Don’t Forget the Allies

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act calls for a $1 billion fund to be used by allies to buy US-made precision guided missiles, a SASC aide said Monday. Precision guided munitions have been in high demand, but US stockpiles have dwindled and can take years to refill. The fund would be used to crank up production to meet the demand and be overseen by the Defense Logistics Agency and the Joint Staff, the aide said. The fund isn’t the only foreign support SASC’s draft calls for. The bill authorizes $3.4 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, $1.3 billion for counter-ISIS efforts in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, and $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative, according to a summary of the bill. Up to $500 million in assistance, including of the the lethal variety, could be sent to Ukraine, but only if it enacts reforms to curb corruption. SASC’s draft also encourages the lifting of the prohibition on sending lethal military equipment to Vietnam, according to the summary. SASC is expected to release the full text of its markup later this week. (See also: Return of Lend-Lease.)