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Comparison of the FY 2010 House and Senate Armed Services Defense Authorization Bills July 20, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in Analysis, News.
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Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense has released a comparison of the FY 2010 House and Senate Armed Services defense authorization bills.  As authorizing bills, these two pieces of legislation deal with DOD authorities and programs.  This report assesses how they deal with the growing number of DOD authorities, programs, and funding for foreign and security assistance, as proposed by the administration in its FY 2010 request.  Attached are the first two pages of the analysis or you can assess the entire document here.

DOD Authorities for Foreign and Security Assistance Programs

A Comparison of the FY 2010 House and Senate Armed Services

Defense Authorization Bills

July 20, 2009

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) marked up its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on June 18 and the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) concluded its markup on July 2. The Senate bill is currently under debate on the floor.

The president requested $663.8 billion in discretionary funding for DOD, including $533.8 billion for the base defense budget and $130 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds.  The Senate bill authorized $534.6 billion for the base budget and $129.3 billion in OCO funds, providing $800 million more than the base budget request and $700 million less than the OCO request.

The House authorized a total of $664 billion for the DOD, $534 billion in base defense funding and $130 billion in OCO funds.  The House bill authorized $200 million more in the base budget than the request but $600 million less than the Senate bill.

FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act

Discretionary DOD Budget

($ in billions)

Obama Request

Senate Bill

House Bill

Base Budget (051)

$533.8

$534.6

$534.0

OCO Budget

$130.0

$129.3

$130.0

Total

$663.8

$663.9

$664.0

*Total excludes the Department of Energy component of the DOD Budget

As authorizing bills, these two pieces of legislation deal with DOD authorities and programs.  This report assesses how they deal with the growing number of DOD authorities, programs, and funding for foreign and security assistance, as proposed by the administration in its FY 2010 request.

Highlights

  • Section 1206 (Global Train and Equip)


Section 1206 of the FY 2006 NDAA authorized the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to conduct or support programs globally that build the capacity of a foreign country’s military and maritime security forces.  The FY 2009 Duncan Hunter NDAA authorized $350 million for Section 1206, authority which expires at the end of FY 2011.

The Obama Administration requested an increase in Section 1206 funding levels to $400 million for FY 2010, stressing that combatant commanders consider Section 1206 programs as the single most important tool in shaping the environment and counter terrorism.

The HASC report in the bill contrasted Section 1206 with traditional security assistance authorities, noting that the execution and growth of Section 1206 represents the Secretary of Defense’s assessment of a combatant commander’s need to build certain capacities in partner nations to satisfy specific security requirements.  The HASC report supported the current “dual key” approach that gives DOD the lead in defining Section 1206 “requirements” but requires Secretary of State concurrence.  The HASC also quested whether State had created adequate capacity to assume responsibility for these authorities.  The HASC did not, however, increase the previously authorized funding level of $350 million.

The SASC bill also held to the $350 million level, but set a sub-limit of $75 million that could be used to support military and stability operations in which the US is a direct participant.  The SASC sub-limit is intended to cap special operations and stability operations training for forces that operate with the US roughly at current levels. The committee emphasized that Section 1206 authority is temporary and funds are intended to address emerging needs and should not be used in ways that duplicate or substitute for funding under FMF authority.

  • Section 1207 (Security and Stabilization Assistance)

Section 1207 of the FY 2006 NDAA authorized the Secretary of Defense to transfer defense articles and funds to the Department of State for the purposes of providing reconstruction, security or stabilization assistance to a foreign country.  The FY 2009 Duncan Hunter NDAA authorized $150 million, including $50 million for Georgia, with the authority to expire at the end of FY 2009.

The Obama Administration requested an increase in Section 1207 budgeting authority from $100 million to $200 million, and extension of the authority through FY 2010. The administration justified the increased level of funding as a whole-of-government approach to providing civilian resources that avert crises that would require US military intervention.

The HASC bill would extend Section 1207 authority through FY 2010 but decreased funding to $25 million. HASC argued that it was inappropriate to provide DOD with funds to transfer to State in order for State to fulfill its statutory responsibilities.  The HASC also reasoned that DOD operations and maintenance (O&M) funding should go to core DOD missions. HASC stressed that Section 1207 was meant to be temporary and urged State to build its own capacity to make such transfers unnecessary.

The SASC authorized $100 million for Section 1207 and extended the authority through FY 2010.  The SASC cited increased coordination between the DOD and State one valuable aspect of Section 1207 authority.  Like the HASC, the SASC also noted that Section 1207 was meant to be temporary and urged State to develop the internal capacity to provide such a program.

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