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GAO: Accountability for U.S. Equipment Provided to Pakistani Security Forces in the Western Frontier Needs to Be Improved

Author: Government Accountability Office
February 15, 2011


Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other extremists have used safe havens along Pakistan's Western Frontier (border) region to attack Pakistani, Afghan, U.S., and coalition troops; plan and train for attacks against U.S. interests and the U.S. homeland; destabilize Pakistan, a nuclear-armed U.S. ally; and spread radical Islamic ideologies that threaten U.S. interests. A key U.S. national security objective is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its violent extremist affiliates in Pakistan and to deny them a safe haven. Since 2002, the United States has provided over $18 billion in assistance and reimbursement to Pakistan including (1) reimbursements to the Pakistani government for costs incurred in direct support of U.S. counterterrorism operations; (2) security assistance such as grants to Pakistan for the acquisition of military equipment; and (3) development, economic, and humanitarian assistance.

Since 2006, this assistance has included $1.5 billion to improve the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency capabilities of Pakistani security forces operating along the country's border with Afghanistan, including $400 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (PCF) and $700 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund (PCCF).1 The President has requested an additional $1.2 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2011 and $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2012 to train and equip these forces. U.S. assistance under this initiative has provided military equipment, such as helicopters and night-vision devices; infrastructure, such as border coordination and training centers; and training.2 The Office of Defense Representative Pakistan (ODRP), under the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), manages this assistance. ODRP is responsible for the receipt and storage of U.S.-provided military equipment at a leased warehouse in Islamabad prior to the equipment's transfer to Pakistan. ODRP is also responsible for, among other things, developing and implementing policies and procedures to document the transfer of the equipment to Pakistan and to ensure that once in Pakistan's custody, items requiring enhanced monitoring3 are subject to periodic inventories. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) is responsible for ensuring that U.S. and Pakistani officials implement appropriate internal control procedures to account for sensitive defense equipment, including conducting compliance assessments.

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