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FY 2010 Budget Request: International Affairs Analysis May 8, 2009

Posted by dglaudemans in Analysis.
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FY 2010 Budget Request: International Affairs

By Joe Whitehill, Gordon Adams and David Glaudemans

The President is requesting $53.9 billion for discretionary programs within the International Affairs function for FY 2010. In addition, he is requesting $7.1 billion in supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009. If enacted, the FY 2009 supplemental would bring the total FY 2009 appropriations to $49.4 billion, and make the FY 2010 budget request a $4.5 billion (9.1%) increase over FY 2009.[1] Still, the International Affairs budget would represent a fraction of total spending as the outlays from the discretionary programs would represent about 0.3 % of gross domestic product in 2010 and the budget authority represents only 4.1% of the federal discretionary budget.

The international affairs programs include funding for diplomatic efforts through State Department operations and contributions to international organizations, for security through foreign military sales financing and other security assistance programs, for humanitarian and economic development and health programs, and for building better understanding with the peoples of the world through broadcasting and exchange activities. In addition, the budget for international affairs includes international financial programs of the Export-Import Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

This analysis focuses on building the capacity to conduct our diplomatic efforts at the State Department and administer our foreign assistance programs at USAID, a civilian capacity to manage stabilization and reconstruction efforts, ending reliance on emergency supplemental appropriation to fund known requirements, and US commitments to international organizations.

Building Diplomatic Capacity

The President is requesting $8,960 million for State Department Diplomatic and Consular Programs and $1,439 million for Operating Expenses for USAID. In addition, he is requesting $594 million and $153 million in FY 2009 supplemental appropriations for these accounts. If provided by Congress, the request would fully fund State operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as growth in core capacity. Under the request USAID would recruit an additional 350 Foreign Service officers and the State Department would fill an additional 802 American positions to meet core diplomatic requirements and 456 security protection positions.[2]

State’s Civilian Response Capabilities Could Expand Significantly in FY 2010 Budget

The State Department budget includes a request for additional funds to support the Civilian Stabilization Initiative (CSI), for which $45 million was appropriated in FY 2009.[3] The FY 2010 request is for $323 million to recruit, train, support, equip, and deploy an interagency Civilian Response Corps for reconstruction and stabilization missions. This request would add another 361 people to the force, on top of the 258 authorized in FY 2009. It would also support the operating expenses of the Office of the State Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS), adding ten positions to that office.

More significantly, the budget documents include an ambitious request for much larger and highly flexible transfer authority, which could significantly increase the funding available for civilian stabilization and reconstruction operations. State is seeking unconstrained and unlimited authority to transfer funds from its much larger accounts for operations and personnel, non-USAID bilateral foreign assistance, and security assistance to deploy its civilian response corps and to provide stabilization and reconstruction assistance.

Moreover, funds transferred or reprogrammed for such operations would become available “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” meaning they would not be constrained by other provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act. The funds would also remain available until they were spent; they would become “no year “money, regardless of the duration of the original appropriation.

This request would significantly increase State Department flexibility and potential funding to support stabilization and reconstruction operations.

In addition, the budget request would more than double funds for USIAD’s Office of Transition Initiatives, creating a $76 million Rapid Response Fund “to respond quickly to unforeseen opportunities…to support new and fragile democracies.” This authority and funding would parallel the CSI initiative, further expanding the flexibility with which State and USAID can respond to urgent needs in fragile and post-conflict states.

Full Funding for Recurring Humanitarian Relief Programs

The President is requesting funding of $1,690 million for P.L.-480 Food Aid, $880 million for International Disaster Assistance, and $1,480 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance. In the past, the Administration has relied on supplemental appropriations to meet known or likely humanitarian relief efforts through those programs. The President has requested supplemental appropriations of $300 million for P.L.-480 Food Aid, $200 million for International Disaster Assistance, and $293 million for MRA to meet humanitarian crises in FY 2009. The request would more fully fund recurring programs in the 2010 base budget. In addition, the request for disaster assistance includes $300 million for emergency food security.

International Organizations and Peacekeeping

The President is requesting $4,389 million in FY 2010 and supplemental appropriations of $887 million for FY 2009 for assessed and voluntary contributions to international organizations. The FY 2010 request is a 21% increase over the enacted levels for FY 2009. Within CIPA the supplemental request and the bulk of the increase in 2010 is for missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), Chad and Central Africa (MINURCAT), and support for a potential UN mission to replace the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other missions in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. The request for CIO includes $175 million in 2010 to begin aligning the U.S. federal budget cycle with international organizations’ budget year to permit a more timely payment of our assessed contributions. The reduction FY 2010 funding for PKO is from efforts in sub-Saharan Africa now being undertaken by UN missions. Funding for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) is cut by $9 million from the FY 2009 level to $97 million. Moreover, the funds requested are consistent with the administration’s desire to fully fund programs and not rely on supplemental appropriations to adequately fund US commitments to international organizations and peacekeeping activities.

Growth in Key Programs

The FY 2010 request for Economic Support Funds (ESF) is $6.5 billion, a $513 million decrease from FY 2009 including the enacted and pending supplemental appropriations. The overall decrease is for three reasons: 1) some programs requested through ESF in the pending FY 09 supplemental do not have a corresponding requirement in FY 2010; 2) funds for some programs, such as those for Indonesia and the Philippines, are requested out of the FY 2010 Development Assistance account; and, 3) there are significant decreases for programs such as Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza.

The FY 2010 budget request consolidates the Andean Counterdrug Program (ACP) with the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INCLE) program for a total INCLE request of $1.9 billion. While this request incorporates the roughly $300 million Andean Counterdrug Program, it also represents a growth above the absorption of another program. Programs to combat drug trafficking in Mexico, target drug production in Afghanistan and police and justice sector reforms in the Congo, Haiti, the Philippines and other drug-effected countries are part of the INCLE increase.

The Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program has a request of $5.3 billion for FY 2010, which is $239 million above the FY 09 level including the enacted and pending supplemental. This increase is primarily due to increased military assistance commitments to Israel and the Near East. $4.5 billion is requested for Near East countries alone which represents 85% of the total FMF request. Of the Near East funds, $2.77 billion is for Israel and $1.3 billion is requested for Egypt.


[1] The pending FY 2009 supplemental appropriation funds programs for the remainder of FY 2009 and the duration of FY 2010. If passed, the FY 2009 supplemental would increase the funds available for FY 2010 by approximately $7.1 billion. Under this calculus, the increase in FY 2010 funds available from the funds available in FY 2009 is approximately $18.7 billion or 44%.

[2] These are consistent with the Stimson Center/American Academy of Diplomacy report, A Foreign Affairs Budget for the Future, October 2008.

[3] A total of $140 million was available for the Civilian Stabilization Initiative in FY 2009, including supplemental and bridge funding for State and USAID.

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