rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » US Cong panel seeks report on defence ties with India

US Cong panel seeks report on defence ties with India

December 19, 2012 14:22 IST
Agreeing to a $633.3 billion defence authorisation bill for the fiscal 2013, a conference committee of the United States Congress has sought from the authorities a "review and report" regarding defence ties with India.

The National Defence Authorisation Act "requires a review and report regarding the bilateral defense trade relationship with India," the senate armed services committee said in a statement after a conference between the house of representatives and senate as part of their efforts to sort out their differences on the issue.

NDAA-2013 would now be formally passed by the two chambers of the Congress before heading to the White House for US President Barack Obama's signature.

In 2011, the Congress had sought a report from the department of defence on India-US security cooperation.

The NDAA, among other things, re-authorises the use of funds to support the reintegration of insurgent fighters back into Afghan society; and provides $200 million for the Commanders' Emergency Response Programme to enable military commanders to fund small-scale humanitarian projects that help secure the support of the Afghan people. It also provides $350 million for the Afghanistan infrastructure fund to support infrastructure projects that are high-priority for the civil-military campaign, particularly the electrification of the Kandahar area.

It enhances the capability of the US armed forces to support the Afghanistan national security forces and the Afghan local police as the lead responsibility for security throughout Afghanistan transitions to the ANSF.

The NDAA also fully funds the $5.7 billion requested for the Afghanistan security forces fund to build the capacity of the Afghan army and police so that those forces can transition to taking the security lead throughout Afghanistan by 2014.

The budget provides for using the Afghanistan security forces fund to build the capacity of the Afghan government guard force responsible for replacing private security contractors in protecting development projects and convoys across Afghanistan.

Among other things, it authorises the limited transfer to the Afghan security forces of US military equipment that otherwise would be withdrawn from Afghanistan to build the capacity of those forces to provide for Afghanistan's security during the transition to an Afghan security lead in 2014.

It calls for an independent assessment of the size and structure of the ANSF necessary for those forces to be able to ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world.

The defence budget also requires that following a decision by the president to change US force levels in Afghanistan, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, through the secretary of defence, shall provide to the Congress an assessment of risk to the US mission and security interests associated with such a change in force levels.

The conference adopted Iran sanctions provisions that would designate certain persons and entities in Iran's energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors as entities of proliferation concern, subjecting many transactions with such entities to sanction.

Sanctions would also be imposed on persons selling or supplying, or diverting to Iran a defined list of materials relevant to the aforementioned sectors, to certain Iranian specially-designated nationals and blocked persons, or to be used in connection with certain Iranian military programmes.

Besides, sanctions would be imposed on non-US businesses and financial institutions dealing with all Iranian persons on the US list of specially-designated nationals and blocked persons, except for non-designated Iranian financial institutions.

Besides, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and its president would be designated as human rights abusers for their broadcasting of forced confessions and show trials, blocking their assets and preventing other entities from doing business with them, and banning any travel to the US.

Lalit K Jha in Washington