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Highlights from the FY 2010 NDAA Conference Report October 22, 2009

Posted by Trice Kabundi in Analysis.
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capitol1On October 7, the final conference agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was released. Both the House and Senate voted and approved the bill, which is headed to the White House for President Obama’s approval. The bill covers a number of the security and foreign assistance authorities that have been in contention between State and DOD for the past few years and which the Stimson Center’s BFAD program has been tracking.  We describe below how these authorities issues were dealt with in the new act.  Highlighted is the current status of the growing number of DOD authorities, programs, and funding for foreign and security assistance, as proposed by the administration in its FY 2010 request.  For an in-depth comparison of the earlier HASC and SASC authorization bills, follow this link.

  • Section 1206 (Global Train and Equip)

The House and Senate conferees opted not to increase funding levels as requested by the Obama administration, setting FY 2010 funding at $350 million. The Conference Report explains that Section 1206 funding authority may be utilized for the capacity building of Coalition partners in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to “conduct stabilization operations and special operations.”  This is not a new authority; rather, the conferees agreed that the existing authority permitted such assistance.  The legislation does set a $75 million ceiling on the amount of Section 1206 funds that can be used to support military or stability operations in which US forces are a participant (such as Iraq and Afghanistan). This provision is intended to limit the use of 1206 funding for primarily European partners participating in the Iraq and Afghanistan coalitions.

FYI: Section 1206 authorizes 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 to undertake counterterrorism and stability operations.

  • Section 1207 (Security and Stabilization)

As was requested by the administration, the bill extends Section 1207 authority through FY 2010. The bill authorizes funding at $100 million.

FYI: Section 1207 authorizes 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.

  • Section 1208 (Support to Foreign Forces)

While the Obama administration did not request any changes to Section 1208 authority, the bill increases Section 1208 funding from $35 million to $40 million for FY 2010. The bill also expands the notification and reporting requirements for Section 1208 authority, based on concerns expressed in both the HASC and SASC authorization bills.

FYI: Sections 1208 authorizes the DOD to reimburse foreign forces, groups, or individuals supporting or facilitating ongoing counter-terrorism military operations by US special operations forces.

  • Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP)

The bill authorizes $1.3 billion for CERP, and extends the authority through FY 2010.  The House and Senate also agreed to extend the 15-day reporting requirement to 30 days, and allows up to $50 million of CERP funds to be transferred to the Afghanistan National Solidarity Program, which is dedicated to community development and stronger counterinsurgency efforts.

FYI: CERP provides regional Combatant Commanders with flexible funding that lets them respond to urgent, small-scale humanitarian relief and reconstruction needs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (PCF)

The bill allows the DOD’S PCF to be resourced with up to $700 million that would be transferred from the State Department’s new Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF). The amount transferred to the PCF is a decision made by the Secretary of State, with Defense concurrence.  The Report also explains that the Secretary of Defense, with State concurrence, decides how to use PCF funds for counterinsurgency efforts.  The bill also requires DOD to provide Congress with a report assessing Pakistan’s efforts to confront militant extremists and quarterly reports that summarize PCCF to PCF transfers.

FYI: The PCF funds assist the government of Pakistan in building the capacity of Pakistan’s security forces to conduct counterinsurgency operations.  For more information on the relationship between the PCF and the PCCF, click here.

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ISFF/ASFF)

The bill provides the $7.463 billion requested by the Obama administration for ASFF, and limits funds available for the ISFF to the terms and conditions of the FY 2008 NDAA.

FYI: ISFF and ASFF give DOD the authority to train and equip Iraq and Afghanistan security forces.

  • Coalition Support Funds (CSF)

The conference committee extended the authority of CSF into FY 2010, and authorized the full request of $1.6 billion, as supported by both the House and Senate bills.

FYI: Coalition Support Funds allows DOD to reimburse cooperating countries for expenses incurred while supporting US military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas contingency operations.

  • Combatant Commander Initiative Fund (CCIF)

The bill increases the flexibility of the CCIF, allowing regional COCOMS to purchase items necessary for an adequate response to “unanticipated needs or opportunities.”  The bill also increases the “investment unit cost threshold” and the annual purchase authority.  The provision would also require the Chairman to coordinate with State in approving the use of CCIF funds for humanitarian and civic assistance.

FYI: Through the CCIF, regional combatant commanders support unforeseen contingency requirements critical to the combatant commanders’ joint war-fighting readiness and national security interests.

  • Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)

The bill authorizes $424 million for the CTR for FY 2010, which is $20 million more than Obama’s request. In order to “address emergency nonproliferation issues,” the bill also creates new authorities for the CTR program at both the DOD and DOE by allowing the Secretary of Defense, with State concurrence, to accept international contributions for CTR activities.

FYI: The CTR supports DOD programs to partner with willing countries in order to reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials, technologies and expertise.

  • Authority to Provide Additional Support for Counter-Drug Activities

The bill extends this authority for an additional fiscal year, and includes technical changes to the reporting requirements, which would require the Secretary of Defense to report to the congressional defense committees on an annual basis.

FYI: This authority allows the DOD to provide support to foreign governments for counter-drug activities.

  • Funds Available to a Joint Task Force to Support Counter-Drug Activities

The bill extends this authority through FY 2010, consistent with the administration’s request and both the Senate and House bills.

FYI: The authority allows a DOD joint task force to provide support to law enforcement agencies conducting counter-drug activities and to also support for counter-terrorism operations.

  • Authority to Transfer Articles no Longer Needed in Iraq

The bill allows the Secretary of Defense, with State concurrence, to transfer defense articles that are no longer needed in Iraq to the Security Forces of Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • Defense Coalition Support Fund (DCSF) and Civilian Ministry of Defense Advisor Program

The bill does not provide any authority or funding for either of these programs.

FYI: As proposed by the administration, this fund of $22 million and the related authority would allow DOD to stockpile defense articles such as helmets and body armor for potential use by coalition partners, circumventing lengthy procurement time frames.  A Civilian Ministry of Defense Advisor Program would allow the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to “offer institutional, ministerial-level advice and training to senior civilian and military officials” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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