Obama Requests $5 Billion for New Anti-Terror Initiative

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
May 29, 2014, 9:52 a.m.

U.S. Pres­id­ent Obama on Wed­nes­day out­lined a plan to es­tab­lish a mult­i­bil­lion-dol­lar fund to un­der­write coun­terter­ror­ism train­ings with oth­er na­tions.

In a speech at the United States Mil­it­ary Academy at West Point, N.Y., Obama urged Con­gress to provide as much as $5 bil­lion to es­tab­lish a new Coun­terter­ror­ism Part­ner­ships Fund. The pro­gram would fin­ance U.S. ef­forts to en­hance the ca­pa­city of part­ner states such as Le­ban­on and Ir­aq to com­bat re­gion­al ex­trem­ists, the New York Times re­por­ted.

Obama warned that the ter­ror­ism threat has be­come more wide­spread, with new al-Qaida af­fil­i­ates emer­ging in Mali, Ni­ger­ia, Somalia, Syr­ia, Ye­men and else­where.

“We have to de­vel­op a strategy that matches this dif­fuse threat; one that ex­pands our reach without send­ing forces that stretch our mil­it­ary too thin, or stirs up loc­al re­sent­ments,” Obama stated. “We need part­ners to fight ter­ror­ists along­side us.”

He warned that “for the fore­see­able fu­ture, the most dir­ect threat to Amer­ica at home and abroad re­mains ter­ror­ism.”

The odds that Con­gress would budget money for the pro­posed fund in the short term do not ap­pear good, however, the Daily Beast re­por­ted.

The new re­serve is to be ad­ded to the De­fense De­part­ment’s fisc­al 2015 budget re­quest and draw from the vast Over­seas Con­tin­gency Op­er­a­tions fund, which is not part of the Pentagon’s base budget, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Beast art­icle. Ana­lysts and ex-of­fi­cials say the coun­terter­ror­ism mon­ies might not be ap­proved if ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials do not provide law­makers with spe­cif­ic in­form­a­tion about what the money will be used for and why it can­not come out of the de­part­ment’s core budget.

That key law­makers were not giv­en a heads-up about the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ad­di­tion­al budget re­quest also could play a role. None of the seni­or ap­pro­pri­at­ors from either the Re­pub­lic­an or Demo­crat­ic side in the House and Sen­ate said they had any know­ledge about the coun­terter­ror­ism fund be­fore its an­nounce­ment, the Daily Beast re­ports.

“The ad­min­is­tra­tion has already asked for nearly $8 bil­lion in In­ter­na­tion­al Se­cur­ity As­sist­ance fund­ing, which in­cludes both in­ter­na­tion­al mil­it­ary train­ing and fin­an­cing pro­grams,” Sen­at­or Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said.

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