USIS Washington 

17 September 1998


(SecState may urge veto of foreign affairs money bill)  (6750)

Washington -- Secretary of State Albright has urged Congress to fully
fund the Clinton administration's foreign affairs program, warning
that the appropriations bill now working its way through Congress
"would make dramatic and unacceptable cuts" in the President's fund
requests while attaching "burdensome restrictions" on their

"If this bill reaches the President's desk in its current form,"
Albright said during a September 17 address to the Carnegie Endowment
for Peace, "I will be compelled by my responsibilities as Secretary of
State to recommend its veto."

She noted that US spending on international affairs is down to about
one percent of the Federal budget, and the 1999 request is, in real
terms, $3.7 billion ($3,700 million) below the International Affairs
budget submitted by the Bush administration for its final year.

The Secretary again urged that the US Congress fund US contributions
to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations. "If
we want a strong voice in any reforms that are made, we must maintain
our influence by paying our share," Albright said.

Following her speech she answered questions from the audience about
the Middle East peace process, Russia, Iran and Iraq.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)


Office of the Spokesman

September 17, 1998

Text As Delivered



Washington, D.C.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very, very much, Jessica. It's a
pleasure to be here with so many old friends and have a chance to have
a good conversation.

Jessica, I really want to thank you for everything that you're doing
here; but also, all the work that you have done over the years in
terms of both at the State Department and before and beyond. You have
really, I think, been the person to put global issues into the
mainstream of American foreign policy making.

When we were together at the NSC -- which you will admit, right --
during the Carter Administration, you were doing global issues then
when people didn't know quite what that meant. And you really have
consistently put them into the mainstream, and we have tried very hard
at the Department of State to make sure that happens.

Carnegie is very lucky to have you, and we are very lucky to have
Carnegie. I'd also like to salute my good friend, Mort Abramiwitz, the
past president. He has done a great job here and, occasionally, other
places. He's an old friend so I can say I don't like his criticism.

You have provided, here at Carnegie, a stream of foreign policy talent
to the State Department, from Steve Sestanovich and David Scheffer to
standout Carnegie board members Strobe Talbott and Greg Craig. In
addition to being a source of great people, Carnegie has been -- and I
know will continue to be -- a rich source of ideas. I, for one, am
counting on this, because the issues that Carnegie focuses on are the
ones that will determine the legacy of our generation and the identity
of our age.

What matters most for the future of our children is not the
preoccupations of the moment, but whether the broad opportunities of
this era are squandered or seized. For example, will the trend towards
open markets and free trade resume or grind to a halt as a result of
the financial crisis? Will the worldwide movement towards democracy
continue or go into reverse? Will we succeed in curbing the spread of
weapons of mass destruction, or find ourselves confronted in the new
century with catastrophes unmatched even by those of the old? And will
we find a way to resolve conflicts and build a global culture of
peace, or be surrounded by regional and civil wars conducted with
ever-more deadly weapons at ever-greater risks to our own society?

These are the questions that matter. But perhaps above all is a
question related to each of the others: will the United States of
America continue to lead, or will we hide our heads in the sand out of
indifference, complacency or fear? Will we, in years to come, play the
role of eagle, or ostrich?

It is this last question that I want to discuss today. Some suggest
that Americans have turned inward and are no longer willing to bear
the costs and risks of leadership. I don't believe that, but I do know
that we have reached a critical moment in our effort to shape the
post-Cold War world. Now more than ever, we need bipartisan support in
Congress and broad support from the American people. Because only with
that will we succeed in our broad objective of bringing the world
closer together around basic principles of democracy, open markets,
law and a commitment to peace.

That's why I want today to shine a spotlight on funding decisions that
will be made on Capitol Hill between now and when Congress adjourns
early next month; because those decisions will have a major impact on
America's capacity to lead. And I do think that this audience that
really is composed of foreign policy experts and aficionados really is
the best one in order to discuss what is a very difficult subject; and
that is how we get money for our programs.

In the aftermath of the US Embassy bombings in Africa, we're asking
for resources to improve the security of those who represent America
overseas, and to strengthen our fight against terror. We're also
asking Congress to reconsider its current course and to make the
investments we have requested in peace, freedom, stability and human
development. These are the bread and butter investments that back our
leadership with substance and enable us to further our interests and
promote our ideals around the globe.

First, let me deal with the immediate needs we face in the aftermath
of the murderous attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

We must demonstrate in concrete and unmistakable ways that America
will not be intimidated by terror. We will keep our commitments and we
will work with others to ensure that, sooner or later, one way or
another, terrorists are held accountable for their crimes.

The fight against terror is an old struggle that has entered a grim
new phase with the emergence of terrorist coalitions that don't answer
fully to any government, that operate across national borders and have
access to advanced technology. Their goal is to cause America to
abandon its friends, allies and responsibilities.

Since the Beirut bombings 15 years ago, the security of our diplomatic
posts has been a bipartisan priority. More than $1 billion has been
spent building and upgrading facilities, but it remains a work in

In the past month, we have stepped up these efforts, while responding
to a multitude of additional threats. By so doing, we believe we have
foiled several planned attacks and thereby saved many lives.

But all this requires money -- millions of dollars now, and millions
more in the future. After the Africa bombings, we can no longer
consider any post a low-threat one. We must build secure facilities to
replace those that were destroyed. We must address elsewhere the kind
of security deficiencies that made the posts in Kenya and Tanzania
tempting targets. And we have an obligation to help the thousands of
innocent people affected by the bombings. By so doing, we can show
that terrorists will not succeed in driving a wedge between the United
States and our friends and allies around the world.

Within the next few days, the Administration will submit a formal
request for supplemental funds to beef up our diplomatic security and
finance an even stronger anti-terrorist campaign. I've been heartened
by the support we have received in our preliminary discussions with
Congress, and I am hopeful that our request will be acted upon

I emphasize, however, that this is not a one-time, short-term problem
-- unless we want to turn our embassies into prisons, from which our
diplomats monitor events on CNN or to shrink dramatically the number
of our overseas posts, which would make it impossible to protect our
interests and leave the impression of an America in retreat.

Moreover, security means more than safety from bombs and guns. It
demands more than guards and concrete walls. Security requires a world
in which America's vital interests are not at risk, and in which the
values we cherish are widely shared. To build that kind of world, we
must do more than build safer embassies. We must also do more to
promote democracy, sound economic practices and respect for the rule
of law.

But unfortunately, for the past decade, we've been cutting foreign
policy positions and slowing expenditures on international affairs --
which now constitute only about 1 percent of the Federal budget.
Moreover, the foreign operations appropriations bills approved by the
Senate and now being considered by the House would make dramatic and
unacceptable cuts in the amounts requested by President Clinton, while
attaching burdensome restrictions to the expenditure of those funds.

If this bill reaches the President's desk in its current form, I will
be compelled by my responsibilities as Secretary of State to recommend
its veto.

We have two opportunities to work together on this and to make sure
our diplomacy has the resources it needs. The first is when the House
votes on the bill, as early as this afternoon. The second, more
realistically, is when the two houses meet to prepare a single

The rapid progress and cooperative spirit of our efforts on the
supplemental shows that we can work together, if we recognize what is
at stake. And when we are talking about the success or failure of
American foreign policy, the stakes are high indeed. For example,
President Clinton laid out this Monday a bold outline for American
leadership in confronting the international financial crisis.

On this critical issue, the United States, with the world's largest
economy, has a unique responsibility to lead. But we can't lead
without resources; and we need money for emergency assistance, for
institution-building and to pay our contributions to the International
Monetary Fund, which bears the brunt of short-term support for nations
at risk.

And I will not argue that the IMF's response to the crisis has been
perfect. But it has stood between us and deeper problems, and it has
helped keep smaller economies from being destroyed. If we want
countries under threat to have a source of assistance other than
ourselves and if we want a strong voice in any reforms that are made,
we must maintain our influence by paying our share.

At a time when our business people, investors, farmers and workers are
looking to Washington for leadership in calming a jittery world
economy, it's, frankly, hard for me to understand why the leadership
of the House of Representatives -- the people's house -- would fail to
support IMF funding to the utmost. And I'm grateful for the efforts
made on the Senate side, and I hope that the final version of the
appropriations bill will include the President's full request.

The financial crisis has left Russia facing a particularly difficult
and uncertain future. Russia's economic problems are deep and complex.
We can't solve them; only Russians can do that. But neither is it in
our interest to declare Russia a failure and walk away. For while we
do not have to worry about waking up to find the hammer and sickle
waving over the Kremlin, we do have important interests in a Russia
that is stable, peaceful and moving toward democracy and prosperity,
not tyranny and despair.

We have a vital interest in seeing that former Soviet nuclear weapons
technology and expertise are controlled -- not put up for sale. We
have a vital interest in supporting the efforts of the Russian people
to build democratic institutions and market structures that are
stable, fair and effective. We have a vital interest in helping the
Russian people build institutions they can believe in, and develop
forms of democracy that will help improve their lives.

Russia's neighbors -- Ukraine, the states of the Caucasus and Central
Asia, and others -- also face major problems as a result of the
financial crisis. But their importance to us -- as critical elements
of a secure Europe, as trading partners, and as new or potential
members of the democratic community -- is undiminished. Now is not the
time to signal the world that we are giving up on the region and its
profound transformation.

This year, our request to Congress included substantial increases in
assistance programs for the New Independent States. Those programs
help develop private businesses, improve nuclear safety, support civil
society and address crime and corruption.

Unfortunately, both versions of the appropriations bill would leave
our assistance below this year's levels. And the House has proposed
conditions that would withhold 50 percent or more of our assistance to
Russia, Ukraine and others. Now, we need more flexibility; and I ask
Congress to remove these restrictions, and to restore funding levels
commensurate with the urgency we face.

Next week in New York, the President will give his annual address to
the United Nations General Assembly. There, before a worldwide
audience, he will argue America's case in the fight against terror and
for the rule of law. He will discuss the need for firmness in dealing
with Saddam Hussein and urge adherence to the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, which is 50 years old.

All this is appropriate, given America's role as the world's leading
champion of freedom. What is not appropriate is that the President
will be asked to go before the world once again with our nation
roughly $1 billion behind in payments to the United Nations system.

This debt undermines our leadership in an organization our
predecessors created, and in whose work we have a broad and varied
interest. The best America is a leader, not a debtor. I have asked
Congress before and I urge Congress now -- before you adjourn, cast a
vote for UN reform and for American leadership; cast a vote, at long
last, to pay UN bills.

Another test of our willingness to back our leadership with resources
is in Korea, where we have pledged to contribute funds to implement
the agreed framework. The House Appropriations Committee has voted to
end those contributions because of concern about North Korea's recent
missile launch and other actions that have raised doubts about the
intentions of the government in Pyongyang. Rather than moving us
toward resolution of our concerns, we think this is a formula for
stalemate, and perhaps confrontation.

The Clinton Administration has no illusions about North Korea. And we
have let North Korea know, in no uncertain terms, the risks involved
in its current course. But the agreed framework remains central to our
ability to press for restraint on missiles and answers to our
questions about suspicious underground construction activities.

I urge Congress to keep the heat on by meeting our commitments, even
as we press North Korea's leaders to meet theirs.

We also risk failing to provide leadership on critical environmental
and social issues. Unless Congress reverses course, we will continue
to lag far behind in funding international environmental cooperation
that helps preserve clean air and water for everyone, including
Americans, as well as create markets for our cutting-edge green

And we will be unable to support family-planning programs that help
stabilize population growth, reduce maternal and infant mortality and
cut demand for abortions. The proposed Mexico City conditions are an
assault on the free exchange of ideas that Americans cherish. And
their first victims will be the women and families who look to America
for help in building better futures for the children they wish to

Let me emphasize, our overall funding requests are modest. No
President, Republican or Democrat, would be seeking less. In fact, our
1999 request, in real terms, is a full $3.7 billion below the last
International Affairs budget submitted by President Bush. The
challenges have not lessened, and neither should our commitment to
meeting them.

Today, America looks to Capitol Hill for evidence that our
representatives will act in the face of new threats and long-standing
imperatives to reaffirm America's presence on the center stage of
world affairs.

I am personally confident. Over the past half-dozen years, I have seen
Congress and the Executive come together to dismantle and secure
thousands of weapons from the former Soviet Union, enlarge NATO, build
peace in Bosnia, support the agreed framework, help our partners in
the Middle East and enact numerous other measures to further our
interests around the globe.

Time and time again, we have stood together across party lines. That
is what we must do now. As history teaches, it is then that America is
the strongest.

A half-century ago, our nation was in the midst of a bitterly partisan
election campaign as candidates fought for the levers of political
power. But in that same testing year of 1948, a Democratic President
and a Republican Congress approved the Marshall Plan, laid the
groundwork for NATO, established the Voice of America, recognized the
infant state of Israel, airlifted life-sustaining aid to a blockaded
Berlin and helped an embattled Turkey and Greece remain on freedom's
side of the Iron Curtain.

There are those who say that Americans have changed and that we are
now too inward-looking and complacent to shoulder comparable burdens.
But by standing tall, and backing our leadership with resources, we
have the opportunity to prove the cynics wrong.

American foreign policy is not the province of a particular party,
ideology or point of view. It finds its strength not in its brilliance
of theory, but in the steadfast qualities of the American people --
whose interests it defends and whose values it reflects.

Through this century, we have survived and prevailed against
aggression, Depression, fascism and the totalitarian threat. Now, we
face new dangers and uncertainties. But we have not lost our
confidence, nor have we grown weary. For our country, there are no
final frontiers. We are doers. Whatever threats the future may hold,
we will meet them. With the memory alive in our hearts of past
sacrifice, we will defend our freedom, meet our responsibilities and
live up to our principles.

To those ends, this afternoon, I pledge my own best efforts, and I
respectfully solicit your wise counsel and support.

Thank you very much.

Q: Madame Secretary, my question is on US policy towards the Middle
East. I know that Mr. Ross is in the Middle East, yet we still have no
news of a breakthrough. The May '99 deadline is approaching. We have
yet to declare positions - even an American position - (inaudible) -
not moving forward. Is there a time table; is there a plan for the
United States, as we get closer to May 1999? If an agreement is not in
place what are we going to do?

ALBRIGHT: Well, let me say that we are very hopeful that we will be
able to move towards an agreement and there is a time table that has
been in place, and that is the time table that we will endeavor to

As you said, Ambassador Ross is in the region, and he has made some
progress. Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat will be in
New York, and they have asked to see me; and I will be seeing them. We
still have to decide on a format and venue.

I just have to say that this is a subject that I work on every day and
the President has been deeply involved in. I think we all believe -
especially the President and I - that we need to move this phase of it
to a conclusion. It has been long and not easy; gaps, differences have
existed between the parties. But I believe that we're making steady

Q: Madame Secretary, I wanted to ask you about a resource question
that is not exactly under your purview, but which is nevertheless
important. You've been a very strong champion of vigorous American
leadership around the world, including a very strong military
proponent when necessary. If we all remember your strong comment to
Colin Powell - (inaudible) - force. I'd like to ask you whether you
have any concern that our current defense budget may be inadequate to
sustain the kinds of policies you have been championing in the

ALBRIGHT: Let me say that I have been one, as you pointed out, who has
really believed about the complementarity of diplomacy and the use of
force -- obviously, a subject that has been a concern to former
Secretaries of State and will be to future ones. And I think that,
especially in the post-Cold War environment, there have been many
questions about what is the right time to use force and at what level.
And I have believed, as I've said, that when we are able to threaten
the use of force -- which does mean that you have to be prepared to
use it -- that we have strengthened our diplomacy.

I also do think that it is absolutely essential that the defense
budget be one that is reflective of the multiple needs that are now
evident. And the needs are really quite different than the ones that
were there before, and I can't think of anything worse than not having
enough readiness. I've been concerned about the op tempo for our armed
forces and generally about operations and maintenance and the ability
to develop new systems.

So, yes, I support - the CINCs have been meeting with the President,
and Secretary Cohen and I have been talking about the Defense
Department needs and we support them. I hope that if he should come
here, you might ask him whether he supports our budget.

Q: My question is about Kosovo. Madame Secretary, you said that the US
and the West would not allow Kosovo to become another Bosnia. How
would you describe the situation in Kosovo today? It seems to
deteriorate each and every day. And how would you describe the
response of the West and the United States in dealing with Kosovo?

ALBRIGHT: First of all, I do feel very strongly about the fact that we
need to absorb the lessons that we learned from Bosnia. But I think we
also need to be very clear about the fact that Kosovo and Bosnia are
quite different in terms of how they relate to the state structure in
the area. This is not an audience that I need to elaborate on, but
there is a difference.

We have been following a three-track approach. We are very concerned
about the humanitarian situation. I was briefed again this morning by
Julia Taft on this, and we do believe that there is a huge danger of a
major humanitarian disaster beginning sometime in the middle of
October as the weather deteriorates. And we are working now -- one
track is on the humanitarian track -- to try to preposition food and
other kinds of humanitarian assistance; not to put people into
population areas that could then become safe havens in the bad lesson
that we learned on that from Bosnia. So we are going to be working
with various NGOs that are already on the ground to try to make sure
that we can get as much assistance in there as possible.

We then have our diplomatic negotiating track, and both parties have
agreed to begin negotiations on an interim accord. There has been, I
thought, when we got agreement to that, that it was a procedural step
forward. Ambassador Hill is now working on trying to have proximity
talks and a variety of ways that we could move that forward.

Finally, we have made clear that the military - that all options are
on the table. NATO has completed its planning. I think that we will be
following the situation very closely, making clear that that option is
on the table. And I am sure that everybody agrees that ultimately the
only and best solution is a diplomatic one.

We are focused on this, again, very sharply to try to get some
resolution to it. It's obviously very complicated, especially with the
additional problems now in Albania and the relationship of the Kosovar
Albanians to Tirana.

Q: Madame Secretary, my question is - (inaudible). When President
Clinton - (inaudible) --

ALBRIGHT: Well, again, I think that clearly the situation in the Congo
had deteriorated. We have been trying to work with the countries in
the region to get some resolution to this. When I was there and also
when the President was in the region, we spoke about the need for
judicial reform for the fact that the international community had to
complete its investigations of what was going on. We have pressed very
hard through whether it's the regional powers or through the United
Nations or the OAU to try to get some accountability for what is
happening in the Congo. It is not an easy situation, as you know.

Having various of the neighboring countries involved in one side or
another, I think, has created the potential of a very difficult
regional situation. All I can tell you is that we're very much aware
of it and are pushing to shine the light on it. But there is no
immediate solution to it.

Q: I want to ask you about Russia. (Inaudible) -- the case.
(Inaudible) -- Kiriyenko Government and the Chernomyrdin government,
and that message -- (inaudible) -- was ignored. My question to you is
given the appointments that have been made recently and given the much
more -- (inaudible) -- what is the message -- (inaudible) --

ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, I do claim fairly good knowledge of
Yevgeniy, having talked to him at great length, sung with him and
spent many, many hours on the phone.

My message, and America's message as well as the G-7/8 message, is
that we can help but they have to make their own decisions; and that
ultimately the economic situation is such that they need to understand
-- and the President made that very clear while he was there -- that
there is no way for them to insulate themselves from the world

I think as we look at what's going on in Russia, we have to see the
positive as well as the problems. Despite the fact that this is going
on, in terms of democracy what is happening is happening
constitutionally. I think that is something that cannot be underrated.
It is something that people now kind of take for granted. But those of
us who spent a lot of time studying the previous system, I think
understand the importance of that development.

Primakov and I have really, I think, what characterizes our
relationship -- and it started out in our first meeting -- is he
actually was very funny. He said, since you know what I did before,
you know that I know everything about you.

So that was kind of a good way to begin. I said, actually, I spent a
lot of time studying about you -- not quite in the same detail or with
the same capability. But we both decided then and there that our best
approach was that we recognized each other as tough fighters on behalf
of our own national interests. We didn't agree often, but we did agree
on many things; because I think that he knew -- and he still knows --
that Russia needs an effective non-proliferation regime, that Russia
needs strategic arms reduction, that Russia needs an adapted CFE
treaty, that Russia needs good relations with its neighbors and that
Russia needs a Europe without dividing lines. Those are just some
initial things that we agree on.

I think that on foreign policy, we have talked about the fact that
things will continue as they are. We will agree where we can and
maintain our solid defense of our own national interests; and where we
can agree, that will be positive.

We are very, very concerned about the economic situation. The
international community is prepared to help; but not if the Russians
don't make the tough decisions themselves. We have indicated to them
that some of the policies that might be forthcoming from -- we have
not gotten involved in names, that's not our business -- but that
basically it would be a mistake if that long-running debate that goes
back decades about whether Russia should turn inward or outward, at
the end of the century if the vote is to turn inward, they have put
themselves in an impossible position; because even a country as
powerful and as self-sufficient as the United States cannot operate
outside of the world economy. And our message to them is -- they don't
have a government and therefore, they don't have an economic plan yet.
So it's hard for us to react to it.

But the message to them is, you can't go backward; and we will help
you if you can figure out how to get yourself into place.

Q: Madame Secretary, I'd like to ask you about Iran. You gave a really
remarkable speech at the Asia Society some time ago; and I guess
you're going to get your answer when the Foreign Minister of Iran
speaks there on the 25th of this month. I guess there's a chance for a
meeting in the UN early next week. But with the threat from
Afghanistan and the problem of bin Laden and the leakage of the forces
there around the neighborhood, I'm wondering if there's any thinking
about partially lifting the US unilateral sanctions on Iran to make it
possible for the Iranian hard-liners to give permission for the
moderates to move toward a dialogue, which, it seems to me, is very
much in our interest at this moment. This could help us with Iraq, as

ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, let me say thank you for your kind words
about my speech. I think that in that speech what I tried to do was to
lay out the terms for a road map for normalizing relations and a
desire - we had said that we were prepared for
government-to-government dialogue; that is on the table.

But I think that I will be listening with great interest to the
Foreign Minister's speech. I find very interesting that he chose the
same place I did. My speech - it's the one that I think if you really
did content analysis on, that I worked the hardest on; because it was
mirroring - it was really responding to the things that Khatemi had

So we are in a very interesting kind of non-official way of listening
or talking and listening. So I am very eager to hear what he has to
say. We got news a little while before I got here that they have, in
fact, decided that they will attend that conference -- the UN session
that we have to talk about Afghanistan.

I think that what you're asking for is premature. We obviously are
concerned about what is going on between them -- between the Taliban
and Iran. But I think we also have laid out what we see as actions
that are necessary for them to walk down this road that we have laid
out. So I'm going to be listening and really looking to see if there
are any actions. But we've had some interesting sports exchanges and I
think some of you have been. And I think the people-to-people part is
very important. It's a very interesting kind of back-and-forth that's
going on.

Q: Madame Secretary, my question is about Iraq. Since Scott Ritter
resigned there's been a lot of controversy in the press to what really
went on between Iraq's inspections. My question to you is, could you
tell us and clarify on what went on; whether or not these actions -
you said the timing was not right? If so, why not; and what were your
approaches - (inaudible) --

ALBRIGHT: Yes. Well, let me say that our policy towards Iraq has
actually been, I think, the most sustained and consistent policy that
any Administration has had on an issue. For seven years we have been
the ones that have been the strongest defenders of the Security
Council resolutions and the ones that have insisted that Iraq live up
to the Security Council resolutions.

We have been great supporters of UNSCOM. We have believed in the
ability of UNSCOM to act as the eyes and ears of the world as it tries
to determine whether Saddam Hussein is living up to the Security
Council resolutions.

The train of events here is that, as you know, we had a crisis in the
fall where Saddam Hussein was throwing out UNSCOM -- first American
inspectors and then UNSCOM -- because he saw a disunity in the
Security Council. There's been no question that the toll of having a
sanctions regime for this long is that there is a fraying, and that we
don't all have exactly the same approach. I think that we felt that it
was unfortunate that there was a division in the Security Council.

We have systematically worked to bring the Security Council back
together in support of the sanctions regime, because we believe that
it's very important to maintain it until Saddam Hussein lives up to
his obligations.

We believed that -- and this goes actually back to the question that
Bob Hagen asked, how do we use our forces in the most effective way?
We felt that we should not, every time Saddam Hussein has a tantrum
that we are on his schedule. What we think is that he needs to live up
to his obligations; we need to respond at a time and place of our
choosing, making very clear that all options remain on the table.

And specifically on the issue that you asked, at a time that Saddam
Hussein was flat out refusing to live up to the memorandum of
understanding that he had signed with Kofi Annan and that then had
been validated by the Security Council and Richard Butler had just
gone out there laying out a work plan - and he said no way. Since our
policy here was to try to get the Council united again behind its own
decisions, there was such a clear-cut reason to shine the spotlight on
the decision Saddam Hussein had made and not on whether a particular
inspection would go forward, that we felt -- and we all had
conversations with Richard Butler; I've had scores of them and so has
every other member of the Security Council. That's what his job is, is
to consult with members of the Security Council.

I think that he felt, after some discussion with a number of us, that
it was better to leave it a very clear case of Saddam Hussein not
living up to the memorandum of understanding rather than muddying the
waters with an inspection at that time, of which there was some
question about whether this was the right - it was a matter of
delaying the inspection.

I would just like to say that we continue to believe that UNSCOM is a
great operation. The inspectors have been terrific; Scott Ritter
himself has been a great inspector. It's a matter of tactics of trying
to figure out how you maintain the toughest sanctions regime in the
history with a united Council.

And it turns out that our approach was right; because last week,
again, the Security Council voted unanimously -- no abstentions,
unanimously -- to suspend sanctions reviews until Saddam Hussein comes
back in compliance. So while there were those who questioned what we
were doing at the time, I think that our approach has been completely
validated by the recent Security Council coming back together again.

Q: Madame Secretary, your staff says you have to be elsewhere, but
before we let you go, I'd like to ask you one last question on the
subject of your speech.

When the Cold War ended there was a good deal of talk and a lot of
reason to think that the US might return to one of its periodic bouts
of isolationism. And we had a large and apparently intractable budget
deficit. Today we hear very little talk of isolationism. I guess
Americans have recognized that with the best will in the world,
today's world doesn't allow us to turn inside. And the deficit has
turned into a large and growing surplus.

You've spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill in the last couple of
years, and you've been a student of Congress for many years before
that. How do you explain Congress' unwillingness to provide the
resources that are necessary for American leadership in light of its
professed interest in American leadership? What is the underlying
thinking that's going on?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think it's very hard for me to explain Congress'
thinking at this moment.

And I think that what has happened here -- and if I were still
teaching, I did teach about executive-legislative relations and
followed the history of how often Congress intervened in micromanaging
foreign policy. There are a few people here who actually did that when
the shoe was on the other foot.

But I think that what is happening now is there are two things where
there are a lot of people who would like my job in Congress, and who
really, I think, feel that micromanagement is one thing through a
whole set of restrictions; and the other is by consistently cutting
down the amount of money that we have with which to operate. I think
it is viewed primarily as a way of more balances than checks, and that

I am concerned about the fact that it is such a small amount and that
people are not willing -- it's described -- you would think that it
was half the federal budget, when it's less than 1 percent. It
surpasses my understanding as to why this is happening.

What troubles me the most -- and that's why I have focused so much on
the need for a bipartisan foreign policy -- is that some of the
issues, whether they are restrictions or whether they are lack of
funding in a particular area, are really as a result of a particular
point of view which either may be partisan or ideological, which is
something we don't need at this point.

(Break in transcription)

... is that we don't have the ability to have a discussion about this
in Congress. For whatever reason, we are not able to really have a
sustained discussion; because I do not think that the American people
are isolationist. And all the polling data indicate that they are not,
and that the farmer in Iowa is an internationalist; that doctors
understand that they can benefit by getting instruments from other
countries -- any number of -- whatever average American you talk to,
that average American seems to understand that his or her life is
intimately intertwined with how we're doing internationally.

So it beats me, Jessica. That's why I find this frustrating; because
to me it is so logical that a country that has everything that we have
and whose power and leadership is wanted in the world does not, at
this critical moment, have a budget in order to do our work. You can't
lead with no money. You can't do it. So that's why this has been so

I so much appreciate having the opportunity to make the case with this
audience that actually knows the case. But I think it's very important
that, in as calm a way as possible, one describes and discusses the
need for a bipartisan foreign policy.

I pledge myself -- something I never -- I was known as being pretty
partisan. But once I became Secretary of State, I had all my partisan
instincts surgically removed.

They are not the kind that kind of grow back. I can assure you that
when I am finished with this position, I am not going to engage in
partisan rhetoric, because it is absolutely essential that we have a
bipartisan foreign policy.

Thank you.

(end transcript)