Washington -- Defense Secretary Cohen says the United States must ensure that diplomacy and military power act "in concert" as it pursues its policy of engagement around the world.

"Diplomacy without power," he explained, "can produce dialogue without decision, while power without diplomacy can lead to arrogant chauvinism and senseless conflict."

In a March 20 appearance before the House Committee on International Relations, the secretary noted that State Department diplomatic posts "are essential platforms" for Defense Department personnel who are pursuing defense relationships with host country officials and implementing security assistance and cooperation programs.


Cohen made these remarks during testimony in support of the Clinton administration's request for fiscal year 1998 funding for International Military Education and Training and Foreign Military Financing programs.


Following is the text of Cohen's statement as prepared for delivery.

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In her testimony before you last month, Secretary Albright gave a comprehensive overview of the foreign aid budget request for Fiscal Year 1998. I fully support the entire budget request. In this testimony, I will focus my remarks on the security assistance programs, which are administered by the Department of Defense and bear most directly on military matters. Other parts of the request cover programs of direct interest to the Department of Defense. Support for counterproliferation efforts addresses one of our highest military concerns. A good example is the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), a key aspect of our efforts to contain and eventually roll back the North Korean nuclear program. Parts of the Economic Support Fund (ESF) program are also important to secure access and cooperation for our military forces and assist in getting multilateral support for military activities that we might otherwise have to undertake alone.


Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO)

From DOD's perspective, this project is critical to safeguarding the security interests of the United States and its allies in the region. KEDO is charged with implementing technical aspects of the Agreed Framework, including delivery of heavy fuel oil and construction of two light water reactors in North Korea, in return for the North freezing activities at its nuclear facilities. A failure of KEDO's efforts could lead to a reactivation of North Korea's nuclear program, which would pose a substantial risk to U.S. forces in the region as well as heighten tensions and insecurity among all Northeast Asian countries. The Fiscal Year 1998 budget requests $30 million in non-security assistance funds to support KEDO. U.S. financial backing is extremely important in demonstrating to our KEDO partners, particularly the ROK and Japan, that the United States is willing to assume its share of the burden in this security enterprise. U.S. funding also sets an example for other potential contributors.

Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF)

The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF) was established in 1994 pursuant to section 504 of the Freedom Support Act of 1992 to implement specific nonproliferation projects. Since its inception, the NDF has funded numerous projects for dismantling and destroying conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, and for strengthening international safeguards, export control, and nuclear smuggling efforts. This budget requests $15 million for bilateral and multilateral assistance programs in Fiscal Year 1998. Ongoing NDF projects include elimination of SCUD missiles and their launch systems from Romania and Hungary; dismantlement of South Africa's Category I missile production infrastructure; assistance in the procurement of highly enriched uranium stocks from the former Soviet Union; procurement of verifications and safeguards equipment for the International Atomic Energy Agency; procurement of seismic arrays in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; conversion of Russian plutonium reactors from weapons production to production of power only; provision of export licensing and enforcement assistance to Central Europe, the Baltics and the former Soviet Union; and successful deployment of an automated system in Poland for tracking the export of sensitive materials.