Chaired By: Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Witness: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
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SEN. KERRY: The closed hearing will come to order, and we have seven senators present. Madam Secretary, we're delighted, obviously, to welcome you here. But we are going to try to have a business meeting and get two of your folks out of here as fast as we can. So I know you won't object to that if we interrupt. But we do need 10 senators here to do it. So we'll wait until we get that requisite number.
Meanwhile let me just say how pleased we are to have you up here. This is the first time that you've testified before the Senate since your confirmation hearing. And it's obvious to everybody here that you've been enormously busy from that moment on. I read just the other day that at the end of last month you'd traveled 74,107 miles, logged over 157 hours in the air, visited some 22 countries. So we're really happy to have a very short trip for you to take, to come up here from Foggy Bottom and testify on the budget.
It's only been four months, but for every member of this committee and the Congress and I think for the country it's been heartening to see diplomacy restored to its rightful place at the forefront of American foreign policy. This administration with the president's and your leadership has quickly turned the rhetoric of engagement into some promising new realities on the ground. The dialogue that you have offered to Iran and that we hope will occur and Syria, the resetting of relations with Russia, reaching out to Latin America and China, reviving the Middle East peace process, recommitting to Afghanistan and Pakistan, really there isn't a corner of the globe that's been untouched by the administration's diplomatic initiatives. And there certainly isn't a vexing challenge that you haven't tackled head on.
As we all know if we're going to realize the promise of these opening days, there's a lot of work yet to do. In a globalized world, it's become trite but nevertheless it is important to remember how interconnected all of our problems are, and ultimately therefore our security. And that's why we do need a new level of commitment to diplomacy and development, and the budget you've come here to testify on today, we believe, I believe, helps to move us in that direction.
We obviously have to address weak and failed states as well as strong states. We need to reach new understandings with China and India and the developing world to avert catastrophic climate change and put low carbon technologies into the hands of billions of people. We need to find ways to bolster vulnerable allies in places like the West Bank, Pakistan and Afghanistan; and we need to find new ways to speak to disenfranchised populations and to address the conditions that empower extremists.
So it's clear that even as we confront an economic crisis here at home, we can't delay the task of strengthening our diplomatic and development capacity. We can't afford to come up short on the promises that have been made to allies and to vulnerable populations and to the world.
I know you are determined, and we want to help you seize this opportunity to make significant strides towards restoring America's leadership role. And we believe that in doing so, we will make the world safer, and we will make us safer.
The president's fiscal year 2010 request of $53.8 billion for international affairs recognizes these realities and begins to marshal the resources to address them. It starts the process of rebuilding our diplomatic and development operations and significantly increases the size of the Foreign Service, providing 800 additional officers to the State Department and 350 additional Foreign Service officers to USAID. It puts the United States on a path to double foreign assistance by 2015. It vastly increase our civilian assistance to Pakistan and sets us on a course towards redefining our relationship with the people of Pakistan, something that Senator Lugar and I and Vice President Biden have been particularly focused on.
Finally, the president's budget proposes important global initiatives in food security, climate change, global health and basic education. It doubles agricultural development funding to $1 billion, doubles environmental and climate change activities to nearly $600 million, and it sustains our commitment to fighting HIV-AIDS, funding global health programs, and increasing our investment in basic education.
Each of these priorities is essential in its own right. Together they represent a commitment to reinvest in our civilian programs and ensure that our diplomats and developmental professionals have the resources and expertise they need to meet 21st century challenges.
Our aid programs, as you well know, need to be enhanced and modernized for a new set of challenges. And when we talk about reforming foreign aid or rebuilding civilian capacity, what we're really talking about is having the right people on the ground with the right resources to manage our strategic relationships and to address threats before they fully materialize and to advance our most important ideals.
Congress welcomes the role that we share, and in supporting and initiating this reform process. We have not successfully passed a State Department authorization bill since 2002. And I look forward to working with you to pass an authorization bill that will reform and strengthen our civilian institutions.
We also have a long way to go before we have fully addressed the imbalance between our military and civilian capacities and restore to the State Department some of its traditional responsibilities. I know you spoke about that at some length at your confirmation hearing, and I know you are working with Secretary Gates to make that happen. Still, this budget in that context is a very important step in the right direction.
As we face multiple crises and major challenges we need to redouble our commitment to a robust international affairs budget that will build the capacity of our civilian institutions. I commend you and the administration for this strong and ambitious budget, and we look forward to working with you to get it through the Congress and to help you implement these important initiatives.
Now, let me see. We're one short. Senator Lugar.
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN): Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you in welcoming Secretary Clinton. We're pleased to have the opportunity to examine the State Department budget and to ask fundamental questions about the Obama administration's foreign policies.
Secretary Clinton is presenting today a foreign affairs budget that reflects an increase of roughly 9 percent over the previous year. That's an important figure, but it's not sufficient to illuminate whether the budget meets our national security needs. Although our defense, foreign affairs, homeland security, intelligence and energy budgets are carefully examined from the incremental perspective, where they were in the previous year, evaluating whether the money flowing to these areas represents the proper mix from the 21st century has not been a strength of the budget process to date.
In the past neither Congress nor the Executive branch has paid sufficient attention to whether we are building national security capabilities that can address the threats and challenges we are likely to encounter in the future. The failures of the budget process usually have left funding for diplomacy and for foreign assistance short of what is necessary. Even as we examine the State Department and foreign assistance budgets today, we should be cognizant that the Obama administration officials have been engaged in international talks on enormous budgetary commitments that could go well beyond the $53.9 billion we are considering today.
The administration chose not to include it's $108 billion request for the International Monetary Fund as part of the regular 2010 budget. Instead, at the last minute the administration asked that the money for the IMF be included in the supplemental appropriation bill before the Senate this week. Although I believe the IMF is essential to shoring up the international financial system, this process has truncated Congress's opportunity to evaluate the proposed funding. It has also encumbered the public transparency of the administration proposal which is critical to building broad support for the United States commitment to the IMF, not just this week but looking forward to months and years to come.
Climate change negotiations have the potential for an even bigger fiscal and economic impact. Although the administration is consulting with Congress, we still have a few details and only those about the structure of a potential climate change agreement or associated financial issues with that. There are broad expectations that an agreement would include the establishment of several funds to which the United States and other OECD countries would help developing nations adapt to climate change and develop clean technology. This could involve the expenditures of tens of billions of dollars in government revenue.
I mention these potential international commitments to underscore that we must see beyond the narrow confines of the State Department budget. The global financial crisis, the strains on global food and energy supplies, nonproliferation pressures, the threat of international pandemics, the potential impact of climate change, continuing instability in the Middle East, among other issues, will place enormous demands on United States leadership and resources.
We have to expect additional political, economic, or even national security shocks. We know from history that societies under severe economic stress often do not make good political choices. In the face of job losses, wealth evaporation, homelessness, hunger, better outcomes, the fabric of many nations will be tested. The crisis is likely to stimulate nationalism that could lead to demagogic policies or governments. Under such conditions, some nations might experience a retreat from democracy. This in turn increases the possibility of violent conflicts within and between nations.
But we should be clear that expenditures should fit into a strategy that seeks the maximum impact from funds and addresses our most critical national security deficits. Expenditures that prevent problems from spiraling into crises deserve the higher priority they are receiving. For example, as I mentioned several months ago at Secretary Clinton's confirmation hearing, food and energy in particular should receive far more diplomatic attention than they have in the past. Energy vulnerability constrains our foreign policy options around the world, limiting effectiveness in some cases, forcing our hand in others.
Progress will require personal engagement by the secretary of State. I am hopeful that the secretary will soon appoint a senior State Department/Energy coordinator who will have direct access to her in accordance with the legislation this committee passed into law during the last congress.
I appreciate the attention the secretary has focused thus far on global hunger. Eradicating hunger must be embraced as both its humanitarian and national security imperative. Unless nations work together to reverse negative trends in agricultural production, the combination of population growth, high energy prices, increasing water scarcity and climate change threaten to create chronic destabilizing food shortages. Without action, we may experience frequent food riots and perhaps warfare over food resources. We almost certainly will have to contend with mass migration and intensifying health issues stemming from malnutrition. Our diplomatic efforts to maintain peace will be far more difficult wherever food shortages contribute to extremism and conflict.
Madam Secretary, as always, it is a pleasure to have you with us today, and to have worked with you in the past weeks as the chairman has pointed out. We look forward to your insights on these and many other matters. We thank you much.
And I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you very much, Senator Lugar. We now have a quorum present. We have two important nominations to consider quickly as possible.
(business meeting not transcribed)
SEN. KERRY: Secretary Clinton, we are, as I said, happy to have you here, and we look forward to your comments. Thank you very much.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar, members of the committee. And I appreciate greatly your action on our nominees. Obviously that's a matter of great concern, and I am grateful for your attention.
When I last appeared before this committee at my confirmation hearing in January, I emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to the challenges that our nation faces: instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq; threats in the Middle East and Iran; transnational threats like terrorism, nuclear proliferation, energy, security, climate change; and urgent development needs from extreme poverty to pandemic disease, all of which have a direct impact on our own security and prosperity.
These are tough challenges, and it would be foolish to minimize the magnitude of the task before us. But we also have new opportunities. By using all the tools of American power, the talent of our people, well-reasoned policies, strategic partnerships, and the strength of our principles we can make great strides in solving or managing these problems. We have faced some for generations and now we can also figure out ways to address the new threats of the 21st century.
The president's 2010 budget is a blueprint for how we intend to put smart power into action. The FY 2010 budget request for the State Department and USAID is $48.6 billion. That's a 7 percent increase over Fiscal Year '09 funding. Other accounts that are not directly in the State Department and USAID jurisdiction but are part of our overall foreign policy are also deserving of attention.
We know that this request comes when some agencies are going to be experiencing cutbacks, and when the American people are facing a recession. But it is an indication of the critical role the State Department and USAID must play to help advance our nation's interests, safeguard our security, and make us a positive force for progress worldwide.
Our success depends upon a robust State Department and USAID working side by side with a strong military in furtherance of our three DsDiplomacy, Development, and Defensethat will enable us to exercise global leadership effectively.
This budget supports the State Department and USAID in three key ways: Allows us to invest in our people, implements sound policies, and strengthen our partnership.
Let me begin with our people. Many key posts across our embassy world are vacant for the simple reason, we don't have enough personnel. In Beijing 18 percent of embassy positions are open; in Mumbai, 20 percent; in Jeddah, 29 percent. And we face similar shortages here in Washington. We need good people, and we need enough of them.
That's why the 2010 budget includes $283 million to facilitate the hiring of over 740 new Foreign Service personnel, which is part of the president's promise of expanding the Foreign Service by 25 percent.
The staffing situation at USAID is even more severe. In 1990 USAID employed nearly 3500 direct-hire personnel to administer an annual assistance budget of $5 billion. Today the agency's staff has shrunk by roughly a third, but they are now tasked with overseeing $13.2 billion in assistance. To provide the oversight, our taxpayers deserve and to stay on target of delivering aid effectively and doubling foreign assistance by 2015, we need more people.
Our people also need the right skills to help meet the challenge of development, especially in conflict and post-conflict arenas, we're requesting $323 million for the Civilian Stabilization Initiative, and that includes an expansion of the Civilian Response Corps. With the right people and the right numbers, the State Department and USAID will be able to focus on our priorities: first, the urgent challenges in regions of concern; second, the transnational challenges; and third, the development assistance.
You know very well that our efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan center on the president's goals to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda. It requires a balanced approach, and that is what we are attempting to do by integrating civilian and military efforts. We're helping the Afghans, for example, to revitalize their country's agricultural sector. With respect to Pakistan, we're supporting the Pakistani military as they take on the extremists who threaten their country's stability. But we're also making long-term investments in Pakistan's people and the democratically elected government through targeted humanitarian and economic assistance. And I appreciate the leadership that Chairman Kerry and Senator Lugar are providing on that front.
We are also seeking the resources to deploy a new strategic communications strategy. We can win the war on the ground and literally lose it in the media, and that is what is happening in so many parts of the world today. As we move forward with the responsible deployment of our combat forces from Iraq, this budget provides the tools we need to help transition to a stable, sovereign, self-reliant Iraq. And we are working with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to advance the goal of a two-state solution.
Now there are many other hot spots around the world, but suffice it to say, we are attempting to address all of them. And in addition to these urgent challenges we face a new array of transnational threats. And these require us to develop new tools of diplomatic engagement. We cannot send a special envoy to negotiate with a pandemic or call a summit with carbon dioxide or sever relations with the global financial crisis. We have to engage in a different way.
And I appreciate Senator Lugar's commitment to working with us on energy security. And an announcement will be forthcoming soon on a coordinator who will have very significant authorities within the department in addition to our special envoy on Eurasian energy, which is already making a difference in terms of encouraging the Europeans and others to begin to work more on their own energy needs.
We're also working through the Major Economies Forum to prepare for the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, and we're working now as a full partner in the P5-plus-1 talks with respect to new approaches to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
And the president and I have launched a Six-year Global Health Initiative to combat the spread of disease. It's very important to recognize the leadership of this committee when it comes to nonproliferation, energy and climate change, and also to know that if we don't get these right, a lot of what we're doing in terms of dealing with the day-to-day headlines will not be sufficient.
It's important that development plays a critical role in our foreign policy, and that's going to require a new approach. We are taking a stem-to-stern look at USAID and our other foreign aid programs. How are we going to deliver aid more effectively? How are we going to get more of the dollars, the hard-pressed taxpayer dollar that is appropriated for development aid, to actually end up where we expect it to be? And we know that smart development assistance advances our values and our interests, and we look forward to working with you as we attempt to try to recast and revitalize our development efforts.
We also need new partnerships within our own government. Secretary Gates and I testified before the Appropriations Committee a few weeks ago to talk about how we are working with the Defense Department and how in the process of that effort the State Department will be taking back authorities and resources to do the work that we should be leading on.
Now all of this is going to require new partnerships, not only strengthening our multilateral but also our bilateral ties. And our budget requests will fulfill the United Nations peacekeeping support that we have committed to.
But in addition to our government-to-government work, we are focused on people-to-people diplomacy. We're working with women's groups and civil society and human rights activists around the world. Last week I announced the creation of a virtual student Foreign Service that will bring together college students in the United States and our embassies abroad on digital and citizen diplomacy initiatives.
All of this must be premised on sound principles and on sound management, so we're working to make the department and USAID more efficient, more transparent, and more effective.
Mr. Chairman, we're pursuing these policies not only because it is the right thing to do, but because we believe it advances America's security as well as democracy and opportunity around the world. We actually are the greatest beneficiaries when the world is flourishing, and if not we bear the cost of the consequences.
As you said, I have traveled many miles since testifying before this committee and I can guarantee you that there is an enormous eagerness to partner with us. I look forward to working with this committee on translating our plans and our words into the kind of action that will ensure a better, more peaceful, and prosperous future for our children. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you very much, Secretary. Let me begin by asking you relative to Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit here the last couple days, over the course of the weekend I was in the Middle East and -- and -- and in the course of many conversations with varied parties that are central to any kind of peace process there was just a unanimity of expression of their willingness to takes steps to -- to, number one, obviously, take steps with respect to Israel; number two, even to take steps with respect to Palestinians in the West Bank to try to improve things -- but to move forward.
There -- there's a refocus on Iran, there's less intensity to the relationship with Israel, and -- and a very strong sense of the possibility of trying to move forward because everybody understands what the basic parameters of the settlement are. Given that, there was also a very powerful expression of the need to keep the window open by not inadvertently or in some cases perhaps purposefully closing it by the extension of the settlements.
And so I would ask you (sort of ?) if you could share with the committee -- we shared that thought with the prime minister in the course of our meeting with him and he expressed a sense that he was going to be working with you all to come to some kind of an agreement or arrangement with respect to them. Can you tell the committee (sort of ?) where you see that process in the aftermath of his visit here and what the process will be going forward now?
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Well, as you know, when the president held his (press avail ?) with Prime Minister Netanyahu he repeated in public what he had said in private, which is that the settlements must stop. We emphasized both in the president's meeting and in my dinner with the prime minister later that day two points. Number one, we are committed to a two-state solution and we are going to engage intensively, as we already have begun, through our special envoy, George Mitchell, to hammer out the details as to what that two- state solution would look like.
As part of that, I -- it is clear that the settlement activity has to cease both because on the -- on the ground it changes the reality, which interferes with the efforts to try to achieve a two- state solution, and as you have rightly said, it is a matter of great concern and symbolic importance in the region, not only to the Palestinians but to others.
The second point we made is that we shared the deep concern that Israel has expressed about the potential of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, and that is why we are pursuing, again, very actively along with others an approach that we wish to explore as to persuading and demonstrating to the Iranians that the acquisition of nuclear weapons will actually make them less secure, not more.
And in the course of that we emphasized how important it is that at this moment in history there is a meeting of the minds among many of the countries in the region and certainly their leaders over the threat posed by Iran and the importance of working in tandem with United States to deal with that threat, but that in order for us to move forward it cannot be either/or. We have to be working on Iran and we have to be working to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians into a negotiation, and that's what we intend to pursue.
SEN. KERRY: Well, Madame Secretary, I congratulate you on the administration's firm and clear statement with respect to that. Obviously, all of us make that statement and have that position within the framework of our very strong, long-term, and real commitment to the state of Israel, and there is nothing in that position that I believe and most of us believe does anything except act in Israel's best interest. And I think that it's important that you and the president have been willing to take that position and obviously we're very hopeful it will be fleshed out further in the days ahead.
Would you perhaps -- in the interest of sort of the duality of actions that are necessary perhaps share with the committee the things the administration is contemplating that -- that the Arab world might undertake in an effort to give everybody a better sense of confidence about the mutuality of this process?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think that the Arab peace initiative speaks to the kinds of actions that we would be hoping to see occur -- a move toward normalization of relations, a recognition of Israel's right to exist, economic exchanges and opportunities between Israel and other countries in the region. I think that the general approach which we are taking is built on the same conversations that you have had as well.
There is an openness to proceeding, but it is a -- an openness that requires on all sides some evidence of good faith and putting actions down on the table that people can evaluate and assess. I -- I know that Senator Mitchell has had very in-depth conversations with all of the major leaders but one or two in the region, and he has a long list of the kinds of actions that are being sought by all sides. I don't want to get into much more than that because I think that has to come with the intense negotiations that are going to be starting next week and we hope will lead to the kind of confidence-building steps that you're referring to.
SEN. KERRY: Really appreciate that, and we appreciate the fact that you -- that you can't go into all of the details now. The committee has spent a fair amount of time and you have spent an enormous amount of time and -- and Special Envoy Holbrooke on the issue of Pakistan and Afghanistan. If I could ask you specifically with respect to Pakistan -- we have legislation that the Senate will be considering. It's a healthy amount of money.
It's meant to be in order to try to change the relationship with the people of Pakistan and to have a different kind of engagement. You have not yet had an opportunity to sort of speak to that before the committee as a whole and I thought it might be helpful for members here who do have some questions about that funding if you would share your perceptions of why that is important and how you see that not being business as usual and perhaps leveraging a better outcome than people have thus far been able to perceive.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Mr. Chairman, our commitment to the strategy that we have devised after an intensive effort begins with our recognition of the vital security interests that the United States has in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. We believe that the threat posed to our national security emanating from the extremists led by, coordinated by, encouraged and funded by, to a great extent, al Qaeda, is one that we ignore at our peril. And I believe if you go back and look at 30, 40 years of American policy toward Pakistan, it is a quite uneven picture.
It's kind of a (approach avoidance ?) -- you know, one step forward, two steps back. One of the greatest state dinners ever given was for one of the Pakistani military dictators at Mount Vernon under President Kennedy. Our relationship has ebbed and flowed. It's gone up and down. But I think it is fair to say that many of the problems we are dealing with today in that region are a direct result of American policy and funding during the 1980s and our decision after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall to basically walk away, and our inconsistent approaches toward Pakistan and Afghanistan in the years following, and then our big bet on another military dictator -- with Musharraf in the last years.
And to be just very candid, because many of you have lived through this, you've tried to help to channel it and figure out which direction to go, we are making a commitment to the democratically elected government of Pakistan to intensifying the personal as well as the governmental relations between elected officials and administration officials, our military leadership. And I believe that it is a commitment that is, number one, worth it because of what's at stake, but, number two, beginning to bear some fruit, as hard as this is.
If you look at the political support today, the statements that are being made by the prime minister and others in support of the military's action against the Taliban, we've never seen anything quite like this before. It doesn't guarantee the outcome, but it certainly is, to some extent, reassuring that the government both in power and opposition are now united in their recognition of the threat posed by extremism and they are willing to make a very significant effort. And we are supporting them in that.
This -- if this were easy, Mr. Chairman, I wouldn't be sitting here and none of you would be as worried and concerned as you are. But I think that we are pursuing the path that holds the greatest promise for the best possible outcome. And I think your recognition and Senator Lugar's recognition that we have to demonstrate American commitment to the people of Pakistan, investments that will visually improve their understanding of what the United States stands for and actually improve their lives is an important security priority for the United States.
SEN. KERRY: Well, I thank you. And I'd just say that the meetings that we had here were really quite unique. I agree that the words in the meetings themselves don't do everything we have to do, but they certainly -- when you consider the alternatives available to us -- have provided a better set of options than we've had on the table thus far.
SEN. LUGAR: Secretary Clinton, I appreciate very much you and the president nominating swiftly Rose Gottemoeller, who is now, as I understand, perhaps working with Russians as we speak on the START treaty and its continuation after December 5. I appreciate this because the intrusive inspections which occur under the START treaty are absolutely essential for us to know what is occurring with Russian weapons of mass destruction. In the same way, they want knowledge of what we have destroyed -- and our credibility with the rest of the world community, which would have no insight without this type of inspection. And I appreciate the movement there.
On this, I was dismayed to read in the press yesterday an article depreciating Rose Gottemoeller's presence, indicating -- and this was a spokesman from the previous administration who I'm certain does not speak for President Bush, who had, I think, very different views -- but suggesting that all of this arms control business was nonsense, that, as a matter of fact, the Moscow Treaty was sufficient for almost anything to occur. Namely, we went about destroying weapons; the Russians run about destroying it; and we all get there to finish line in some fashion. Intrusive inspection's hardly required, and certainly a troublesome thing to have start again.
I mention that because I suspect that many are not aware of the work of this committee for each of the eight years during the last administration and in the Armed Services Committee and in the Energy Committee each year to beat back troubling amendments, all sorts of interferences with the ability of our country to destroy weapons of mass destruction. And I cite -- pardon me -- specifically the celebration that will occur in Russia next year when the Shchuchye facility, which is going to destroy perhaps a majority of all the chemical weapons in Russia, will be initiated. Now, anyone who believes that Shchuchye would ever have occurred without the United States and Russia working together, international contributions -- a very sizable contribution from this country -- that by 2012 the Russians would have agreed to destroy their chemical weapons, it seems to me, does not understand history.
And I cite this because when President Obama went with me in 2005, we initiated another round of the so-called Nunn-Lugar legislation, which he was pleased to do, which I was pleased to have him along. I mention this -- we're going to offer another bill this year -- Senate bill 873 -- and it implements the two important recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences arguing that we should not limit the countries where the Nunn-Lugar policies can go. In the past, this was a big deal. When we found weapons above Tirana, Albania, I had to carry around a paper, get a personal signature from President Bush and Secretary Powell so we could, in fact, get those weapons out of there and destroy them. Thank goodness we did. But we need to think in terms of proliferation in a broader sense. And so we tried to destroy any barriers to countries we could work with or contributions from countries to assist us, so the American taxpayer does not bear the whole load of nonproliferation indefinitely.
So I would like your consideration of Senate bill S -- or rather 873. I think it's consistent with the things that you have testified about and the president has. But I take advantage of this hearing to mention that.
I thank you also for your announcement that we will have an energy emissary. Boyden Gray in the last stages of the administration did, I think, a great job going over to Europe in particular. I was with him in August and we picked up a trail after I left Georgia, coming through Azerbaijan and Turkey, to try to think through the so- called Nabucco pipeline project. Most journalists said Nabucco is dead in the water. Largely, the Russians pushing Gazprom through Nord Stream and various other functions had gained European acceptance of the fact that they were going to be beholden to whatever the Russian supply situation might be.
But now Nabucco is back. Nabucco is back, in part, because of developments with Gazprom, but likewise because Turkey, with whom we visited on that occasion, has come to some new conclusions about what is important for that country. Likewise, Romania, Hungary -- a minister from Nabucco in Hungary over here this week -- even in Brussels, where there was limited support for Nabucco, now the EU is aboard.
I mention this because this kind of diplomacy -- and this came really through the president's nominee and through whatever efforts I could give to assist -- I think was helpful. I think we need to do a whole lot more. The energy problems are enormous, and your own administration and the State Department, I think, will be enhanced by a first-class partner that have -- in that direction. So I thank you for mentioning you're going to proceed.
Let me mention that you've also commended and indicated through the budget support for the various food projects in the so-called Lugar-Casey bill; you have commended it. And we appreciate that. I'm hopeful that you will make comments as we proceed, really, with the -- not only the debate on that in both houses, but this administration, because there clearly is an attempt, as you know, to coordinate many ways in which our country has been trying to give emergency food aid, but even more how we can help production. There are big disputes there. In the EU, the whole idea of genetically modified seed is still almost a theological debate. It is a debate that debilitates Africa, whatever may be the self-sufficiency of European countries. And yet this is not going to be resolved without there being considerable advocacy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and both of them personally in their African situation have done a great job in marking the way -- Bob Karlberg (ph) and his remarkable book out of Harvard.
But these are areas in which several branches of Congress are going to be involved, as they are in the administration. That's -- I'm hopeful for your help through this budget, through your own personal leadership in coordinating this, in getting some focus so that we do not come to one emergency after another, wondering, where should we buy the food, here or abroad? And do American ships have to be involved with conveying every pound of it? Is the production situation so hobbled by the genetically modified argument that we just say, well, do the best you can with so-called natural processes, often a single woman on a half acre in Africa doing the best she can? That is not going to be good enough, whatever be the sentimental ties that some Europeans have to this type of thing, but which we do not share, and which we argue with the EU about all the time.
So I take, once again, an advantage of this to talk about the food, the energy, the arms control areas which are well known to you, but can have, I think, some support in this committee in a strong bipartisan way, which has always been the case, because these are issues that we share as Americans.
Let me ask, do you have any comment about any of the above?
SEC. CLINTON: I do. And thank you very much, Senator, for your leadership and your persistence on each of these issues.
We support S. 873. We agree with you that our job now should be to do as much as we possibly can to reduce the threat that you and Senator Nunn first saw and began working on and that the threat is not just in the former Soviet Union and that we need tools to be able to expand our threat reduction efforts.
With respect to the energy issue, I couldn't agree more with you about Nabucco. Ever since Dick Morningstar has become our special envoy for Eurasian energy -- I think he started early April -- he's probably been to Europe three or four times. He's been to the energy conference that was held in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been meeting along with me and on his own with leaders from the Caucasus and elsewhere. And we are seeing a real opportunity here. And we're going to build on the work that has been done to try to engage key partners from Turkey and Azerbaijan to all of our European friends to really look more carefully at what they need to do on behalf of their own energy security.
The coordinator has the rest of the world to worry about, and there's a lot to worry about. But there are also opportunities. When I was in Iraq a few weeks ago, we had a good discussion about ways that we might be able to assist the Iraqis. Obviously, we've got issues in our own hemisphere that we need to be paying attention to -- Africa, other parts of Asia. So we will be focusing on that.
And I see it as you do. I see this as a critical security challenge.
And finally, with respect to food, I see Senator Casey here, and he was -- he was gracious to come to the breakfast we hosted where we talked about the program that we are rolling out. The president asked the State Department to coordinate our government. And it's really the first time that we've had this concerted effort, because there are different pots of money and different programs in different places.
But we think both in terms of making our emergency aid more efficient and getting, you know, more dollars into the actual aid as opposed to the 60 or 70 percent that now goes into administration and transportation, which is a shockingly high figure, but we also need to be looking at sustainable agriculture. And we're going to be working with several key countries and trying to introduce, where they are willing, hybrid seed, fertilizer practices, new irrigation approaches, because the soil is depleted. And the small parcels, as you rightly point out, where women bear most of the physical burden of trying to grow whatever can be grown, are just not sufficient.
So this is an exciting effort we're undertaking. We look forward to working with you and Senator Casey and others who share our passion and commitment.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much.
SEN. KERRY: Senator Dodd.
SENATOR CHRISTOPHER DODD (D-CT): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And welcome once again to the committee. And you're doing a remarkable job. Just listening to you respond to Senator Lugar's observations -- very, very impressive that you're just knowledgeable and thoughtful about these issues, and given it a lot of attention over the last number of weeks. So we're very fortunate to have you where you are.
Let me pick up on Senator Kerry, the chairman's opportunity he gave you to talk about Pakistan, to talk about the aid coming up. And clearly this is a priority of the administration, a priority of all of us and should be, given the military efforts against the Taliban, the refugees just coming out of Swat Valley, the -- as you point out, the -- at least an improved response.
Senator Kerry held a very worthwhile, I thought, luncheon with members of Congress and President Karzai and Prime Minister -- (name inaudible) -- as well. So it was a very good opportunity for us to see them come together. The language, you point out, is very different than it would have been only a short time ago.
There have been reports, obviously, in the last two days about the aid package and the possibility this aid package might be used by Pakistan to increase its stockpile of nuclear weapons or increase the military forces along the Indian border. Obviously, that raises a lot of concerns. I know it does with you and everyone as well. I wonder if you might share with us your observations about that, what the administration's position is.
And secondly, in terms of aid to the Pakistani people, which is something all of us would like to see, how should that be -- give us -- flesh that out a bit, if you would, as to what you think might be the best way to frame that in a way that deals with education, poverty, sort of rebuilding that relationship with the Pakistani people, which is something, I think, critically important, as well as, obviously, the support for their efforts against al Qaeda.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, thank you so much, Senator.
First, with respect to the Pakistani nuclear stockpile, we are very clear, very firm and quite convinced that none of our aid will in any way affect the efforts by Pakistan regarding their nuclear stockpile. I mean, over the medium term, we hope to see a reduction of tension between Pakistan and India. The nuclear deterrent is obviously there as a backstop with respect to a much larger conventional force. But the hope is that there can be a resumption of discussions between the two countries that will perhaps give a little more confidence to each. But we are absolutely committed not to seeing any diversion of our money or any use of it that would be other than what it's intended for.
And I think that's related to your second question. We feel very strongly that we need to be working with civil society in Pakistan. It was quite remarkable what the lawyers did. And there are other signs of a growing sense of civic activism on the part of Pakistani citizens. We're also encouraging the Pakistani diaspora to create funding mechanisms comparable to what was done with the -- you know, the Irish Americans with the Ireland Fund or with Jewish Americans and the support of Israel through Israel bonds. We've begun to organize a group of Pakistani Americans to create those kinds of funding mechanisms that go right to specific projects.
We're going to be very detailed about the requests that we make of the Pakistani NGOs and government and our own funding vehicles, because our goal is to, as you alluded, to demonstrate that it makes a difference in the lives of the people of Pakistan.
I'll give you one small example of what we're trying to do on our aid to refugees. I asked that as part of our $110 million initial refugee aid package that we set aside money to buy wheat produced in Pakistan. Actually, President Zardari deserves credit for the bumper wheat crop, because he took some very tough economic decisions right at the beginning of his term in office. And the Pakistanis are now self-sufficient and actually in a position to have a very good year in wheat. Well, let's buy it from them. Let's put some of the Pakistanis to work making clothes and other necessary items that their fellow citizens who are fleeing the Taliban need.
We want to encourage the economic development and the development of civil society in Pakistan. So we're trying some different things. We're also looking to the Pakistani government to be much more transparent and much more accountable. And we have, you know, that kind of in train as well.
And all of these are efforts to be as sure as we can that we see results. We want to know how many schools are built to replace the madrassas. We want to know how many clinics are built and how much difference it's making. We want to see the accountability measurements, and we're working and we'll have such metrics available shortly to share with you.
So, you know, we're going at this in as specific a way as possible because we know it's the only way that we can come back to you and come to the American people and say, here's what we have tried to do and the results we've gotten.
SEN. DODD: Yeah, just on the last point, there is always a resistance, I think to some degree, on overburdening these efforts with minute conditionality --
SEC. CLINTON: Right.
SEN. DODD: -- because it would be counterproductive.
SEC. CLINTON: Right.
SEN. DODD: At least that's been my experience. But on the stockpile issue, would you recommend or suggest anything that we ought to be considering, from a congressional standpoint, to include as part of an aid package that would help in that regard?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, I think that's worth considering. And let me come back to you, because obviously that's our intention, that's our policy, that's what we expect. And let me explore whether there might be a way we can partner up on that.
SEN. DODD: Great. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Senator Dodd. Senator Corker?
SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Madame Secretary. Welcome back.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you.
SEN. CORKER: Thank you for the job you're doing. And one that's actually on the topic for just a moment -- I know we're talking about foreign aid, and certainly I support robust foreign aid. When you were being confirmed we talked a little bit about prioritizing these programs.
I would guess if you're in the State Department or USAID, you have to be a little bit of a budget juggler to figure out which fund to go after in order to provide services. That obviously is not healthy. But then, in addition to that, it kinds of waters down our effort strategically.
You mentioned at that time -- I know you have a lot going on -- that six months out you might provide that for us, and I just wanted to remind you -- I know you're busy but I do hope that that will be forthcoming to help us.
I think that here a lot of times we hear of good ideas and we pass out, you know, an authorization, and a lot of times we just water down already effective efforts. So if you would help us with that, that would be most appreciated.
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, I really appreciate your emphasis on that because it's exactly what we should be doing, for ourselves as well as for you.
We know we've got to prioritize, and part of what we've done with special envoys and the teams that we've built around them is to say that these are some of the higher priorities. And then we're working on some additional areas that we think have significant international and regional consequence. And six months I guess is July or August. We'll try to get something to you about that.
SEN. CORKER: Okay. Now back off topic. We did have an interesting lunch that many of us attended with the president of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we have different views of what was said at that lunch, but I was really stunned by the president of Afghanistan's inability to articulate, in a way that's comprehendable, what our mission in this country is. And I think it probably stunned most people who were there. So, you know, certainly we deal with the people that are there to be dealt with. I understand that that's the way it is.
We have an amendment on the floor right now as part of the supplemental that I hope you will support. It's one that does not tie the hands of the administration in any way but does ask for metrics and benchmarks, so that we actually know whether we're achieving our objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
My guess is there's not a soul in the body that could actually articulate, in a full way, what our mission is today in Afghanistan. And I know that -- that's not a criticism. I understand that there are new efforts that are underway and people are trying to coordinate things in a much different way than have happened in the past, but it would also require some quarterly reporting back to let us know if we're meeting those objectives, and obviously it gives the departments the flexibility to alter those if that's necessary.
Now, I don't know if you want to give comment now, but I would hope it would be adopted. I can't imagine a senator here, with the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform are going through, and all the folks on the civilian side would not want, as a matter of funding, to know what our real objectives are there on the ground.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, I haven't had a chance to look at the amendment -- we will look at it -- but your general point is one that we agree with, that we need measurements of performance for ourselves, for our partners in government, in the military, in law enforcement, in every area of the society that we are interacting with.
And we have put together our suggested metrics. They're going to be integrated with the intelligence approaches, with the DOD approaches and others, and the National Security Council is coordinating that. But we do intend to have such measurements and to hold ourselves and others accountable to them.
And it is -- you know, it is somewhat challenging because, for example, in many of the conversations that I've had with the leaders of these countries -- President Karzai, for example -- there are very specific results that we point to.
When the Taliban fell in Afghanistan, there were only about 4,000 students in higher education, and they were all men. Now there are more than 40,000 and half of them are women. There were no access to health services hardly anywhere in the country. We've made tremendous progress on that.
A very successful program, the National Stability program, that we helped to fund but which is run through the World Bank, is now in more than 20,000 villages, and they are learning democracy by making decisions.
So there are actually some very good milestones that we have helped the people and the government of Afghanistan achieve, but we're going to put all of that into our process and come up with the specifics going forward that we're going to be looking to, to judge ourselves and others.
SEN. CORKER: That would be very helpful. And, again, I think it's not only helpful to the department and hopefully to those of us who are appropriating money, to help cause this to come to an end and be successful, but I think it actually might be helpful to the leaders that we're working with, and I know to the men and women in uniform that are on the ground, so thank you very much.
We had a meeting the other day with the prime minister of Israel. It's been alluded to here. And before he came in I was a little -- his non-agreement to a two-state solution thus far was a little bit of a put-off. Actually, in listening to him I'd have to say that I felt like he gave some very sophisticated answers. Smart person. Been around the political arena quite a while and has the ability to certainly navigate verbally in that way.
One of the things, though, that did strike me about the meeting, and I have hopes that, by the way, we're going to be very successful there, and I think he may end up being a very good partner in that. But one of the things that he was asking first is that before there is any kind of agreement regarding the Palestinian areas, that there be an agreement with the U.S. And he emphasized that two or three times in this meeting.
You talked earlier about what it is that we stressed to them, okay? I'd love for any indication of what he might have been stressing to us when he's alluding to the fact that he wants to have an agreement with us first.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, I can't speak for the prime minister, but I think that it's likely he was referring both to the grave concern that he feels about Iran and the threat that a nuclear- weaponized Iran would pose to Israel. And he wanted to be kept fully informed, which of course we told him he would be, in the efforts we're undertaking with Iran.
I would also imagine that he wanted to be reassured and have our commitment to Israel's security reinforced, which of course we feel strongly about and did. And then, finally, with respect to any future agreement with the Palestinians and with their Arab neighbors, there may be undertakings and agreements that the United States would be asked to participate in, which are not yet formed or in any way decided, but there might be additional security guarantees, for example, that Israel would seek.
So I would imagine those are the broad areas that he is referring to.
SEN. CORKER: Thank you. And then my final question -- I know my time will be up soon -- the whole energy issue, that I'm so glad Senator Lugar and you discussed earlier, and I know that we now have an envoy that's focused on Eurasia -- it's pretty fascinating to think about a pretty civilized part of the world, Europe -- been around for a long time, has a European Union that is put together -- and it seems that we, in many ways, are far more concerned about their energy security than they are.
And, you know, they put in place a cap and trade system not long ago, which created a tremendous amount of fuel switching. They were dependent upon coal. They switched to natural gas. As a result, it makes them even more vulnerable, okay, to Russia. You know, Nabuka (sp) was off the table. You all now, thankfully, have got it back on the table. We were in Azerbaijan not long ago, quizzical about the fact that that was not front and center to Europe.
I wonder if you might explain to us, from your perspective, the dynamics of why a civilized society mostly, that exists in the European Union, would be so much lesser concerned about their energy security than we are.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, I don't pretend to have any psychological insights. I can only say that what we have seen in the last four months is an increasing concern. It may very well have been less prominent on their list of priorities before, but certainly now it is back front and center.
And there is a great willingness now on the part of a number of the Europeans, as well as the EU, to discuss these issues. For example, there have been recent efforts by the EU to try to get Ukraine to look at the development of their natural gas supplies. They have quite a healthy reserve, which they have never adequately developed.
So I think that sovereignty, somewhat being complacent -- you know, we've fallen into that trap ourselves, obviously. We didn't take our own energy security and our own climate implications as seriously as we needed to.
I think that it hasn't been on the front of people's political agenda the way it's needed to be, but I think it's now much more prominent than it was, and we're going to take advantage of that and we're going to work with our friend and our allies.
And the reason, of course, that -- I mean, we think energy security is a classical security issue, particularly for the Europeans vis-a-vis Russia, and some of the actions we saw in the last year. We think it's a part of the answer to climate change, being smarter about where you get your energy, how more efficient you can be and the like.
But we also think it is a real test of governance capacity for a lot of these countries to recognize that they just can't be complacent. And so we're working on all of those fronts simultaneously.
SEN. CORKER: Thank you very much.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Senator Corker. Senator Feingold?
SENATOR RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. And, Secretary Clinton, it's good to see you again. I know you are very busy and I appreciate your willingness to come before the Congress today on the budget issues.
And, more generally, I just want to thank you again for your willingness to consult with your former colleagues on a regular basis. It's a reminder of how the various branches of government are supposed to work together, and frankly it's a refreshing change.
Madame Secretary, the administration intends to continue providing foreign military financing, or FMF funds, to the Pakistani Security Forces in fiscal year '10 budget. And yesterday you noted that, quote, "Our policy towards Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent," unquote, which is why it's so important that as we consider a continuation or increase in assistance we fully address ongoing concerns.
You're obviously well aware of these: reports of ties between elements of Pakistan's security services and the Taliban. So is State preparing contingency plans in the event that these elements continue to support the Taliban, or if Pakistani leadership fails to hold them accountable for providing such support?
SEC. CLINTON: The short answer is yes, Senator. We are -- we are encouraged by the very candid, open relationships we have developed, not just with the elected leadership in Pakistan, but indeed with the intelligence service, with the military, and with other elements of the government as well.
And we've been very forthright and very demanding of the kind of response we expect with respect to the money that we provide. We are going to be vigilant and keep our eyes open about what we see happening on the ground. But at the moment we think that we've got a good understanding to proceed on.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Do we disburse these funds for the Pakistani military, whether FMF or coalition support funds or, in the future, counterinsurgency funds directly to the military or to the civilian government?
SEC. CLINTON: You know historically it has been a mixed bag because the civilian government was not really a civilian government, and so it was kind of one and the same.
We are trying to get to a regular order as much as possible. There are exceptions to that because there are certain programs and certain urgencies in providing funds that might go directly for procurement or directly into immediate battlefield support. But we are trying to regularize this to go through the civilian government. That is our goal.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Madame Secretary, Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2006 not only provides funding for training and equipping foreign military forces, but also provides the secretary of Defense with primary authority for programs carried out under those auspices.
And traditionally, however, support for foreign militaries has fallen under the FMF or IMET accounts at the State Department. In your efforts to rebuild and restore capacity at the State Department, why wouldn't you seek to have these funds transferred to State?
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, we are in the process of actually working to begin that transfer, both of authority and funding. In the supplemental, as you know, we requested money for Pakistan that will be under the supervision of the State Department but go through the Defense Department.
For the 2010 budget and beyond, we are working at the highest levels of our two departments to begin to bring back the authorities and the resources that go with them, to the State Department. And that is our goal.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Would you object to the Congress appropriating these funds directly to the State Department with the exact same authority provided the Pentagon under current law?
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, what we would like to do, because there is a question of capacity at this moment in our ability to actually deliver -- we're building it up and I think we're building it up in an appropriate and robust way -- I'd like to get back to you on that because we have worked through, with the Defense Department, the kind of transition that we're working on.
I don't want to short-circuit it if it's going to cause problems in the actual delivery and accountability that you deserve.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Thank you. I was interested to see that the president's fiscal year '10 request for foreign military financing includes a substantial increase for Africa. In particular, the FMF request for Ethiopia is some $2.2 million more than last year's request. And I certainly understand the important strategic role that Ethiopia plays in the volatile Horn of Africa.
I am worried and have raised concerns about ongoing reports of misconduct and human rights abuses by the Ethiopian military. In addition, I'm concerned that in the run-up to the 2010 Ethiopian elections, additional funds for their military could send the wrong message when we're seeing an increasingly diminished political space, tightening restrictions on civil society, and ongoing reports of human rights violations in the conflict-affected areas.
Can you explain why you are proposing this influx of funds and share your thoughts on how, along with the legally required Leahy vetting, we can insure our assistance is not funding militaries that undertake abusive behavior?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, I think that you know that I have asked our new assistant secretary, Ambassador Johnny Carson, to immediately review what we're doing in the Horn of Africa, to determine our best way forward.
I take very seriously all of the questions you've raised about additional funding for Ethiopia. I think we have to balance it, as you alluded, between the security needs plus our human rights, and the -- we don't want to interfere with the internal affairs in Ethiopia by omission or commission in terms of what messages we send.
I believe that we will have this review done shortly. I've asked Ambassador Carson to really focus in on this. And we'll take everything you said into account and try to come up with the best approach we can.
SEN. FEINGOLD: But, Madame Secretary, are there circumstances where U.S. military support to Ethiopia would be discontinued or rescinded?
SEC. CLINTON: Yes.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Thank you for that direct answer. Let me switch to something else.
At your confirmation hearing back in January I asked about State Department policy regarding the partners of LGBT Foreign Service officers, and you indicated that you would be conducting a review of the existing policy.
The president's budget clearly demonstrates a commitment to building a more robust and effective diplomatic and development corps, but I remain concerned that our ability to recruit and retain qualified individuals may be hindered by the existing policy.
Could you please tell me what the status of the review is and when any decision on possible changes to the policy might be made?
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, we have conducted a very thorough review and analysis and our decision memo is in the process right now. We should have a decision and an announcement shortly.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Very good. This may relate to my follow up, which is that in a mark-up today on the Foreign Relations Authorization bill in the House, Representative Berman removed language that would extended domestic partner benefits to same-sex partners of eligible Foreign Service officers, and it also addresses international LGBT issues through improved reporting in the annual human rights reports, engagements on global decriminalization efforts and LGBT training for Foreign Service officers.
You said that he agreed to this removal only because he had received indications that you were already planning on implementing these recommendations. Could you comment on that?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, we will be able to comment on it very shortly. We're in the review process and I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I believe that we should have an announcement very soon.
SEN. FEINGOLD: I look forward to hearing the results of your review.
Madame Secretary, despite of bungled elections in Zimbabwe, the two major political parties were able to come to an initial agreement that obviously, while still far from perfect is an important step forward. As you recall, in 2001 I worked with then-Senator Frist to pass the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.
And the bill did impose restrictions on assistance to the government of Zimbabwe until there was a peaceful democratic change, equitable economic growth, and restoration of the rule of law. At this time, I don't believe, Madame Secretary, that those benchmarks have yet been met, and therefore I question where it's appropriate to consider lifting the punitive portions of this bill.
However, I do think we need to consider how we can provide strategic assistance to the progressive elements of the new unity government and support reforms while maintaining appropriate restrictions to ensure our assistance does not fall -- (audio break) --
SEN. FEINGOLD: (In progress after audio break) -- tragedy because of the unfortunate governance of the country. The new unity government is making some progress -- (inaudible). We are reaching out to South Africa -- (inaudible) -- government, which we think could play a major role if it so chooses. As you know, other aid groups -- (inaudible) -- have ended their boycott of Zimbabwe and are beginning to provide aid again.
But we are committed to assisting the people of Zimbabwe, insofar as possible, while we work with other partners like South Africa to try to ensure that many of these changes are going to be lasting and are not left to the whims of President Mugabe.
So I don't have a good answer for you right now. I think that this is an area that we've just begun to raise with the South Africans. They obviously have the most influence in Zimbabwe and with the leadership there. And they've urged us to come back in with our aid, and we've responded that we want some greater transparency and awareness.
I mean, I have to say I was just heartsick to read an article a few weeks ago about the new minister of education who was on a survey of the schools that had no teachers, no books, no facilities of any sort. And he was getting an urgent phone call from the president's office, which he finally was able to take, and he was told he should come immediately to pick up his new Mercedes.
And you know, I just was just dumbstruck. So we're not going to participate yet, Senator. And I don't want the people of Zimbabwe to suffer any more than they have. They don't deserve what has happened to them. And that country, which had such promise, now has been so badly misused. But we also are not going to play into that kind of behavior, either.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary.
SEN. KERRY: Senator Boxer.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): Madame Secretary, thank you so much for your dedication and for coming before us today, and I will get right to a subject that you and I share a concern about.
Last week Senator Feingold and I held a joint subcommittee hearing, with the full support of our chairman, to examine the use of violence against women, particularly rape, as a tool of war in conflict zones. Ambassador Verveer was on our first panel. She was very knowledgeable and very helpful.
We looked specifically at the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. I could tell you it was one of the most disturbing and troubling hearings that I've ever sat through in my life, and I've been to many. At the hearing, my colleagues and I heard heart- wrenching testimony from witnesses who had seen first-hand these brutal acts. One of them -- I won't name her name again -- she was there. She's a journalist. She flew in from the Congo and told the story of a mother of five children, who was kidnapped by rebels, taken into the forest with her children and kept there for several days. As each day passed, the rebels killed one of her children every day. And I will spare you the rest of the story because it even gets worse than that, but I just can't even bring myself to say it.
This journalist also went on to tell the story of a -- of women who were raped and set on fire. And then, after a string of these stories, this journalist said, "Why? Why such atrocities? Why do they fight their war on women's bodies?"
Well, we heard a number of recommendations, because my focus, and Senator Feingold's, was, what can we do now? So here's what I want to ask you about. I'm -- I do not expect you to answer in any way in depth on any of these suggestions. I -- what I want to do is that I'm working on a letter with Senator Feingold and anybody else who wants to join where we're going to send to you these recommendations that we heard that we think are good.
So I'm going to lay out what a couple of them -- just a couple -- to give you a sense of it, and then one commitment I hope to get from you today is that you will absolutely get back to us as soon as possible after conferring with Ambassador Verveer on which of these you think makes sense so we can start to move forward.
We cannot wait till the war ends in Darfur. We cannot wait till the war ends in the eastern Congo. We have to act now to stop this torture, if I could use a word.
So for -- in respect to the Republic of Congo, we -- we're looking at proposing something like this, a plan to deploy sufficient numbers of surgeons to perform the surgery that's necessary, this obstetric surgery, fistula surgery, for victims of brutal rapes. Right now we're told there's just a couple of doctors in the whole country that are trained to do this.
Also, mental-health professionals to help these people get back some semblance of a normal life; a plan to train an all-female Congolese police force; a plan to create a strong legal system; an intensified diplomatic effort with Rwanda and Uganda to bring an end to the instability and the violence.
And in respect to Sudan, we're looking at working with the NGOs to get them back in there, because this is a horror story that they're out of there now.
And we're also -- with respect to the whole situation in Africa, we would love to see a major address by someone in our government -- if it's not the president, then the secretary of State -- in conjunction with the United Nations report that's coming out on resolution 1820, which demands an immediate and complete cessation of all parties to armed conflict and all acts of sexual violence against civilians. So that report is coming.
We think America needs to step forward. Senator Shaheen and I are very dedicated to lending our voices, and I know there are many others, both male and female. So if you could just give me a general response to what we're trying to accomplish here and a specific commitment to get back to us when you see the letter.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, you certainly have that commitment, Senator, and thank you for your willingness and your passion to raise these issues time and time again, because they deserve them.
We are as distraught as you about the specific acts of violence against women in conflicts like the Democratic Republic of Congo, and more generally, the way that women have been used increasingly in war. And I think your specific suggestions are really worth considering. There may be some ways to work with some of the NGOs to get more surgeons in. We have provided some of that. There are a dedicated group that go in periodically to do exactly what you're referring to. We learned some lessons out of Bosnia. Whether they're applicable or not, we need to explore, but I think the mental health professional piece of this is very important.
The police force, the training, giving women more control over their own security, is more challenging, but I think an excellent idea worth pursuing. We have our special envoy to the Sudan, former General Scott Gration, working tirelessly to get NGOs back into Darfur, and we are dedicated to doing that to try to help the people there.
And I agree completely that we need to elevate this issue, and I will take this onboard to do, with respect to Resolution 1820 and the report.
SEN. BOXER: Well, I'm really happy, because I think we can make an enormous difference. And there's lots of other ideas I don't have the time to go into, but I think you'll find a lot of these well thought out. They come from very good people with smart ideas. So we hope you'll look at that.
I want to also just say, in Darfur we found out that one of the big issues is, when women have to leave the security of their camps, that's when they're attacked. So very simple things, like getting solar ovens, so they don't have to go get the fuel and go out on the road, simple things that -- you know, you're right, NGOs could help us with this. This is -- this is really a matter of will. It's not a matter of money.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, you know, and --
SEN. BOXER: We have -- we have the wherewithal to do this. We can do this.
SEC. CLINTON: And we can be creative about it. I mean, the -- the single activity that women have to engage in, under the norms of their societies, collecting firewood --
SEN. BOXER: Exactly.
SEC. CLINTON: -- which takes them often hours away from their camps, we need to try to resolve with other means of cooking stoves.
SEN. BOXER: Right.
SEC. CLINTON: And there's a lot that we would like to be able to do, and we have a whole list, if we can get back into Darfur to actually act on that.
SEN. BOXER: Well, you know, my view is that when you or the president -- (chuckles) -- this is my hope -- go to the United Nations, it's going to be hard for people to turn away such a simple point. So, anyway, I hope that I'm right on that.
I wanted to also -- I wanted to thank you very much for your support behind the scenes with me in working to get more funding into the supplemental for Afghan women and girls. And as it turned out, we got what we wanted. We got $100 million for the women and girls, and we have very specific language in the supplemental that will help -- will go to the women-led NGOs, because that's a big problem. You know, in Afghanistan we have so many problems there, still.
The -- you know Dr. Sima Samar, who's the chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. She tells us stories of -- one of a 75-year-old woman. It's hard to say these things. She was nailed to a tree for allegedly collaborating with the Afghan government and the United States.
Female government and police officials are targeted for assassination. You know women and girls, victims of brutal acid and poison attacks, just for going to school. And in '08, there were 292 attacks on schools, resulting in 92 deaths.
That's why my own view is, I don't want to walk away from the people of Afghanistan now, until we give it a real try. And I was happy to know, and you'll be happy to know, that -- (inaudible) -- just wrote a letter to me, supporting the supplemental, because the supplemental is so strong on making this attempt to help women.
My last question I have, for you, has to do with Aung San Suu Kyi, who was put on trial on Monday. And I know you've been very outspoken about it. And from what I understand, the Chinese and the Indians have quite a significant trade relationship with Burma.
Do you think there's an opportunity for the U.S., to encourage China and India to use their economic leverage, with Burma, to push for her release? And do you see any other opportunities for pressuring the Burmese regime on this matter?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, thanks first of all for the great work that you did and led, on specifying money for Afghan women and girls. It's a high priority for us. And I'm very grateful to you.
With respect to Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi, we have been working very hard, since I became secretary of State, to look at all of our options regarding Burma. How can we influence their behavior more than we obviously have to date? Clearly China, India and a few other countries are major players. And we're going to try.
I don't think we can make any kind of assurance, because we don't know whether we will have any success, in convincing them otherwise. But it is outrageous that they are trying her and that they continue to hold her, because of her political popularity. And they intend to hold elections in 2010 which from the beginning will be illegitimate because of the way they have treated her.
So it's our hope that this baseless trial will end with a quick release of her and then a return to some political involvement eventually by her and her party.
SEN. BOXER: So will you raise the issue with India and China though, because --
SEC. CLINTON: We -- that is part of our review.
SEN. BOXER: Very good.
I thank you so much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Senator Boxer.
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): Madame Secretary, thank you for your service to our country. I certainly admire it.
I wanted to ask you about Pakistan.
And I've heard some of your answers already, but I'm not assuaged. And here's my concern.
You know, as someone who has consistently supported our efforts there, with my vote, I look at the report that Senator Harkin and I asked for at the GAO, and $12 billion later we have very little to show. And so the question is not a commitment to Pakistan; the question is, are we going to have a strategy and metrics and benchmarks by which we can judge that continuing use, billions of dollars of the federal taxpayer money, is going to achieve our goal.
And I look at the president's budget. It's got a billion dollars in economic support. I look at the supplemental that is before us tomorrow. It's got $906 million. I learned today -- I was told originally that there was no coalition support funds in this supplemental. Now I understand there's about $750 million in the supplemental going to Pakistan in coalition support funds. That was one of the slush funds, really, that existed in the past.
And I look at what Pakistan has done over the last -- you know, the last two weeks may have been impressive, but I'm looking at it in the more total context. You know, you have a set of circumstances where you have our CIA director there, supposedly in a private, you know, secret meeting, and all of a sudden there's a videotape put out by the Pakistanis of their conversation. What was that for if not to undermine the very essence of that conversation? You see one step forward and two steps back. You see the ISI, which is reported to be reticent.
And I heard your answer about none of our funds will allow the Pakistanis to purchase nuclear weapons, but the reality is, money's fungible. So we give them money to do one set of things; their money is freed up to go ahead and buy nuclear arms.
So, what is it that you can say to me that is going to assuage me that we are doing something different; that we have benchmarks here and accountability that will be different; that we have a coherent, comprehensive strategy that there are benchmarks against that will be different? And I hear that we are reticent about benchmarks because they're constraining, but by the same token, if you look at that GAO report, they basically said the lack of indicators to judge has has cost us $12 billion and no success.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, I certainly understand your questions, because they're ones that arise naturally out of the events and the consequences of the last eight years. And I'm well aware of the report that has recently come out about the coalition support fund and the questions that it raises.
We are starting our efforts with a commitment to metrics of measurement and benchmarks. We will very soon have the integrated set of these that will come out of the process that we've all been engaged in.
But I think it is quite a difference from what we've seen over the last eight years. We will be measuring ourselves and measuring others, and there are ways to measure.
You know, do we see the kind of sustained, concerted efforts by Pakistani security forces against the Taliban? As we share information with them, do we see that information being used effectively in the joint efforts against the extremists? Are we able to track the money that we give for economic development or for education and see the results? We are going to hold ourselves to this.
I mean, I was as frustrated as anybody when I sat where you sit on the Armed Services Committee and we couldn't get any kind of measurement for either Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan out of the prior administration. And you remember how resistant they were in sharing information. We intend to be forthcoming, and we intend to share with you exactly how we're going to measure ourselves.
SEN. MENENDEZ: When do you think those metrics will be available?
SEC. CLINTON: Very soon. I mean, it -- we -- you know, as I say, we finished the strategic review. The president announced it. The Department of Defense has made its recommendation. The State Department has made its. Intelligence agencies have. And the National Security Council is integrating all of that, and I expect there to be a product that, you know, will be forthcoming soon.
SEN. MENENDEZ: Soon -- a month, a week?
SEC. CLINTON: I don't know, because that's --
SEN. MENENDEZ: Let me ask you this.
SEC. CLINTON: -- in the White House's hands.
SEN. MENENDEZ: Pakistan: There's widespread concern that it has -- its corruption is such that the country has neither the capacity to absorb or the monitoring mechanisms to oversee the kind of aid that we are anticipating. Is that not a concern for us?
SEC. CLINTON: It is. And it's why we are working very hard to identify vehicles for our aid to go through that we can hold accountable, NGOs, both -- some locally, Pakistani NGOs, international NGOs, others that we think are good, trustworthy mechanisms.
We're also working closely with the government to help them develop the capacity -- because you're right, it doesn't exist. I mean, part of what has happened in Pakistan is -- because democracy was never really given the chance to take root the way it needed to be -- you're right, the institutions are not strong. They're weak. And we understand that we have to work with the Pakistani government to help build those and provide support.
Others are helping us. This is not just an American project. There are other countries that are equally invested. And we're working hard to have their assistance. At the Tokyo donors' conference for Pakistan, over $5 billion was pledged. So there are a lot of countries that are willing to put their money on the table in return for more accountability and transparency. And that's what we're trying to provide.
SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, I look forward to the metrics and the accountability, because there's no question that Pakistan is important -- important to us, important to the region and the world. The question is, you can throw all the money in the world at it, but if you don't have the right measurements and you don't have the right effectiveness, that money doesn't necessarily produce your national goals.
So let me just turn to one other topic, in what time I have left, and that is the OAS, the Organization of American States. Article 1, Article 3, Article 7 of the OAS, the Democratic Charter of the OAS, the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the OAS, talk about what are the standards by which a country who is going to participate in the OAS must meet. It talks about the right to democracy. It talks to -- about representative democracy. It talks about human rights, talks about fundamental freedoms. It talks about the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the periodic free and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of people. It talks about a whole host of what we would consider inalienable rights here at home and for many people across the world.
So my question is, if that is not our standard but the OAS's standard, do we believe that that standard needs to be preserved, or are we willing to undermine that standard?
And if the answer is we believe that standard needs to be preserved, then would we oppose the entrance of a country who in every measurement by every independent nongovernmental human rights organization would say those standards cannot be held?
SEC. CLINTON: And the answer is yes. We believe that those standards, as embodied in the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, are ones that were adopted unanimously by the member countries of the OAS. They are certainly reflective of our principles and our values. And any effort to admit Cuba into the OAS is really in Cuba's hands. They have to be willing to take the concrete steps necessary to meet those principles. We've been very clear about that -- move toward democracy, release political prisoners, respect fundamental freedoms. You know, that is what it means to be a member of the OAS.
And when the OAS charter was unanimously adopted, there was an agreement that it governs the OAS. And if Cuba is not willing to abide by its terms, then I cannot foresee how Cuba can be a part of the OAS --
SEN. MENENDEZ: And finally --
SEC. CLINTON: -- and I certainly would not be in -- you know, supporting in any way such an effort to admit it.
SEN. MENENDEZ: If the OAS were to, however, nonetheless admit it, wouldn't we be sending a message beyond Cuba to the entire hemisphere that those principles of democracy, human rights, universal suffrage are something that we'll just, you know, look the other way on, and it won't be any more of the core issues, at a time in which the hemisphere is increasingly moving in directions that I think move us opposite to those fundamental principles?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, we're hoping that the members of the OAS will abide by their own charter.
SEN. MENENDEZ: Thank you.
SEN. KERRY: Senator Cardin?
SEN. BENJAMIN L. CARDIN (D-MD): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Clinton, it's a pleasure to have you before the committee. We're very proud of the work that you have done on behalf of our country. We see new opportunities in so many parts of the world, and you have been making that happen. So we first welcome you and thank you for making a difference for our objectives internationally.
I want to concentrate on Russia for one moment, if I might. We've had some discussions about the START treaties. It seems to me that in many of our foreign-policy objectives Russia is a key player.
And we clearly have our differences with Russia. Their incursion into Georgia is an issue of continued concern. Their violation of human-rights standards, particularly as it relates to the media and journalists and the rule of law, are all issues that we obviously are concerned about.
But it seems to many of us that Russia may have a common objective with the United States as it relates to Iran; that they recognize that Iran represents a risk to their security and to their -- some of their former republics of the Soviet Union. And they have put forward -- Russia has put forward a new security document for discussion within Europe that is getting serious consideration.
My question to you is that there's going to be an informal meeting of the members of the OSCE in Greece later next month. And I know it's an informal discussion; it's an accommodation, I believe, to the Russians to be able to talk about these new security arrangements. Many of us think that the OSCE was meant to be that type of an organization that includes both the United States and Russia to deal with security issues in Europe, and that we could strengthen -- if Russia would join us -- strengthening those security provisions with OSCE.
I guess my question to you is, can you at least perhaps talk a little bit about how you see this thing unfolding and whether the United States will be participating in the discussions in Greece?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, we think that you are quite accurate in pointing out the opportunities that the OSCE forum provides to discuss these issues. As you and I have talked before, this is the Helsinki forum. This is the security and human-rights forum that has played such an important role.
I will be attending the OSCE meeting, because I believe it is of that significance. And it is part of our continuing effort to revitalize existing multilateral organizations that we think have a role to play in the future, and it is also one in which we and Russia are both members.
The European security discussion is one that has many aspects to it, but I think the opportunity to discuss it openly and hear different perspectives -- because obviously a representative from Estonia has a very different view than someone from Russia or someone from Greece or Portugal -- and we need to be able to talk very openly about some of the continuing concerns that we have.
So I think this is exactly the right forum, and I look forward to attending.
SEN. CARDIN: Well, I'm very pleased that you will be doing that. I think it's very important.
Now, as I've told you, there have been meetings between Russian parliamentarians and U.S. parliamentarians through OSCE to try to see whether we can -- can't find some more common-ground areas for security within Europe, because I think we all now recognize the greatest threats are coming from without Europe, from Iran and the Middle East, and represent issues in which we should be able to make progress with Russia with a common agenda. If we can do that, we have certainly a much more effective policy against Iran.
Let me bring up a second subject that I've talked to you about before, and that's the refugees. I know there was an announcement made this week in regards to the refugee funding. And I just want to put three parts to it. There's the issue concerning accommodating Iraqi refugees in the United States, but there's also the issues of refugees in the surrounding countries, and particularly Jordan and Syria, and then there's displaced Iraqis within Iraq, that, it seems to many of us, has not been getting the type of attention from the Iraqi government or the international community that we think requires U.S. leadership.
I'm pleased to see a focus towards trying to bring -- settle more Iraqis in the United States that helped us and are in peril because of their loyalty to the United States. Could you perhaps give -- shed some light as to how you see this as a priority, dealing with those who have been displaced in Iraq as a result of the war?
SEC. CLINTON: I think it's a very important priority. I raised it in my recent visit to Iraq with all of the officials with whom I met, and obviously there are political and economic implications of the refugees from outside and the displaced persons within Iraq.
But this is one of the highest priorities for Ambassador Hill. We are looking for ways to assist with the resettlement of Iraqis who wish to come back, and we've also made clear to the Iraqi government that a lot of the segregation that took place during the course of the last several years, where people left their neighborhoods out of fear, they should be working to try to reverse, insofar as possible.
So we are making that a priority, and it is part of our ongoing discussions with the Iraqi government as we transition from where we are now to the redeployment of our troops out of Iraq into a more diplomatic relationship.
SEN. CARDIN: I'm pleased to hear that. I'll just give you an observation. Several of us were in Syria and Damascus, and we visited the refugee centers and met with the Iraqi refugees that are in Syria.
And Syria has been fairly positive in dealing with the refugee issue.
They've been keeping their borders open, to allow for the ability for Iraqis to return, back and forth, to Syria. And, but the conditions are terrible. And it just calls out for attention. The circumstances aren't going to get better. And it needs to be dealt with, if we're going to have any conclusion to the Iraq stability.
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, if I could add just that we do have $300 million in the 2010 budget, for Iraqi refugees, to deal with a number of these related issues.
SEN. CARDIN: And I noticed that amount being in there. And it's a major improvement. And I thank you for that.
I hope the international community will join us. And I think it requires leadership, on the part of the United States, to move the international community to put more attention on Iraq refugees. And I would just encourage you to continue those efforts.
Lastly let me comment about the traditional issue that Congress has put conditions on, the funding to Serbia, because of its cooperation with the international tribunal, as it relates to war crimes.
Mladic still has not been turned over to the Hague. And I just really want to mention this issue, because this should have been concluded well before now. We allow for the conditions to be waived.
I would just urge this administration to try to get a conclusion to these war crimes and get these individuals, who were indicted, over to the Hague, so that we can complete this chapter in the history of the former Yugoslavia.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, on that point, you know, Vice President Biden is in Serbia. We do think that the current government in Serbia has made significant efforts, with respect to war crimes. And we believe that the waiver is appropriate. But it doesn't in any way interfere with our continuing emphasis on the commitment we have, to rounding up and finally bringing to justice those who should be in the Hague. And we're going to proceed on both fronts.
SEN. CARDIN: I appreciate it. I just would observe that their cooperation has been inconsistent over the years. There have been times that they have been very helpful. There have been other times that they just have not allowed this access that it's important for the people in the Hague to have. And they could have been more helpful in apprehending those that have been indicted and helping us deal with these issues.
But I appreciate the progress that you're making. I'm glad the vice president is in that region. I think that will have a very positive effect. And we look forward to working with you.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you.
SEN. CARDIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you.
SENATOR BOB CASEY (D-PA): Mr. Chairman, thank you. And Secretary Clinton, thank you for your testimony today. And we want to especially thank you for the great leadership you've provided, at a time of real danger and uncertainty around the world.
And you've had a great start.
And I was remarking to you recently how I couldn't imagine how you could do so much traveling in such a short amount of time. I'm -- we're impressed by that. We need it. And I think it's had a -- in a relatively short time period, it's had a transformative effect on our image around the world and our ability to engage effectively on so many difficult problems. So we're grateful for that.
Our committee is grateful that you allowed us to come for breakfast not too long ago. And we -- it was a healthy breakfast. We had a good start that day, and we're grateful for that.
I was thankful as well for your support for what Senator Lugar and I and so many others have tried to do on food security and the strategy that undergirds that legislation. We look forward to working with you on that issue as well.
I wanted to raise a sensitive topic, but one that I think we can't spend enough time on. And I know you've spent a great deal of time on this. It's not just the concern we have about what's happening in Pakistan, but in particular the singular threat, the concern we have about their nuclear capability and the concern that we have that extremist elements, who seem to be making progress towards Islamabad, even though they've been repelled recently, could get their hands on fissile material or in other ways threaten not just Pakistan but the world because of the potential insecurity of that -- of that nuclear program.
I guess I wanted to ask you -- and I know some of this is limited in terms of what you can say and it might -- it is particularly sensitive, but I just wanted to get a sense. When the president was asked recently about his confidence, the confidence that he has in the weapons and the control over the weapons and the technology and fissile material, he expressed confidence, as have others, about the security of that -- of that nuclear capability. From where does that confidence arise? What gives you and the president and the administration that that nuclear capability is under control?
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, it's our assessment based on the information available to us -- much of which is classified, as I'm sure you understand -- and the work that has been done over a number of years, following and evaluating the security that the Pakistanis themselves employ. And I think that the president's confidence, based on what we know, is one that I share.
SEN. CASEY: Thank you. And I wanted to raise one other related issue, and that's the question with regard to funding for the Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission and their nuclear security efforts.
I'm told that in a recent report those efforts have been cut by more than a third. I don't know if you know about that or can speak to that, that report that was issued recently.
SEC. CLINTON: I don't know what you're referring to, Senator. I'm sorry. I don't know about that report.
SEN. CASEY: We can follow it up.
SEC. CLINTON: Okay.
SEN. CASEY: It'll be in writing.
I wanted to also -- with regard to the nuclear question, as it relates to Iran, as you know, the Congress has weighed in on this over a number of years. I've -- I and others have cosponsored legislation recently that deals with the reprocessing issue of gasoline -- so that if a country is providing support for Iran, it gives the president some authority to use that kind of leverage or sanction -- as well as legislation that I've introduced this week with regard to divestment of pension funds connected to companies doing business with Iran.
And I know that sometimes what any administration wants to do at a certain period of time may not be chronologically consistent with what the Congress wants to do. But I just want to get your sense of where you see this question evolving in terms of -- we know from what the president said to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we have to engage diplomatically, but there does have to be an endgame or a boundary on that.
Can you speak to that question of the availability or the use of sanctions that Congress would put forth in the context of the efforts by the administration to keep the Iranians from having that nuclear capability?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, Senator, part of our objective in our engagement with Iran is to persuade other countries that if our efforts do not bear fruit, that they need to join with us in multilateral sanctions that will have the greatest impact on the Iranians. And I think that until we have tested within the time period set forth by the president and of where we think this engagement is going, I'm not sure that adding new unilateral sanctions is really that helpful.
At some point it might very well be, because we already have a lot of sanctions on the books, but the most effective ones are the ones that we've been able to persuade a lot of our partners to pursue as well.
So it's a little bit of a chicken and an egg issue. How we proceed with sanctions depends upon how the engagement works, and the fact that we do have some sanctions and that they express the will of the international community is a powerful tool in our toolbox. So I think we have to, you know, calibrate this as we go.
SEN. CASEY: Now, finally, I wanted to address what -- part of the -- part of the reason you -- you're before this committee today, and that's your budget and the operations of the department, which I know we probably skip over sometimes when we ask questions about a whole range of topics.
I was especially heartened to hear and to read in the testimony -- I'm looking at page 4 -- with regard to the reference to $283 million to facilitate the hiring of over 740 new Foreign Service personnel. I don't think there's a better investment that we could think of in this part of the federal budget because of the dire need that we have for more Foreign Service officers. And anyone who's traveled to places around the world where we have Foreign Service personnel on the ground -- you've been to many, many countries -- know how important they are, know how courageous they are and how vital they are to our -- not just to our diplomacy, but in the end, to our national security.
So I was heartened to see that, and I hope you'll continue to come to us for help with budgetary priorities as we go forward.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, that's music to my ears. Thank you very much, Senator.
SEC. CASEY: Thanks very much.
SEN. KERRY: Senator Shaheen.
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madame Secretary, I join my colleagues in applauding your leadership at the State Department and the work that you've been doing since taking over there. Thank you very much, and thank you for spending the time with us this afternoon to answer our questions.
I want to go back to Senator Boxer's comments. I certainly appreciate your willingness to talk about the rights of women around the world, and the president's willingness to that as well. I attended that hearing with Senator Boxer and found it every bit as troubling as she described. And I was troubled not just by the substance of the testimony from the women from Africa, but also by the suggestion that the Western world had turned our backs on what was happening in the Congo and in Darfur, and I would hope that we would take every opportunity available to us to raise the issue of what is happening there and loudly demand that the world not allow this to continue. This would not be acceptable, I think, in any other part of the world, and we should not allow it to go on in Africa.
So I just -- I know you feel that way too, and I just want to reiterate that for the future.
Let me go back to Afghanistan now. I've been encouraged by the strategy of the administration with respect to a new focus on our policy in Afghanistan, by the focus on helping to rebuild civil society there and economic efforts on behalf of the people of Afghanistan. But I recognize that this will be a particular challenge, given the increased military effort there. And so I would ask, are you comfortable that there is support in the budget request and in what might be in the supplemental that the kind of civilian support that we're looking for in Afghanistan will be there?
SEC. CLINTON: Senator, I'm very encouraged by the commitment to civilian support in Afghanistan, and certainly with the leadership of the chairman and Senator Lugar within the civilian support in Pakistan. So I think that the resources will be there. The challenge will be, as you know so well, to make sure that the resources are deployed in the way we intend them to be and achieve the results that we're looking for.
But I think that this administration and the president's commitment to having an integrated civilian-military strategy and having shoes on the ground as well as boots on the ground in order to work on important capacity-building and specific projects like agriculture and women's programs is exactly what we need to do be doing, and now we just have to deliver. We have to actually produce the kind of outcomes that we think are going to make a difference.
SEN. SHAHEEN: And one of the other things we've seen is some reports issued by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, which raises serious questions about the oversight that has been provided in Afghanistan for the money that's been spent there. Are there efforts that you will be undertaking or supporting on the part of Defense to ensure that there is greater oversight for how the money's being spent?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, with respect to the Defense Department spending, obviously that is within their jurisdiction. But I know that Secretary Gates is committed to trying to have greater accountability.
With respect to our responsibilities, we have reorganized our embassy. We have a very able ambassador who has an understanding of the military, having just retired as a three-star general, but a real feel for what it means to have smart power.
We have a very experienced deputy ambassador, in effect, who is part of a team that we're putting together, and we've recruited another ambassador to be in charge of all of our development aid. We are working with the United Nations and have an American as the deputy to the U.N. administrator there.
So we're putting in place the very best people that we can attract. Ambassador Holbrooke's team is a multi-agency team. It has representatives from USDA, as well as the CIA and everybody that possibly has a contribution to make. So we're going at this with everything we possibly can, so that, at least on the civilian side, we're able to track the money and show where it goes.
We stopped all AID contracts going into Afghanistan. We just said no, until they are scrubbed. Until we know what they're supposed to produce, we're not signing off on them. So we're trying to take steps that will better position us to be able to come before you and say, okay, here's what we've done; here's what worked and what didn't work -- to be very honest about it. And we're organizing ourselves to produce that.
SEN. SHAHEEN: Thank you. I want to switch topics at this point, because one of the things that we haven't talked about that I think is very important to our diplomatic efforts around the world is what's happening with climate change and the policy that we determine here in this country around climate change.
And as -- the chairman has worked very hard to raise this issue in this committee. And at our last committee hearing, with Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, he said something that I think is very telling. When talking about the opportunity before us, he said, quote, "We're going to spend the next few years probably trying to push China, and five years from now we're going to be chasing them, because the Chinese are moving, and they're going to move very rapidly."
So do you agree with this assessment? And could you give us a sense of our opportunity, and what happens if we stand by and don't seize the opportunity around taking a leadership role on climate change?
SEC. CLINTON: Well, I think that Todd is absolutely on the mark. In my very first meetings with the Chinese, I raised the importance of the climate-change issue, encouraged them to become partners with us, recognized that they were at a different starting point, so there might be different modalities that they would pursue. And that has been a constant issue in our bilateral relationship.
And I think the Chinese are taking this very seriously. We see a lot of commitment to new technologies, deployment of at least cleaner energy, and understanding that there are economic opportunities here for the Chinese. We are about to embark, we hope, in the same vein, with the Indians -- you know, talking to them as well.
But you're really on -- an important difference here is that we have to lead. And we have to lead for our own sake as well as for the world's. And the work that has to go on right here in the Congress as well as on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue to set the tone, and to put into place the system that we're going to be utilizing, is going to be enormously important.
If we don't step up and produce a robust, effective approach to climate change in addition to all of the pieces that the administration is now adopting, as we saw yesterday, we're not going to have the credibility we need to really push this at Copenhagen and beyond. Because remember, Copenhagen is not the end. It's -- (chuckles) -- maybe the end of the beginning of the work that's going to be required.
So I agree with you very much, Senator. And I hope that, you know, this committee will be one of the leaders in getting the changes we need domestically.
SEN. SHAHEEN: Well, thank you very much, both for your efforts in this area and the president's.
And also, again I want to applaud the chair, Chairman Kerry, for all of the work that he's done in this area. Thank you.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Senator Shaheen. I appreciate that.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for hosting this hearing.
And thank you, Madame Secretary, for coming to meet with us. It's been such an honor and a privilege to get to work with you, certainly in the capacity as now senator for your previous seat.
And I want to thank you for the breakfast briefing that you hosted for us, for the whole committee. I think that was extraordinarily generous on your part, and it was a real pleasure to meet your team. And thank you for the initial briefing on some of the issues that you've been working on.
And I would like to spend some time following up on some conversation that we started at the breakfast, particularly about Pakistan and Afghanistan. And on Pakistan, I have read the recent reports about the millions of people that have fled their homes due to the violence that the Taliban is forcing upon them. And you very quickly responded with $100 million of aid, particularly to make sure these peoples who have been displaced can receive the kind of immediate attention that they need.
I have been talking to folks who've been on the ground in Pakistan, and some say that it might be as much as $300 million of cost to address the urgencies needed there. And I just wanted to get your impressions about what's happening, what we could be doing, what we should be doing, and what do you see in the next months to come.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you so much, Senator. And I appreciate your continuing focus on these very practical issues.
When I made our announcement yesterday, I pointed out that this was not the end of the aid that we would be providing. The Pakistani government is doing an assessment about what they think they will need. They're going to be asking other donors to assist them as well. But it was important for us to get out in front of this and to make clear to the Pakistani people that we were going to stand with them as they stood against the Taliban.
So the $110 million is both 100 million (dollars) of payments and 10 million (dollars) of in-kind. We are focusing, obviously, on the necessities like, you know, food and shelter. But we're also trying to be creative in two respects. One, we want to spend money inside Pakistan. Rather than just buying outside and importing in, we want people in Lahore or Karachi to feel as connected to this fight against the Taliban as the people in the Swat Valley are.
So we're going to be purchasing locally, and I think that's very significant.
Secondly, we are pioneering a cell phone program so that we can communicate information to the displaced persons on their cell phones, give them the opportunity to reach out for additional information, but also, you know, give them updates and tell them where they can go for certain kinds of aid.
And thirdly, we're asking the American people if they wish to participate. And we have a text-messaging opportunity. You can, you know, text message to Swat, S-W-A-T, 2022, and contribute at least $5. And we did that at the State Department yesterday, because we want to enlist not just Pakistani-Americans but all Americans who are in support of the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people's courageous stand against the Taliban.
So we're moving on many fronts at once, Senator.
SEN. GILLIBRAND: And some hearings that I've participated in last year, when I was in the Armed Services Committee on the House side, was focused on what kind of investments we can make in Pakistan that can make a difference, because, you know, we've given over $10 billion over the last several years, and we -- you know, when I went to visit Pakistan, the general said there's been no accountability on how the money's been spent, ever. We've never had that benefit.
And when I was touring around in Islamabad, you know, the driver of my taxi said, you know, "There's this beautiful white building. That's the university built by Japan." And you know, I said, "Where's the university built by America?" And we don't have those kinds of investments that are standing there to show the people of Pakistan that we are there to be helpful and to be allies.
What's your opinion and your hope for the kinds of investments we can work together with Congress and with the administration -- investments, perhaps, in education or health care or job training -- so that we are creating a long-term beneficial relationship and trying to prevent the next generation of terrorists from being born out of Pakistan?
SEC. CLINTON: I think that's an excellent question, because you're right; other countries are still giving aid in a very public infrastructure-driven way. And they can point to the hydropower dam, or they can point to the university or the hospital. And we over the years really moved away from that, in part for good reasons, because there were problems with some of the projects we invested in. But I think then it's harder for people on the ground to know what are the Americans doing for us. You know, we're investing in rule of law programs or democracy-promotion programs or, you know, programs that have significance, but they're not tangible. You can't touch or feel them.
So we are looking at building schools and building health clinics and making investments in addition to the other work that we do that we can point to as demonstrating the American people's investment.
And I welcome your thoughts and ideas about it, because I think it is a big part of getting our story out and letting people know what we stand for.
And certainly you know, education, we think, is a key to the future in both countries. And it's one of the problems we've had, because there haven't been adequate education facilities for most of the children. So I'd like to see us do more that we can actually point to.
SEN. GILLIBRAND: I want to commend your recommendation and the president's appointment of Ambassador Holbrooke to the region. I think it's very important that we're looking at Afghanistan and Pakistan together. That's one of the main recommendations that came out of all the work last year.
And you know, I've spoken to Ambassador Holbrooke particularly about Afghanistan. And I wanted to get your thoughts on poppy crop eradication and crop replacement, because some of the best crops that we could grow in Afghanistan are fruit trees. And they take six to seven years, so it takes a very long time.
And I wanted your thoughts on how we best do that, to create the opportunity for job growth, in Afghanistan, so that we can more effectively undermine the Taliban and al Qaeda that's recruiting there.
And second, I would like you just to touch upon, we are using PRTs now, the provincial reconstruction teams. But some of the testimony that we heard last year was all about creating a new force. And I think we're going to do this civilian response readiness corps. And we've got about 250 people trained, with 1,000 standing by.
But what we talked about and many people envisioned was having a joint force that's both Department of Defense and State Department- led, funded by both entities, that can be this ready force that is not -- doesn't have the combat missions that the Department of Defense has but has the kind of training so that the folks who sign up for this are prepared to work in dangerous places, with the kinds of missions that are reconstruction-and-stability-related.
And I don't know if the civilian response readiness corps is going to be that, because it seems to be situated in the State Department. And perhaps I don't know if this corps is going to be prepared to work in dangerous places.
But I want your thoughts on that and how we can be helpful to create the kind of force that we need that is prepared to do reconstruction and stability operations but in a dangerous climate, something that a typical State Department employee perhaps would not want to sign up for.
SEC. CLINTON: Well, thank you.
First, with respect to the crops in Afghanistan, we are very committed to an agricultural program. We have already begun to design it, in conjunction with the Afghanistan government. And we will be deploying people into Afghanistan, to work on everything from irrigation to fertilizing to different kinds of hybrid seeds.
But you're right that, you know, for many years, Afghanistan was considered the garden of Central Asia because of the orchards. And there are so many crops that if we can get the soil ready to produce again, because it's been so eroded over the last 25-30 years, this could be an enormous benefit for the people of Afghanistan.
You know, most -- 70 percent of Afghans are in rural areas. That's where they are going to live. That's where they're looking for their livelihood. And we think that there are better ways of going after the poppy crop than what we've been doing up until now.
But we can't do it in isolation. It has to be done in conjunction with the agricultural approach. And with respect to, you know, the PRTs and the work that they have to do, and the role of the civilian initiative, especially the reconstruction and stabilization force, we are totally committed to that. It is a State Department program. It would be deployed through the State Department, but in conjunction, of course, with the Defense Department.
And we're working very hard to provide the funding, much of which we will get in this 2010 budget, to really take it to the next level. It's been established, but it's just really taking baby steps, and we want to have a ready-to-deploy auxiliary unit, as well as a full-time force. A comparable analogy might be, you know, full-time military service and Reserve. But we want to have both, so we can deploy people immediately and we can call up people who have agreed to serve.
SEN. GILLIBRAND: Do -- have we given you enough funding for that? We have 2 -- 323 million (dollars) for the Civilian Response Readiness Corps, and I just don't know if the goal of 250 and a thousand ready and that amount of money is what you want. Are you looking for something bigger?
SEC. CLINTON: No. I think that that's what we're looking for now, because we have to build own capacity to be able to use that.
SEN. GILLIBRAND: Okay. Thank you, Madame Secretary, again for your leadership.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Senator. Thank you.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Senator.
Senator Lugar has one quick wrap-up question.
SEN. LUGAR: Secretary Clinton, stimulated by Senator Gillibrand's comment that she saw a university of another country and was entertaining the question, "Why is there not an American university," there is currently a candidate for the American university, namely Forman College in Lahore, Pakistan. I hesitated and desisted from putting this into the Pakistan -- the Kerry-Lugar bill, for fear of being accused of an earmark for Pakistan --
SEC. CLINTON: (Laughs.)
SEN. LUGAR: -- but I'll take advantage of this opportunity to simply say I'll write a letter to you about this college. It's received over the years very strong American support, and it's remarkable because it is multi-religious and a diverse college, which really has much going for it, I think. And having seen its presidents, officials several years -- and USAID has worked with them, is well acquainted and has been helpful. But this might be a candidate.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Senator Lugar. And I hope I dare to interpret the lack of Republican questions as absolute affirmation of this budget.
SEN. LUGAR: Why not?
SEC. CLINTON: (Laughs.)
SEN. KERRY: Thank you.
Just three quick wrap-ups here, if we can -- three or four, and a point.
On the international organizations, the budget proposes $175 million to begin to address some of the deferral of assessment payments through the years, but it doesn't say how it's going to go out at all -- in other words, how much of that 175 (million dollars) is going to go to whom.
There are particular questions -- the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons maintains a zero-growth annual budget. The problem is that if there is a deferral, by somebody like us or others, then it has to return to other states those funds and we don't get the job done at all. So our deferrals have really impacted some of these entities, and which one gets what is pretty critical.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission is another one which we'd like to know the particular intentions. And so could you -- you may not have that here now, but if you could get that to us, I think we'd be very interested in knowing how it's going to go out.
And then the other thing we'd like to have a sense is how you made those allocations. And obviously, we want to try to get back to ground zero -- you know, to a baseline -- as soon as we can. I know you know that.
SEC. CLINTON: Yes, sir.
SEN. KERRY: On a second issue, we really commend you for appointing the ambassador-at-large for the Global Women's Issues. And you've heard, appropriately, the committee really wants to put a focus on that. But the question is, there's no specific request to support that, the budget, et cetera, and I wonder what the plans are for making sure that that's going to be able to be implemented.
SEC. CLINTON: You know, Senator, I think that that's a very good point. We had planned on having resources from the State Department supported. But given the increasing emphasis and the incredible array of problems, I think that's something we need to take another look at.
SEN. KERRY: Okay. If we could follow up with you, and I know you will, it would be great.
And finally in terms of these questions, the budget seeks 1.2 billion (dollars) for the International Climate Change and Clean Energy funding. Is that contemplated to be a down payment or a component of the technology/financing components of the Copenhagen agreement, or is that some other piece that you're thinking of? And if so, we need to think about where we're going to find this pot to be able to, you know, do what we need to do in terms of Copenhagen.
SEC. CLINTON: And again, I'd like to get back to you with the specifics. The general point is really both. That we think we need some funding, as you and I have discussed before, that is available when we go to Copenhagen. We also want to continue our bilateral efforts, and we want to have funding available when those bear fruit. But we'll get back with the specifics.
SEN. KERRY: Thanks so much.
Two last issues or comments, Madame Secretary. One is sort of a pet peeve of mine through the years. But as I travel around, and I'm sure you've noticed this -- we all are aware of the changed world we live in and the need to have security. We all understand that. But we are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen. We're building fortresses around the world. We're separating ourselves from people in these countries.
I cringe when I see what we're doing.
It -- it's -- it doesn't reflect the -- our capacity for architecture. I hope and we pray that this crisis we face in terms of terrorism is not going to be with us forever, but these buildings can be. And they're a reflection of us and our values, and they ought to be welcoming.
We all know you got to have security around them, but I know we can do a better job. I've talked to any number of architects in this country who are dying to come together in a committee, work with you. And we could do a better job of welcoming people and showing America, even as we provide the security we need to.
SEC. CLINTON: I agree with you --
SEN. KERRY: If we could work on that --
SEC. CLINTON: -- and we will follow up that idea.
SEN. KERRY: Final comment is on Afghanistan. We've worked hard together. We know this is a very difficult, not-great-option situation. But my plea to you is, as it was at the last hearing and as we go forward here, that we really translate what we're hearing from General Petraeus and others in this policy.
I'm still worried about the level of military footprint. There are still -- I mean, any civilian casualty is too many, but there are too many civilian -- we cannot win -- we just can't do -- win is the wrong word. We cannot succeed in doing what we need to do to ultimately get our troops home and to have an independent Afghan security capacity if we're alienating people the way we are. I know you know this, but it is imperative that the civilian side of this -- I know they need security, but there's a distinction between some of the proactive and sometimes careless ways in which we have engaged versus the kind of empowerment of tribal leaders and of communities in ways that will grow their capacity even faster to be able to do what we want them to do. And I just wanted to underscore that.
SEC. CLINTON: No, I think that's a very good point to underscore. I know, Mr. Chairman, we are taking as hard a look at the military strategy as we are about the civilian strategy. And I think what you've said is a very important caution to all of us about what it is we're about and how we have to conduct ourselves.
SEN. KERRY: Well, we look forward to working with you, as you know, and we are very, very grateful to you for the time today. I think you heard from the committee, there's a great sense of welcome for the approaches you're taking and the administration's taking. We got a lot of tough issues, but we really look forward to working with you on them. Thanks so much for being with us today.
We stand adjourned.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you.