News / Asia

US Officials Urge Congress to Support Aid for Pakistan

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy (undated photo)
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy (undated photo)
Al Pessin

Senior U.S. officials urged Congress on Thursday to support long-term military and civilian security assistance for Pakistan, which they say has been essential for the U.S.-led fight against global terrorism.  Members of Congress from both political parties were generally supportive of the plan, with some urging faster movement particularly in providing new helicopters for Pakistan's military.  

The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy, told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee the level of importance the Obama administration attaches to defense cooperation with Pakistan.

"Mr. Chairman, distinguished members, our partnership with Pakistan is fraught with challenges, but it remains vital to our overall goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaida and enhancing stability in a critical region," said Michele Flournoy.

Committee members were supportive, and urged action to further increase educational opportunities for Pakistani officers at U.S. military schools, and faster movement to provide Pakistan with key military hardware, particularly helicopters.

Again, Michele Flournoy:

"This is something we are in discussion with them on with regard to a five-year defense plan that we are working with them to develop in a multi-year approach to security assistance and FMF [Foreign Military Financing]," she said. "They haven't made a decision yet on that, but it is something we are actively discussing with them, and I think they are very open to, frankly."

Flournoy said the United States faces several challenges in its effort to renew its defense relationship with Pakistan, which was dormant for many years.  She said the problems include limited Pakistani capability, particularly to sustain control in areas after it flushes out militants, distrust caused by the U.S. pullout from the region in the 1990s and some disagreement over the seriousness of the militant threat, although she said that problem is easing.

At the same time, Flournoy reported that increased U.S. and allied operations in southern Afghanistan and coordinated Pakistani operations in its western region are making life difficult for insurgents who used to operate more freely on both sides of the border.

"I think all of that is starting to have a cumulative effect that is creating a lot of rethinking inside elements of the insurgency on both sides of the border," said Flournoy. "And that's exactly the kind of rethinking we want to stimulate."

Flournoy and other senior officials who spoke to the committee urged House members to provide funding for billions of dollars of planned U.S. military and civilian aid to Pakistan during the next five years.  

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

update 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid