Assistant Director Freddy Gessner represented the Legion’s National Security/Foreign Relations Division in a Feb. 16 discussion with key members of the federal government about the impact of the 2012 DoD budget on national security and issues abroad. Particularly, Gessner addressed the topic of accounting for all U.S. prisoners of war and personnel missing in action overseas and the affect the new budget might have on those issues, which the Legion emphatically supports with several resolutions. Gessner will remain in contact with representatives of the Department of State and Agency for International Development who attended the meeting to ensure that the POW/MIA issue remains a priority throughout the new fiscal year.
Other items highlighted at the meeting include an increase in DoS and AID budgets, which will provide continued significant levels of funding for operations and assistance in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, a focus will be made on improving food security and global health in those regions.
Additionally, support will be given to the president’s National Export Initiative, which promotes U.S. exports and economic growth. The budget will also help implement the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, an initiative that targets investments that foster economic growth, democratic governance abroad, innovations, sustainable capacity and mutual accountability. Per the budget, a multi-year initiative to strengthen U.S. expertise in its relations with strategically important countries will also continue.