Security Assistance in Challenging Times
DEFENSE SECURITY ASSISTANCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC
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You should know that Secretary Cheney and General Powell have recognized the increased importance of our business -- security assistance -- to the achievement of U.S. national security objectives in the post-Cold War era. The national military strategy of the United States the Secretarys annual report to the President and the Congress and the joint military net assessment all identify forward presence as one of the key pillars of our national security strategy, and security assistance is an important component of forward presence. Security assistance also contributes to other pillars crisis response and reconstitution. As the focus of our strategy has shifted away from what was the Soviet bloc to regional threats, as our overseas and overall force structure declines, and as we come to rely more on coalition responses to aggression, SAOs and the programs you manage become ever more the symbol of, and the wherewithal behind our commitment to mutual security. This view of security assistance, however, is not universally shared in Washington. No greater evidence of this exists than what happened to the FY92 security assistance budget. Most foreign aid, and especially military aid, is taking a beating in this first post-Soviet Union election year unfolding in the shadow of a recession. As you know, we are operating under a Continuing Resolution CR which will take us through the end of FY92. This CR, enacted in April, imposes a 1.5 percent across-the-board cut against prevailing IMET and FMF funding levels. That cut, however, does not apply against earmarks, which account for 92 percent of the funding. As a result, FMF available for non-earmarked programs has been reduced from 643M in FY91 to only 360M this year, down 44 percent.
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