U.S. Arms Sales Policy Related to
Near East / South Asia
after the terrorist attacks, the Bush administration lifted those
sanctions on Pakistan and India
that had been imposed after both countries tested nuclear
weapons. Additional sanctions remained in place for Pakistan, as
well as other countries the Bush Administration wanted to coax into
playing a key role in the anti-terrorism coalition. The administration
therefore included in a draft anti-terrorism bill sent to Congress a
provision that would have lifted all restrictions on military aid and arms
transfers for the next five years in cases where doing so would help fight
terrorism or other threats to international peace and
security. The provision also specifically lifted bans on
counter-terrorism and non-proliferation aid for states with gross and
consistent human rights abuses or a history of non-cooperation on counter-terrorism. After strong criticism
from Congress and NGOs, the proposal was scaled back to a request to lift
remaining sanctions on Pakistan for two years. The Pakistan-only
waiver was put into a separate bill (S. 1465, sponsored by Sen. Brownback), which became law on 27 October 2001.
This law waives the military coup provision (no arms or aid to countries that have undergone a military coup until democracy is restored)
from Foreign Operations Appropriations bills for FY 2002 and 2003; allows for greater flexibility on sanctions related to MTCR or Export Administration
Act violations; and exempts Pakistan from restrictions on aid relating to loan defaults. It also shortens the congressional notification
period for transfers of weapons from current U.S. stocks (drawdowns) from 15 to 5 days and transfers of excess U.S. weapons from 30 to 15 days for all countries
if the transfers would respond to or prevent international acts of terrorism. In June 2003, the State Department
formally ended the ban on arms transfers to India and Pakistan, announcing that henceforth all requests would be considered
on a standard case-by-case basis.
Senator Brownback also sponsored an amendment to
the FY02 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that would waive
sanctions on Azerbaijan
(Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act) in order to support U.S.
counter-terrorism efforts. The final version of
the bill , which was approved by the House-Senate Conference Committee on
December 19, includes a renewable one-year waiver with
a proviso that military aid or arms cannot undermine the peace process with
hostile neighbor Armenia. In March 2002, Congress made these temporary waivers permanent by
amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). With this notice, Armenia and Azerbaijan were officially removed from a list of proscribed destinations for the exports and imports of defense articles and defense services
In response to the Philippines support for U.S.
anti-terrorism efforts - including offers of use of bases, airspace, and
aid - the U.S. government offered $92.3 million worth of excess
military equipment, including a C-130 transport plane, 8 UH-1H utility helicopters, a
naval patrol boat, and 30,000 M-16 rifles plus ammunition. The
aid is also intended to help Manila fight its various
insurgencies, including the Abu Sayyef, which has allegedly had ties to
Al Qaeda. U.S. Special Operations Forces are also providing
on-site training for Filipino soldiers fighting the Abu Sayyef. The Bush
administration has also reportedly offered excess defense articles
(EDA) to Turkey
in the name of combating terrorism in all its forms (i.e.,
Georgia is the most recent
recipient of U.S. weapons and aid, receiving 10 UH-1H Huey
helicopters (four for spare parts only) and $64 million in military aid and
training to fight Arab soldiers with alleged ties to Al Qaeda that have been
participating in the Chechen war and are now taking refuge in the
Pankisi Gorge region in northern Georgia. Like many of the recent aid recipients,
claims that Georgia has become an al Qaeda sanctuary are dubious at best. Even the
Georgian Defense Minister, whose troops stand to benefit handsomely from the alleged al
Qaeda presence in his country, has publically challenged the Bush administration's claims.
"For me personally, it is very difficult to believe in that [al Qaeda is in the Gorge],"
commented Tevzadze, "because to come from Afghanistan to that part of Georgia,
they need to [cross] at least six or seven countries, including [the] Caspian Sea...
No, al Qaeda influence can't be in the country."
Also in the
name of helping other states fight terrorism, the State Department
announced on January 9, 2002, that Tajikistan - which
has been cooperating with the U.S. counter-terrorism efforts - was
removed from the ITAR list of states prohibited from receiving U.S.
military goods and services. The State Department is also planning
to begin combat and weapons training for
Kenyan soldiers as part of the African Crisis
Response Initiative, which had previously been limited
to non-lethal peacekeeping training. The shift in training
could help clear the way for U.S. forces to use Kenyan
bases in an eventual attack on terrorist camps in
Somalia. President Bush's March 21, 2002
Emergency Supplemental Budget Request
includes greatly increased levels of foreign military financing for Kenya,
as well as Djibouti and Ethiopia, the three countries which share
borders with Somalia.
This Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request also includes a $50 million request
under the Foreign Military Financing Program for Afghanistan, and contains provisions
for the arming and training of an Afghan army. The $373 million Foreign Military Financing request for
"the fight against terrorism" also names Pakistan, Nepal, Jordan,
Yemen, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan,
Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, the Philippines, Colombia
and Ecuador as intended recipients of U.S. military equipment and aid.
In one demonstration of restraint, the State
Department decided to suspend the export of long-range .50
caliber sniper rifles to individuals or
commercial dealers because of the special risk they pose to U.S.
security. The State Department seemed to be responding
to a request from Rep. Henry Hyde, ranking minority member on the House
Committee on Governmental Reform, and a report from the Violence
Policy Center showing that U.S. arms makers had previously transferred these
high-powered weapons to foreign terrorists, including Osama bin Laden.
These weapons can shoot accurately from almost 2,000 yards, and can
take down aircraft and pierce armored vehicles. The State Department had
already approved the export of 75 such weapons this year,
though only 16 had already been delivered before the
decision to suspend further exports.
- Synchronizing Security Cooperation as a Critical Tool in the War on Terrorism,
RADM Bill Sullivan, USN, 27 March 2006.
- U.S. Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program Making Its Mark Overseas,
State Department, 24 June 2005.
- Countries not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts,
State Department, Congressional Register, 19 may 2005.
- Country Reports on Terrorism 2004,
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, State Department, April 2005. State Department webpage.
- "Background Briefing by Administration Officials on US-South Asia Relations,",
State Department Press Conference, 25 March 2005.
- Notice Designating Pakistan a Major Non-NATO Ally, 19 April 2004 (obtained
via a Freedom of Information Act request).
- State Department,
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Export of Defense Articles and Services to India and Pakistan,
June 20, 2003 (Federal Register notice of reversal of policy of denial of arms transfer requests)
- Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew P. Daley, U.S. Interests and Policy Priorities in Southeast Asia, March 26, 2003
- Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, Overview of Top Goals and Objectives for East Asia-Pacific Region, March 26, 2003
- Secretary Powell's testimony on the
FY 2004 Foreign Operations budget, February 6, 2003
- Presidential Determination to permit
aid for Azerbaijan, January 17, 2003
- The Quality And Durability of
the U.S.-India Relationship, remarks by Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, November 27, 2002.
- Joint press briefing with Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Kazakh Minister of Defense Mukhtar Altynbayev, November 14, 2002.
- Excerpt of Department of Defense
news briefing from General Tommy Franks, commander, U.S. Central Command, October 29, 2002, on U.S. presence in
the Horn of Africa.
- Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage: Security Cooperation in a Post-9/11 World, remarks at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency
Conference, October 17, 2002.
- Partnership between the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic:
Joint Statement by President George
W. Bush and President Askar Akayev, September 23, 2002, and
Fact Sheet, September 24, 2002.
- Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage's testimony on the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, September 17, 2002.
- President Bush's remarks to
the United Nations General Assembly, September 12, 2002.
- Excepts from Secretary of State
Colin Powell's remarks with Indonesian Coordinating Minister For Political And Security Affairs Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono August 2, 2002.
- State Department Fact Sheet: "Summary
of Counterterrorism Proposals for Jakarta." August 2, 2002.
- State Department Press
Statement by Spokesman Richard Boucher: "Removal of the Government of Afghanistan from the International Traffic in
Arms Regulations (ITAR) Proscribed List." July 2, 2002.
- DoD News
Transcript - Phone Interview with the Commander of the Georgia Train and Equip Program
May 30, 2002.
Statement on U.S. - India Defense Policy Group Meeting May 23, 2002.
Determination granting Emergency Military Assistance for Afghanistan (Presidential
Determination No. 2002-18) April 27, 2002.
Determination granting a Military Drawdown for the Republic of Georgia (Presidential
Determination No. 2002-17) April 24, 2002.
FY 2003 International Affairs Budget: Secretary Colin L. Powell's
Testimony Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations,
April 24, 2002.
- Presidential Determination granting Nigeria $4 million in
emergency military assistance (Presidential Determination 2002-16),
April 19, 2002.
- Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich Outlines Terrorist Threat in Colombia,
April 11, 2002.
- Excerpts from Richard Boucher's briefing on U.S. funding
of Afghanistan's army, March 26, 2002.
- The New York Times interview with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz on Indonesia and the War on Terrorism, March 21, 2002.
Emergency FY 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Request, March 20, 2002.
- United States-Uzbekistan Declaration on the Strategic Partnership and
Cooperation Framework: Fact Sheet
and Declaration, March 12, 2002.
Remarks by President Bush on the Six-Month Anniversary of the
September 11th Attacks, March 11, 2002.
from President Bush's remarks on military assistance to
, February 27, 2002.
News Briefing - ASD PA Clarke and General Pace on military aid to
Feburary 27, 2002.
Department News Briefing on military aid to Georgia
- Richard Boucher. Feburary 27, 2002.
General Tommy R. Franks, Commander in Chief, U.S. Central
to the House Armed Services Committee
on the fiscal year 2003 National Defense Authorization budget request.
(Yemen) February 27, 2002.
Admiral Dennis C. Blair U.S. Navy Commander in
Chief U.S. Pacific Command, Before the House International Relations
Committee Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific and Subcommittee
on Middle East and South Asia on U.S. Pacific Command Posture, 27
Excerpts from the Rumsfeld and Musharaf Press
Sheet: Official Working Visit of President Musharraf of
from the Press Briefing on the Bush-Musharaf meeting
Presidential waiver on nuclear-related sanctions on India and
sanctions on India and Pakistan (including waiver status), as of
Presidential waiver on spare parts for Pakistan for use in
peacekeeping operations, 8/24/01
"Globalization of Export Controls and
Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Remarks to the 14th
Annual Export Controls Conference London, England, November 7, 2001
(ties between export controls and counter-terrorism)
.50 Caliber rifle exports:
Announcement of suspension of International Traffic in Arms
prohibition for Tajikistan,
9 January 2002
Office of Management and Budget
announcements of executive anti-terrorism spending:
"Moran Offers Amendment to Stop Export of Weapons of Terror," News
Release, Congressman Jim Moran, 16 June 2005.
"The United States and South Asia," 14 June 2005.
Hearing of the House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
- Hearing Notice
- Opening Statement: Representative James A. Leach.
Chairman, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
- Statement of Rep. Gary L. Ackerman.
- Statement of Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega.
- Statement of Rep. Dan Burton.
- Statement of Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.
- Testimony of Ashley J. Tellis, Ph.D.
Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- Testimony of Stephen P. Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Foreign Policy Studies Program.
- Supporting Paper: "Pakistan and the Crescent of Crisis," by Dr. Stephen P. Cohen.
Written for the Crescent of Crisis Workshop, Paris, 19-20 April 2005.
- Testimony of Mr. Dana Robert Dillon.
Senior Policy Analyst, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation.
U.S.-China Counter-Terrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy ,
Congressional Research Service, updated 5/12/2005.
The Role of Arms Export Policy in the Global War on Terror , House International Relations Committee, 7/14/04.
on limiting military training for Indonesia until certain human rights conditions are met (1/22-23/03).
Joint Resolution expressing the sense of the Congress on human rights in Central Asia (introduced in the Senate 1/14/03).
Conference Committee Report on H.R.
4775, 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the
United States (7/19/02, passed House 7/23/02, passed Senate 7/24/02).
Congressional Debate on the FY 2002 Supplemental Bill and U. S. involvement in the civil war in Colombia.
The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002, containing provisions for military assistance and training in Afghanistan, Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House (05/22/02).
International Traffic in Arms Regulations Amendments on Armenia and Azerbaijan,
removed Armenia and Azerbaijan from the list of proscribed destinations for the exports and
imports of defense articles and defense services (2/22/02, reported in the Federal Register on 3/29/02).
lifting remaining restrictions on arms and aid to Pakistan, passed
Senate 10/4/01, passed House 10/16/01, became law
- House debate on S. 1465
- Senate debate on S. 1465
- H.R. 2506, Foreign Operations
Appropriations bill, as passed House 7/24/01, as passed Senate 10/24/01. Section 599(b) of the Senate version lifts
sanctions on Azerbaijan.
Counter-Terrorism bill sent to Congress 9/19/01
(Section 505 would have lifted
restrictions on arms sales to fight terrorism or other threats to the
President Bush's denial of this request
(Statement on terrorism at the
Rose Garden, 9/24/01)
Department spokesman's comments on the
2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations
($40 billion; half for Congress, half for administration to
FY2002 Defense Dept. Appropriations
(includes distribution of Congress' $20 billion portion
of Emergency Supplemental Appropriations)
USA Patriot Act of 2001
law, mainly domestic)
Detailed Data on Arms Transfers to Near East / South Asia
Past U.S. Arms and Military Aid to Afghanistan
During the 1980s, in an effort to topple the
Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan, the U.S. government provided at
least $2 billion worth of arms and military training to Islamic rebel
groups, known collectively as the Mujahideen. Among the weapons
the U.S. government sent or had delivered to the Mujahideen were
Soviet-origin SA-7 Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs), FIM-92 Stinger SAMs,
AK-47 assault rifles, and other small arms and light weapons.
U.S.-origin SAMs were reportedly sent over the objections of the
CIA, which feared for the safety of the weapons and the precedent this
type of transfer would set. Congress did
approve the transfer of a limited number of Stingers in 1985.
In the end, about 1,000 Stingers were transferred, of which several
hundred are still at large. Suspected
terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was apparently able to procure a number
of SA-7 SAMs and Stingers, which he could use to target civilian aircraft in
future acts of terror.
In order to avoid direct connections with
unsavory Afghani groups, the CIA primarily funneled arms and money
through Pakistan Army. s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The ISI ended up pilfering large quantities of the weapons and
directing the rest to groups of its own choosing. The ISI
gave arms to groups it considered less threatening to Pakistan, which
turned out to be some of the most radical Islamic factions, which were
as hostile to the West as they were to the Soviets. U.S.-funded
military training camps in Pakistan also took in radicals from other
Muslim countries looking to wage a holy war against the Soviets and the
West. Osama bin Laden helped create housing for the multitude of foreign fighters,
naming the camp and ultimately his group of followers . The
Base," or Al-Qaeda.
After the Soviets left in 1989, they left a government
in place that the Mujahideen finally forced out in 1992. The
Mujahideen groups then began fighting amongst themselves. The
Taliban - made up of religious students educated in Pakistan and former
Mujahideen soldiers and led by former Mujahideen Maulana Mohammad Omar -
emerged as a military and political group in 1994 and took over Kabul in 1996.
They are now armed with
weapons left by the Soviets, weapons left over from the U.S.
arms pipeline of the 1980s, and arms recently sent by Pakistan, which has
leftover stores from the 1980s and acquires other items on the
international black market. Pakistan has allegedly continued to provide
the Taliban weapons in violation of the UN arms embargo put in place in
Pakistan has also apparently sent CIA-provided weaponry to militants
fighting Indian forces in Kashmir.
More on U.S. arms transfers:
from the Rooftops: How the Gun Industry Armed Osama bin Laden, Other Foreign and
Domestic Terrorists, and Common Criminals with 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles,"
Violence Policy Center, October 2001.
"Blasts from the past: The weaponry the Taliban could turn on us may be our own,
the relics of a $7 billion Cold War campaign,"
by Ken Silverstein, salon.com, 9/22/01
"Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert
by Steve Coll, Washington
Post, 7/19/92 (on
(Also: "U.S. Sent Guns to Bin Laden in 1980s," Washington Post,
More on Taliban,
their weapons, and weapons sources:
"The Taliban's Military
Forces (Prior to Hostilities),"
"Global Hot Spots:
The Afghanistan Files,"
"Stingers Could Haunt U.S.
"Crisis of Impunity: The
Role of Pakistan, Russia, and Iran in Fueling the Civil
Human Rights Watch, July 2001
War: Press Backgrounder,"
- "Kabul's New Islamic
Time International, Anthony Spaeth,
10/7/96 (background on Taliban)
More on human
rights in Afghanistan:
U.S. Trainers Pledge Strict Accountability in Georgia," Defense Week, 3 June 2002, p. 1.
and Lora Lumpe, . Government Gun-Running to Guerrillas,. in
Running Guns, Lora Lumpe, ed. (New York:
2000), pp. 55-80.