US Senate body approves $5.7b for Afghan forces
Washington (PAN): A key US Senate committee on Thursday unanimously voted to approve $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2012 for Afghanistan Security Forces Fund to build the capacity of Afghan army and police.
Passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for year 2013 provides the money for using Afghanistan Security Forces Fund to build the capacity of the Afghan government guard force replacing private security contractors in protecting development projects and convoys across Afghanistan.
It also calls for an independent assessment of the size and structure of Afghanistan National Security Forces to ensure that Afghanistan never serves as a safe haven for terrorists again.
The Committee also approved $200 million for the Commanders’ Emergency Response Programme (CERP) to enable military commanders to fund small-scale humanitarian projects that help to secure support of Afghans.
In addition, $350 million is provided for Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund to support infrastructure projects that are high-priority for civil-military campaign, particularly the electrification of Kandahar. However, this is a reduction of $50 million from the requested $400 million annul fund for Afghan forces.
The bill authorises $7.5 billion in Coalition Support Funds to reimburse cooperating nations supporting the effort in Afghanistan, but limits the availability of such funds to reimburse Pakistan until the Secretary of Defense certifies that Pakistan meets certain criteria, including not supporting or providing safe havens to insurgents attacking US, Afghan, and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and not imprisoning Dr. Shakil Afridi, who helped to locate Osama Bin Laden.
However, the bill says that Secretary of Defense may waive these certification requirements if in US national security interest. The provision also makes clear that no Coalition Support Fund payments may be made to reimburse Pakistan for claims relating to the period when the lines of supply through Pakistan to Afghanistan remain closed.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.