Thought for the Day

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

Friday, June 19, 2015

IMPORTANT FOLLOW-UP NDAA provisions on Countering Unconventional Warfare

Sometimes it is good to be wrong and good to be corrected.  I received an important response to my comments below:

Your comment below is incorrect.

"Although the mark-up to the house bill directing the SECDEF to develop a plan "to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors" did not make it into the final bill agreed to by the House and Senate, a somewhat watered down version from the Senate version was agreed upon that focuses on Russia and Europe."

Congress has not
 conferenced the bill yet, so the House language is still absolutely play.  What the Senate just passed today was only their version of the NDAA.  Now the conversation starts about merging the House and Senate bills, and both chambers voting again to send it to POTUS. So the House-Senate negotiated outcome could be a combination of the two UW focused provisions, or both standing as is.  
​The language on the
 House side has Chairman Thornberry's full backing so it is likely to stand as is - and those negotiations will start in the coming weeks.  

​We are very fortunate to ​have Congressman Thornberry backing UW and counter-UW.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Maxwell <David.Maxwell@georgetown.edu>
Date: Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 4:08 PM
Subject: NDAA provisions on Countering Unconventional Warfare
To:


Although the mark-up to the house bill directing the SECDEF to develop a plan "to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors" did not make it into the final bill agreed to by the House and Senate, a somewhat watered down version from the Senate version was agreed upon that focuses on Russia and Europe. 

Of course there is a big difference between require and urge.  Urge means it probably won't get done because the SECDEF does not have to do it.   

I still think the HASC mark-up was useful and wish we could get the leadership to focus on this and language of the mark-up is probably the best description and understand of the threat that we could expect form Congress (the original language is below and I hope the HASC staffers are able to get something like it in next year's approved NDAA).


Page 183 from the JOINT EXPLANATORY STATEMENT TO ACCOMPANY THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2015

Page 183:

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1080) that would require the Secretary of Defense to submit to the congressional defense committees a plan recommending actions and resources to enhance the capabilities and capacities of U.S. Armed Forces in Europe to counter the conventional, unconventional and subversive activities of the Russian Federation in the U.S. European Command’s area of responsibility and to respond under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The Senate committee-reported bill contained no similar provision. The agreement does not include this provision. We note that a provision requiring a security strategy for Europe is included under another title of the Act.

Page 256-257:

European Reassurance Initiative (sec. 1535) A proposed amendment to the Senate committee-reported bill (amendment number 3875) contained a provision (sec. 1527) that would specify the purposes for which amounts authorized to be appropriated for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) could be used and provide other limitations on the use of such funds. The House bill contained no similar provision. The agreement includes the Senate provision with an amendment clarifying that for fiscal year 2015 $1.0 billion is authorized to be appropriated in Overseas Contingency Operations funds for the ERI. The amendment would also provide that of these funds not less than $75.0 million would be available for programs, activities, and assistance to support Ukraine, and not less than $30.0 million would be available for programs and activities to build the capacity of European allies and partner nations. Amounts specified for the ERI fund would be available for the purposes of ERI through September 30, 2016. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and note that a provision in another section of this title expresses the sense of Congress in support of providing Ukraine military assistance, both non-lethal and lethal assistance, that is defensive and non-provocative. We are also concerned about the potential spread of the unconventional and hybrid warfare tactics used by Russia in Ukraine to other countries in the region, potentially including the Baltic countries, Moldova, and Georgia. We urge the Secretary of Defense to devote the appropriate level of planning and resources, including resources under the ERI, to countering the threat

The original HASC Mark-up:


Section 10XX—Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Unconventional Warfare 

 This section would required the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the President and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to develop a strategy for the Department of Defense to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors. This section would require the Secretary of Defense to submit the strategy to the congressional defense committees within 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. The committee is concerned about the growing unconventional warfare capabilities and threats being posed most notably and recently by the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The committee notes that unconventional warfare is defined most accurately as those activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, or guerrilla force in a denied area. The committee also notes that most state-sponsors of unconventional warfare, such as Russia and Iran, have doctrinally linked conventional warfare, economic warfare, cyber warfare, information operations, intelligence operations, and other activities seamlessly in an effort to undermine U.S. national security objectives and the objectives of U.S. allies alike. 

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