On Wednesday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned congressional Republicans that their plan to slash funding for the United Nations will have serious consequences for the armed forces. The proposed budget cuts could jeopardize the return of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, she said in a letter:
“We cannot depend on United Nations missions … to help American troops return home safely and successfully, while taking actions that will decimate the budgets that underpin those important missions,” Clinton wrote to Rep. Ileana-Ros Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “In the end, engagement through the United Nations comes at a fraction of the cost of acting alone.”
Democrats have warned before that they oppose Ros-Lehtinen’s bill on United Nations reform but have not until now warned the bill could threaten troop safety overseas.
Ros-Lehtinen’s committee will markup the bill today. It would require the U.S. to withhold 50 percent of its funding to the U.N. until the international organization moves to a voluntary funding arrangement for most of its programs.
Clinton said that if the bill is presented to President Obama, she will recommend that he veto it.