FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Thursday, January 5, 2017

FY-17 NDAA General Summary Here With Good Links

Below are links to three good documents on the FY17 NDAA that Congress passed.  I've also include a brief summary put together by an AFRICOM Foreign Affairs Specialist.  Finally, I've included a link here to a post on the Security Cooperation specific portions of the act.

FY17 NDAA Bill Summary
CRS R4497 Fact Sheet FY17 NDAA Highlights
Mercy Corps Press Release Praising NDAA USAID Funding Transfer Authority

In an effort to respond to the complaints of our military commanders and the
Department more broadly, the the FY-17 NDAA contains a major reform designed
to modernize and streamline DOD's security cooperation enterprise.
Specifically, the bill consolidates security cooperation authorities from
Title 10 and elsewhere in public law into a single chapter of U.S. code
(Chapter 16, Section 333) . Of note, the bill repeals numerous existing
so-called "train and equip" authorities and replaces them with one authority
that incorporates all of the Department's existing "train and equip"
authorized activities, greatly enhancing DOD's ability to address the
wide-ranging and evolving nature of global threats.

Additionally, the NDAA consolidates more than $2.0 billion in associated
security cooperation funding into a new fund (Security Cooperation
Enhancement Fund), enhancing transparency, flexibility, transparency, and
congressional oversight. For too long, the Department's activities in this
area have been diffuse and have lacked strategic coordination - both
regionally and functionally. A central fund will allow the Department's
senior civilian and military leaders to make strategic choices with respect
to the allocation of security cooperation resources against strategic
priorities rather than being forced to patch together disparate funding
sources to achieve objectives. The bill also requires the Secretary of
Defense to submit an annual consolidated budget justification for its
security cooperation activities.

The reform package also directs the Secretary of Defense to create a DOD
security cooperation workforce program to oversee the development and
management of a professional workforce supporting security cooperation
programs of the DOD, as well as the execution of security assistance
programs and activities under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms
Control Act by the DOD. While DOD strategic guidance has increased the
emphasis on security cooperation programs and activities in furtherance of
its security objectives, it has not devoted sufficient attention and
resources to the development, management, and sustainment of the DOD's
security cooperation workforce. Building security capabilities of a partner
nation through security cooperation requires a specialized set of skills and
the current system neither develops those skills among its workforce nor
rationally assigns its workforce to match appropriate skills with requirements. Increased
attention and resourcing must be focused on the recruitment, training,
certification, assignment, and career development of the security
cooperation workforce in order to ensure the effective planning, monitoring,
execution, and evaluation of security cooperation programs and activities

In addition to the aforementioned T10, Chapter 16, Section 333 Security
Cooperation authorities, a new authority under Section 385 of the NDAA
allows the Secretary of Defense to transfer up to $75 million to agencies
like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the
Department of State to implement foreign assistance programs, such as
community-led conflict mitigation, good governance and peacebuilding, to
address the root causes of violence. The desired goal with the addition of
this provision in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is to
enable the U.S. government to more effectively tackle drivers of violence

and violent extremism.

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