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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BERMAN. I have to say it boggles my mind how we can argue one minute about whether to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or authorize the use of force in Libya and in the next minute seek to eliminate the one U.S. government institution that is dedicated to resolving such conflicts peacefully.

No other institution can accomplish the mission Congress gave the USIP. No other agency has this peace-building mandate. General Petraeus called USIP's work invaluable, a potential key to the success in the enormous challenge we face; Under Secretary of Defense Flournoy, talking about one specific example in Iraq where "The USIP helped tribal and local government leaders forge a groundbreaking agreement viewed by local leaders and military officials as a turning point toward peace and stability in one of Iraq's most violent regions.''

I fail to understand what national interests could possibly be served by reducing the number of tools at our disposal. I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.


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