventive diplomacy "on the ground." It is the most effective way we know to win hearts and minds among diverse, hard-to-reach resistant groups, among the ordinary people on the street. It is the best way to penetrate behind the stereotypes and reach the crucial younger generation. As soon as conditions permit, the Peace Corps must return in numbers to Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Muslim world, better equipped than ever to make its mark on behalf of the United States!
The Peace Corps mission is more important now than ever before. Initially, during the Reagan Administration, the President and Congress established a goal of 10,000 volunteers serving in the field. Recently this goal was reaffirmed to meet that level by 2002. The FY-2003 request should honor the commitment to expand the Peace Corps with sufficient funding for substantial progress toward the 10,000 volunteer goal. To meet this goal would require funding in FY-03 at $365 million, which was the amount authorized by Congress.
NPCA will strongly support a robust 150 Account request-let's not rob Peter to pay Paul! We look forward to a close and productive dialogue between the OMB and the Administration and with Congress and its American stakeholders. This will strengthen our capacity to make our international goals and initiatives more effective. We would be pleased to meet with you or your staff on these issues as we have done with your predecessors in the past. Be assured that we will strongly support the Administration's effort to fully fund American foreign affairs programs. I will be in touch shortly with your office to see about a possible meeting.
Dane F Smith,
President, Ambassador (rtd)
cc: The Secretary of State
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
The Administrator of AID
Director of the Peace Corps
Honorable George W Bush
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Honorable Richard B Cheney
Vice President of the United States
276 Dwight D Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Washington DC 20501
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Honorable Colin Powell
Secretary of State