Obama Seeks $2.2 Billion for Diplomatic Security Projects

The Obama administration proposed $2.2 billion in the year starting Oct. 1 for building projects to improve security at diplomatic facilities following last year’s attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The funding is part of a $4.4 billion budget request for security staff, construction and infrastructure upgrades in fiscal 2014, a $996 million increase from fiscal 2012.

The security request follows the Sept. 11 assault in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans.

The $3.8 trillion budget proposal sent by President Barack Obama to Congress today would also cut economic support to Afghanistan and Pakistan to $1.3 billion in fiscal 2014, a $1.7 billion reduction from 2012 levels.

It would eliminate funding for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund, which provided training, helicopters and other equipment for Pakistani special operations forces fighting militants in tribal regions. The cut reflects growing demands elsewhere in the world rather than frustration with Pakistan, according to a State Department official who briefed reporters on condition of not being identified.

The budget allocates $580 million for economic development in Middle East countries making the transition to democracy.

“These funds are a strategic investment in our core mission of advancing America’s national security and economic interests,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

Altogether, the White House proposed a $47.8 billion budget in fiscal 2014 for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, a 6 percent reduction from fiscal 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicole Gaouette in Washington at ngaouette@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

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