Saturday, July 30, 2011

2012 US Foreign Spending Bill Undermines National Security Interests

A 2012 authorization bill was sent by the House Foreign Affairs Committee for consideration to the full House of Representatives. It includes amendments that some members of the US development community say could undermine the country's national security interests and position in the international community.

Among these amendments is one put forth by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas). He has proposed that the US reduce its contribution to the UN by 25%. According to the head of the Better World Campaign, this would not only undermine national security, but also put the country "back in debt at the UN."

Failing to meet UN obligations will diminish the ability of the US to leverage the UN support of vital security objectives. "Instead of working constructively with other nations, the bill will force the US to go it alone."

HFAC passed the 2012 US spending authorization bill (HR 2583 that cuts some of the $6.4 billion from the Obama Administration and $51 billion of State and foreign operations) for the consideration of the full House floor on Wednesday and Thursday. The House has yet to schedule when it will consider the bill, but hopefully, such a bill that seeks such steep funding cuts is not passed due to the possible national security repercussions.

-Gabrielle Gurian