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Monday, February 11, 2013

Global Security Contingency Fund: Summary and Issue Overview



Nina M. Serafino
Specialist in International Security Affairs

The FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 112-81), Section 1207, created a new Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF) as a four-year pilot project to be jointly administered and funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the State Department. The purpose of the fund is to carry out security and counterterrorism training, and rule of law programs. (There also are three one-year transitional authorities for assistance to Africa and Yemen.) The GSCF is placed under the State Department budget. Although decisions are to be jointly made by the Secretaries of State and Defense, the mandated mechanism puts the Secretary of State in the lead.

The GSCF is seen as an important step in improving U.S. efforts to enable foreign military and security forces to better combat terrorism and other threats. It incorporates features of previous legislation and reflects recommendations to address multiple deficiencies in current national security structures and practices. Many hope that it will provide a model for interagency cooperation on security assistance that will overcome the disadvantages of the current system of agency-centric budgets and efforts.

Despite Administration requests for GSCF appropriations in the FY2012 and FY2013 budgets, Congress has appropriated no new funding to the account. In the FY2012 omnibus appropriations act (P.L. 112-74), Congress permitted DOD and the State Department to transfer up to the $250 million from specified accounts, with a limit of $200 million from DOD and $50 million from State. The FY2012 NDAA authorized higher limits with the condition that State contribute not less than 20% and DOD not more than 80% for each activity. For FY2013, under the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (H.J.Res. 117, P.L. 112-175), there is no GSCF funding because while the resolution provides for appropriations to continue (at the FY2012 level plus 0.612%) through March 27, 2013, it does not provide for a continuation of GSCF transfer authority.

The Administration has taken steps to program FY2012 funds. In mid-2012, it notified Congress that it would initiate programs for Yemen and East Africa under the “transitional” (Section 1207(n), P.L. 112-81) authority with authorized funding up to $75 million each. These are being implemented. Later in the year, the Administration transferred $44.8 million to the GSCF for programs under the core GSCF legislation, which provided for country selection by the Administration in the course of the fiscal year. The Secretary of State has designated seven countries as eligible for this assistance: Nigeria, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Libya, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. The Administration must notify congressional committees with detailed program plans before the programs can begin.

Issues include whether the State Department has the ability and capacity to lead GSCF activities; possible drawbacks for DOD; the desirability of providing DOD with authority to train nonmilitary security forces, including law enforcement; and the potential effectiveness of GSCF programs in the absence of a strategy for security assistance.



Date of Report: January 22, 2013
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: R42641
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