Small Wars Journal

America May Have Unlocked a Key to Fighting Terrorism — And it Doesn’t Involve Drones

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 4:40am

America May Have Unlocked a Key to Fighting Terrorism — And it Doesn’t Involve Drones by Matthew Levitt, Washington Post

… Speaking to graduating West Point cadets in 2014, the president announced the creation of the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF). He called on Congress to support the new fund, which he envisioned growing as large as $5 billion, to build “a network of partnerships from South Asia to the Sahel” to counter terrorist groups where they seek a foothold. Members of Congress, however, worried the fund would amount to little more than a “slush fund” with little oversight. The State Department asked for $500 million for its civilian programming under the fund for fiscal 2015 but received nothing. Meanwhile, the Defense Department received $1.3 billion of its $4 billion CTPF request — continuing the long pattern of military-dominated counterterrorism efforts.

But something changed in fiscal 2016. Last month, as part of the omnibus appropriations bill, Congress appropriated $175 million in CTPF funds for the State Department. While less than the amount requested, this is still a dramatic increase in the department’s discretionary resources for civilian counterterrorism capacity-building programs. This will enable the State Department to significantly ramp up overseas programs with the departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the FBI and others focused on law-enforcement responses to terrorism, strengthening counterterrorism legal frameworks, prosecuting terrorism suspects, handling terrorist inmates and other civilian tasks…

Read on.