This morning, we learned some disturbing new details about House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) FY2013 budget proposal. While yesterday’s releases left out any information about critical national security tools like international development and diplomacy, today we see that he would recklessly slash those programs.

Cutting International Affairs funding would be dangerously short-sighted. How does Congressman Ryan think we can make sure we sustain the gains we’ve made in Afghanistan if he slashes funds for critical stability programs? How does he think we can we prevent pandemic diseases from growing, spreading, and ultimately threatening the US and our allies if we don’t pay for the tools we need to stop them early on? And, cutting American food aid programs will force desperate, starving people in the Horn of Africa to turn to terrorist organizations like Al Shabab. How does boosting the recruitment efforts of anti-American extremists help keep America secure?

A strong military is critical to keeping America safe — as is an International Affairs budget which keeps these threats small and far away by ensuring that the world is safe, stable, and strong. Neglecting either effort hurts both, a simple fact we’ve known since World War II.  To be truly secure, America needs the full set of tools that address the threats we face, like disease, arms and human trafficking, and loose nuclear material – none of which can be solved by the military alone.

Fortunately, this is the beginning, and not the end of the budget debate. As this process goes on, we hope Members of Congress, including Congressman Ryan, remember that American strength and security is just as reliant upon the problems we prevent and the friends we make abroad as it is the troops we train and the battles we fight.