Train and Equip Authorities for Syria

Train and Equip Authorities for Syria : In Brief

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The FY2015 continuing appropriations resolution (P.L. 113-164, H.J.Res. 124, FY2015 CR), enacted on September 19, 2014, authorized the Department of Defense (DOD) through December 11, 2014, or until the passage of a FY2015 national defense authorization act (NDAA), to provide overt assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to vetted members of the Syrian opposition and other vetted Syrians for select purposes. The FY2015 NDAA (P.L. 113- 291, H.R. 3979) and the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235, H.R. 83) provide further authority and funding for the program. Congress acted in response to President Obama's request for authority to begin such a program as part of U.S. efforts to combat the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria and to set the conditions for a negotiated settlement to Syria's civil war. The FY2015 measures authorize DOD to submit reprogramming requests to the four congressional defense committees to transfer available funds. DOD submitted the first such reprogramming request in November 2014 under authorities provided by P.L. 113-164, and, in December, Congress approved $220 million in requested funds to begin program activities. H.R. 83 states that up to $500 million of $1.3 billion made available by the act for a new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF) may be used to support the Syria train and equip program. Additional funds could be available for this program if DOD chose to transfer funds from other DOD accounts or received contributions from other countries. Compared with the authority first adopted in the September 2014 CR, the FY2015 NDAA and its accompanying explanatory statement further specify the types of assistance to be provided, expand reporting requirements, include human rights and rule of law commitments, set vetting requirements, authorize the provision of assistance to third countries for the purposes of the program, and create a broad waiver authority for the President to implementing a train and equip program for Syria subject to approval of a reprogramming to transfer the funds. The authority provided in the NDAA expires after December 31, 2016; the authority related to this assistance provided in the FY2015 appropriations act expires on September 30, 2015. This report reviews the authorities and funds granted by Congress for the Syria train and equip program to date and explores similarities and differences among them and the President's requests.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 26 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 1.52mm | 117.93g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 150754393X
  • 9781507543931