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NDAA authorises $4.9b for Afghan security forces

NDAA authorises $4.9b for Afghan security forces

Nov 11, 2017 - 11:01

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The reconciled version of the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, approves $4.9 billion for the Afghanistaninfo-icon Security Forces Fund.

This includes $1.7 billion to sustain and advance the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force and $41 million to support the recruitment, training, and integration of womeninfo-icon into the local security forces.

According to a conference report jointly released by the Senate and House Armed Services committees, NDAA authorises 3,500 visas for individuals who are eligible for special immigrant status under the Afghan Allies Protection Act.

The act will now heads to the Senate and House floor for formal passage before it is sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign it into law.

It envisages up to $700 million in Coalition Support Funding to reimburse Pakistaninfo-icon for activities carried out in support of US operations in Afghanistan.

But it makes the release of $350 million conditional to Defense Secretary giving a certification that Pakistan is taking action against the Haqqani networkinfo-icon.

Notably in the last two years, successive defense secretaries have not given a certification to Pakistan.

Congressional leaders reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the act have asked the Pentagon to “demonstrate” to Pakistan the “consequences” of continued support to terrorists. 

It also asks the Department of Defense to closely monitor US security assistance to Pakistan to ensure that the country is not using such aid to support terrorist groups.

The US and India “should work closely with Afghanistan” to promote stability in the region to include targeted infrastructure development and economic investment, means to address capability gaps in country, and improved humanitarian and disaster relief assistance.

The conferees noted the authority allowed for reimbursement of Pakistan for security activities along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, including providing training and equipment for the Frontier Corps.

However, the conferees were concerned that Pakistan continues to delay or deny visas for US personnel that could assist with the provision of such training.

Given this situation, the conferees recommend that the Department of Defense condition reimbursements for training and equipment with appropriate access by US personnel, it said.



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