“We’re going to have some major, draconian cuts” if the sequester is allowed to kick in, said Deputy Secretary of State Tomas Nides.
At a cozy talk with current and former State officials at the American Foreign Service Association, he added that the $50 billion State spends annually on diplomacy, U.S. foreign aid and fighting AIDS, gives the nation a good bang for the buck. “We have the best return of any agency in this government,” said Nides.
He also said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been “working the phones” to protect the virtual zero-growth fiscal 2013 State budget request and added that the department understands the fiscal troubles of the nation driving some to cut State. “We get it,” he said. “Many diplomats are going through economic hard times,” added the former CEO of Morgan Stanley.