Pentagon Moving Out With Counterterrorism Support

Last year President Obama unveiled a request to appropriate billions in a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund over a five-year period starting in Fiscal 2015 to build partnership capacity with allies around the world. At Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities panel, Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) queried the status of some $1.3 billion in that counterterrorism funding granted in Fiscal 2015 defense legislation that the Defense Department has not yet spent or allotted. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin responded that he just received oversight of the funding in the last month, and, of it, had obligated some $221 million. He anticipated that another $270 million would soon be allotted. Because of overlapping agencies and legal authorities, there is much work involved in making sure funding comes from the correct authority, said Lumpkin. DOD is building the partnership fund slowly and putting the right governance tools in place to be able to “measure how effective this program is,” he said. He added, “We don’t want to just throw money against a problem.” (Lumpkin’s prepared statement)