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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid