WASHINGTON (AFP) - Veteran Hollywood actor Michael Douglas on Thursday defended the US State Department against budget-cutting efforts in Congress as he said diplomacy is cheaper than war. During a visit to the State Department, Douglas, a board member of the Ploughshares Fund, which fights the spread of nuclear weapons, said diplomacy is good value for money in tough economic times. People dont take the time to understand just how important diplomacy is. It takes a long time, its quiet but its certainly a lot cheaper than a war, the two-time Oscar winner told reporters. I think Congress is a way out of line in terms of the amount of budget (cuts) that they are talking about, Douglas said amid fears that billions of dollars could be cut. I hope that sound minds and logical minds will prevail, he said as he pointed out that State Department spending and all foreign aid account for only one percent of the total US federal budget. Douglas praised the diplomacy that led to the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between Russia and the United States that entered force in February.