Saturday, July 11, 2009
1.5 Billion for Pakistan from US
June 26, 2009
The New Yorker
The Senate yesterday passed by unanimous consent the Kerry-Lugar bill, as urged here and elsewhere. Here are some important passages of the bill, outlining U.S. policy and financial commitments:
SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
It is the policy of the United States—
(1) to support the consolidation of democracy, good governance, and rule of law in Pakistan;
(2) to support economic growth and development in order to promote stability and security across Pakistan;
(3) to affirm and build a sustained, long-term, multifaceted relationship with Pakistan;
(4) to further the sustainable economic development of Pakistan and the improvement of the living conditions of its citizens, including in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, by expanding United States bilateral engagement with the Government of Pakistan, especially in areas of direct interest and importance to the daily lives of the people of Pakistan;
(5) to work with Pakistan and the countries bordering Pakistan to facilitate peace in the region and harmonious relations between the countries of the region;
(6) to work with the Government of Pakistan to prevent any Pakistani territory from being used as a base or conduit for terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, or elsewhere in the world;
(7) to work in close cooperation with the Government of Pakistan to coordinate military, paramilitary, and police action against terrorist targets;
(8) to work with the Government of Pakistan to help bring peace, stability, and development to all regions of Pakistan, especially those in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas, including support for an effective counterinsurgency strategy;
(9) to expand people-to-people engagement between the United States and Pakistan, through increased educational, technical, and cultural exchanges and other methods; and;
(10) to encourage and promote public-private partnerships in Pakistan in order to bolster ongoing development efforts and strengthen economic prospects, especially with respect to opportunities to build civic responsibility and professional skills of the people of Pakistan.; and
(11) to encourage the development of local analytical capacity to measure progress on an integrated basis across the areas of donor country expenditure in Pakistan, and better hold the Government of Pakistan accountable for how the funds are being spent.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDS.
(a) AUTHORIZATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the President, for the purposes of providing assistance to Pakistan under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), the following amounts:
(1) For fiscal year 2009, up to $1,500,000,000.
(2) For fiscal year 2010, up to $1,500,000,000.
(3) For fiscal year 2011, up to $1,500,000,000.
(4) For fiscal year 2012, up to $1,500,000,000.
(5) For fiscal year 2013, up to $1,500,000,000.
There are at least three serious, interlocking threats to the United States emanating from Pakistan today: Direct attempts by Al Qaeda to attack the U.S. and Americans abroad; the possibility that Al Qaeda-influenced jihadists could acquire direct or indirect influence over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal; and the possibility that Pakistan-based jihadi groups could provoke a war between India and Pakistan. The only way to help mitigate these threats is to attempt to stabilize Pakistan, and then, in the longer term, construct a strategic partnership that breaks the patterns of the past and promotes normalization of ties between India and Pakistan. The best way for the U.S. to contribute to that daunting effort right now is to encourage and assist the Pakistani military as it tries to roll back the Taliban (which the Pakistan Army succored and created) while simultaneously attempting to strengthen Pakistan’s economy and its shaky power-sharing arrangements between the military and civilian politicians. These are the premises, essentially, that have produced Kerry-Lugar, and they explain the policy section’s emphasis on rebalancing U.S. engagement to address partnerships outside of the military realm.
The House has passed a companion bill, but the differences between the two versions are apparently serious enough that it might not be possible to reconcile them in conference. One alternative would be to substitute a new bill in the House that is closer to Kerry-Lugar. Either way, this is work that needs to be finished quickly.