WASHINGTON: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018, as passed by the US House of Representatives on Friday, requires the defense secretary to provide an Afghan strategy beyond five years.
“It directs the secretary of defense to provide an Afghanistan strategy that will look beyond the next five years to describe the trajectory of US efforts in Afghanistan and assess the timeline and total resources necessary to achieve US objectives,” the House Armed Services Committee said.
Passed by 344/81 votes, NDAA-2018 provides for a robust Afghan Security Forces Fund to support the Afghan allies who have suffered significant losses in the fight against the Taliban and terrorist organisations.
The fund provides for enhancements in the Afghan Air Force’s fixed and rotary wing fleet and supports the expansion of the Afghanistan Special Security Forces. At the same time the bill provides to support for President Ghani’s anti-corruption efforts.
It encourages the Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop strategies to modernize analog flight and crew advisory instruments in the UH–60A/L aircraft bound for Afghanistan Aviation Forces.
At the same time, the House continued with tough condition for US aid to Pakistan. It said of the total reimbursement and support for Pakistan from October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018, $400.0 million would not be eligible for a waiver unless the secretary of defense certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.
One of the legislative amendments proposes withholding reimbursements to Pakistan unless the secretary can certify the country is not providing military, financial, or logistical support to any individuals designated by the US as a terrorist operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
NDAA also requires that the Pentagon to assess Pakistan’s support for known terrorists before handing over US dollars to Islamabad, Congressman Ted Poe said.
“It is well known that Pakistan is a Benedict Arnold ally who supports multiple terrorist organisations, including groups that target Americans working to stabilise Afghanistan. But current limitations on military reimbursement funding to Pakistan only apply to the Haqqani Network,” Poe said.