Hearing on Security and Stability in Pakistan: Developments in U.S. Policy and Funding
Assistant Secretary, Political-Military Affairs
Chairman Skelton, Ranking Member McKeon, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I appreciate the opportunity to testify on the ways in which the State Department’s security assistance programs contribute to our partnership with the Government of Pakistan in our joint endeavor to improve security and stability in Pakistan, in neighboring Afghanistan, and in the broader region and beyond.
Since being established a half century ago, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has served as the State Department’s primary link with the Department of Defense. The Bureau’s enduring and daily work is representative of the type of cooperation and teamwork that is essential in addressing the evolving security challenges that we cope with around the world.
A strong relationship between the Department of State and the Department of Defense is critical to addressing the serious international challenges that the United States faces today. Secretaries Clinton and Gates have publicly expressed their commitment to a State-Defense relationship that is complementary, not competitive. We in the State Department are working to fulfill that commitment. This close cooperation is essential in South Asia, where we are working with the Afghan and Pakistani governments and with our allies to defeat al-Qaeda and associated extremist groups.
As Secretary Clinton stated in testimony to the Senate last month, it is clear that our partnership with the Government of Pakistan and progress on the ground in Pakistan are keys to success in Afghanistan, and to the security of the United States. The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region continues to destabilize both countries and serves as a sanctuary for extremist groups who seek to harm the United States. Therefore, we are broadening and deepening our relationship with the Pakistani people and government. We have worked hard to build trust between our two countries, and have made genuine progress. Secretary Clinton’s visit to Pakistan last fall was an important moment. And with the successful completion of the March 24-25 U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue meeting in Washington – the first time this bilateral forum has been chaired by the Secretary of State and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister – our partnership is on a significantly stronger foundation.
Consistent with the President’s pledge of a long-term partnership with Pakistan and the passage into law of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act (‘Kerry-Lugar-Berman’), we are making a substantial, long-term commitment of non-military assistance and directing it towards priorities identified by Pakistan’s people and their democratically-elected civilian government. I am here today to talk to the security assistance that the State Department manages, which is complementary to U.S. assistance to civilian authorities and organizations.
In addition to working closely with our counterparts in the Defense Department, my bureau coordinates extensively within the State Department with the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (S/SRAP) and the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) to ensure the Department’s security assistance programs are fully supportive of the overall effort in Pakistan and the region, and to make sure the programs are in sync with the Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy issued by Ambassador Holbrooke’s office in January of this year.
Security assistance funds managed by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, which collectively total over $7 billion worldwide in the President’s FY 2011 request, provide important tools to the United States in today’s security environment. In Pakistan, the bureau manages security assistance through three accounts: (1) Foreign Military Financing (FMF), which provides grant assistance to purchase U.S. defense articles and services; (2) International Military Education and Training (IMET), which provides training and education on a grant basis to promote a more professional Pakistan military with a strong respect for civilian control of the military, democratic values, and human rights; (3) and the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF), which assists the Government of Pakistan in building and maintaining the capability of its security forces to conduct counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, and to clear and hold terrain in contested areas throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and elsewhere along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
U.S. security assistance programs aim to improve Pakistan’s counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operational capacities, enhance U.S.-Pakistan interoperability, and help to deepen our bilateral relations and reduce the trust deficit between the United States and Pakistan. These programs also support ongoing Coalition activities in Afghanistan by improving Pakistan’s ability to coordinate and synchronize operations along their side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Our robust military-to-military relationship with Pakistan also underscores our long-term commitment to remain engaged in the region, as well as our commitment to regional stability.
I. Foreign Military Financing (FMF)
The FY 2011 Foreign Military Financing (FMF) request for Pakistan is $296 million, which is in line with the average annual amount of $300 million provided to Pakistan over the past six fiscal years. Pakistan is one of the biggest FMF recipients globally and it would be difficult to overstate the importance of this program to the U.S.-Pakistani relationship.
FMF is the foundation of a long-term U.S.-Pakistan security relationship. FMF supports the transformation and modernization of Pakistan’s military into a more professional and capable force through equipment upgrades, training, and new acquisitions. It promotes closer U.S.-Pakistani security ties and enhances U.S.-Pakistani interoperability. Our assistance has been used to: maintain and modernize Pakistan’s AH-1F Cobra helicopter fleet, which the Pakistan Army uses to provide persistent close air support to Army troops engaged in counterinsurgency operations in the border areas; procure tactical radios to allow the Pakistan Army and Frontier Scouts to more effectively conduct counterinsurgency operations; provide mid-life updates to enhance Pakistan’s F-16 fleet to make it a more valuable counterinsurgency and counterterrorism asset for missions along the rugged Afghan-Pakistan border; and procure TOW-2A missiles, which are used extensively in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. To help the Pakistani Navy stem the illegal trafficking of materials along the Makran Coast, we provided FMF to update and refurbish seven P-3C aircraft, which broaden their maritime surveillance capabilities and enable Pakistan’s participation in U.S.-led and supported Maritime Intercept Operations. We will also provide FMF to refurbish the frigate McInerney later this year, and plan on transferring additional Excess Defense Article frigates (as the McInerney was) as they are decommissioned over the next several years.
In addition to developing Pakistan’s long-term counterinsurgency and counterterrorism capabilities, FMF enhances the ability of Pakistan’s military to meet its legitimate defense needs. A continued robust FMF program is a long-term investment serving as the lynchpin for fostering Pakistan’s institutional capacity and defense development and for assisting Pakistan in playing a greater role in enhancing regional security. In conjunction with other tools (e.g., PCCF), FMF supports broader U.S. strategy designed to enhance regional stability, combat terrorist threats, and promote Pakistani participation in stability operations.
Finally, sustained FMF for Pakistan demonstrates to the Government of Pakistan the United States’ long-term commitment to a multi-faceted relationship that goes beyond what Pakistan views as a fleeting U.S. counterterrorism mission. By helping Pakistan meet its legitimate security needs, the U.S. confirms its role as an enduring partner over time in support of our mutual security interests.
II. International Military Education and Training (IMET)
The FY 2011 request for the International Military Education and Training (IMET) account for Pakistan is $4.1 million. IMET is crucial to U.S. efforts to deepen the U.S.-Pakistani partnership. The program helps to enhance the professionalism and leadership of Pakistan’s future military leaders and to strengthen the Pakistani military’s ability to fight insurgency. We have been successful at almost doubling our IMET program with Pakistan in order to help build relationships and understanding between our two militaries. This year, along with Turkey, Pakistan is the biggest recipient of this important funding. IMET is central to our efforts to expose the Pakistani military to American perspectives and operational procedures and target the “lost generation” of senior officers who were unable to receive U.S. military training and exposure to the United States because of Pressler Amendment sanctions. The Pressler Amendment banned most economic and military assistance to Pakistan from 1990 to 2001.
Our DoD colleagues – led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen and Commanding General of U.S. Central Command General Petraeus – are staunch supporters of IMET and have worked closely with us to gain more spots for Pakistani officers in military staff colleges. IMET is also strongly supported by Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Kayani. General Kayani has stated that his time at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, helped him learn a great deal about how our armed forces operate. We must continue to focus on these types of programs which allow Pakistani military officers to interact with professional members of the United States military and seek to build long-lasting, personal relationships.
IMET courses provide valuable education and training on U.S. military standards and practices, including defense resource management, civilian control of the military, human rights, and rule of law. The courses also develop technical expertise to operate and maintain U.S. origin equipment. More broadly, IMET helps to develop a common understanding of shared international challenges and fosters the relationships necessary to counter those challenges in a collaborative manner. IMET also exposes U.S. military personnel to the experiences and perspectives of their Pakistani partners, facilitating future coordination and communication. Over 100 Pakistani military officers receive education and training in the United States each year.
III. Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF)
In order to accelerate the development of the Government of Pakistan’s capacity to secure its borders, deny safe haven to extremists, fight insurgents, and provide security for its indigenous population, the Administration has requested $1.2 billion in FY 2011 for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF). FY 2011 will be the first year the Department of State assumes full management of PCCF, a responsibility the Department takes very seriously and for which the Department has the capacity and capability to successfully execute.
PCCF is intended to be limited in time and purpose to address Pakistan’s current and urgent needs as it struggles against militant extremists within its borders. Funds will continue to be targeted at building the capability of Pakistan’s security forces directly engaged in combat operations and to clear and hold terrain in contested areas throughout Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa (formerly Northwest Frontier Province), the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Baluchistan against al-Qaeda and associated extremist groups. A more capable Pakistani security force will diminish extremist access to safe havens from which attacks on Pakistan and on United States and international forces operating in Afghanistan are planned and executed. Supporting a better trained and equipped security force is a critical complement to our efforts with the civilian government as we work together to implement our $7.5 billion, five-year civilian assistance strategy, which includes efforts to help the Government of Pakistan provide basic services to the Pakistani people in areas vulnerable to extremists.
The primary lines of operation continue to be: 1) training and equipping Pakistan’s security forces with a focus on the Pakistan Army, the Special Service Group, Pakistan army aviation, and other enabling forces; 2) training and equipping the paramilitary Frontier Scouts (formerly the Frontier Corps) and; 3) providing training for humanitarian relief in post-combat operations. Capability focus areas include: command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); air mobility; air assault; night operations; military intelligence; counter-improvised explosive devices; close air support; combat equipment; counterinsurgency training; civil affairs and humanitarian assistance; and forward critical medical care.
The $1.2 billion PCCF program will formally transition from being a DoD-managed program in FY 2010 to a State-managed program in FY 2011. In the State Department, we are continuing to develop our oversight and management procedures for the PCCF with the goal of preserving the flexibility and agility needed to support the requirements in the field. Both State and DoD are committed to the successful implementation of the PCCF in FY 2011with the shared goal of a seamless transition that has no discernible impact on U.S. implementers and Pakistani forces in the field. My Defense Department colleagues and I will continue to work with your committee, other DoD committees, and our own State Department oversight committees, and we will continue to keep you fully informed of developments in this critical program.
While PCCF will enable Pakistan’s security forces to clear and hold terrain, we recognize that the political and security situation in the FATA is likely to complicate “build-transfer” efforts for some time. As such, the Department is planning to transfer $10 million in Economic Support Funds to DoD to enable U.S. military personnel to provide rapid humanitarian and community stabilization projects to help “hold” conflict-affected areas. This will help us fill a short-term assistance gap that exists in areas where clearing operations are ongoing and there are acute needs for civilian assistance, but civilians cannot currently access these areas. We are also working with Pakistan to find ways to afford civilians safe access to forward areas.
All of our efforts in Pakistan are geared toward creating the vibrant, modernizing, and democratic state that most Pakistanis desire and the U.S. envisions as a key partner in advancing stability and development in a key region of the globe. In keeping with the President’s pledge of a long-term partnership with Pakistan, we are also making a substantial, long-term commitment of non-military assistance to Pakistan. The assistance is targeted at helping the Pakistani people overcome the political, economic, and security challenges that threaten Pakistan’s stability, and in turn, undermine regional stability. With the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, which authorized $7.5 billion in civilian assistance from FY 2010 to FY 2014, we are moving towards the most effective civilian/military assistance balance. Our three objectives are to: improve the deteriorating economic infrastructure that obstructs economic growth and the daily lives of ordinary Pakistani citizens; improve the Government of Pakistan’s management capacity and commitment to policy reform; and reduce the poverty and lack of opportunity that breeds vulnerability to extremism. Additionally, we are concentrating on high impact, high visibility infrastructure projects that help Pakistan address its major water and energy challenges and demonstrate that the United States is committed to addressing problems that most affect the everyday lives of Pakistanis.
In closing, we in the State Department take very seriously our responsibilities in managing security assistance and ensuring this assistance continues to support our broader civilian assistance efforts. We fully understand the importance of successful implementation of these programs in Pakistan to our efforts across the border in Afghanistan and throughout the region.
In the dynamic security environment we face today in South Asia, with its constantly evolving challenges and opportunities, these programs provide our government with the necessary and flexible tools to advance U.S. national security interests in the region and around the globe.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss these important programs with you this afternoon. I look forward to taking your questions.