Monday, November 2, 2015

Thornberry: Defense policy bill close to being finalized (will it include section 1097: countering unconventional warfare?)

I just want to know if this section will be in the final approved bill that gets signed. (

Department of Defense strategy for countering unconventional warfare
Strategy required
The Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies of the United States Government, develop a strategy for the Department of Defense to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors.
The strategy required under subsection (a) shall include each of the following:
An articulation of the activities that constitute unconventional warfare threats to the United States and allies.
A clarification of the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Defense in providing indications and warning of, and protection against, acts of unconventional warfare.
An analysis of the adequacy of current authorities and command structures necessary for countering unconventional warfare.
An articulation of the goals and objectives of the Department of Defense with respect to countering unconventional warfare threats.
An articulation of related or required interagency capabilities and whole-of-Government activities required by the Department of Defense to support a counter-unconventional warfare strategy.
Recommendations for improving the counter-unconventional warfare capabilities, authorities, and command structures of the Department of Defense.
Recommendations for improving interagency coordination and support mechanisms with respect to countering unconventional warfare threats.
Recommendations for the establishment of joint doctrine to support counter-unconventional warfare capabilities within the Department of Defense.
Any other matters the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
Submittal to Congress
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees the strategy required by subsection (a). The strategy shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
Unconventional warfare defined
In this section, the term unconventional warfare means 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.

Thornberry: Defense policy bill close to being finalized

By Kristina Wong - 11/02/15 03:30 PM EST
  • Nov. 2, 2015 
  •  2 min read 
  •  original
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said he expects to finish cutting $5 billion from Congress' 2016 defense policy bill on Monday in order to match it with a budget agreement reached last week.
"We should finalize the $5 billion reduction today," he told reporters after speaking on a Defense One Summit panel. "I don't know for sure when it would be public."
"As you go back through, time means that you can make some adjustments in certain programs," Thornberry said when asked what could be cut from the bill, which authorizes Pentagon programs and funding.
"But," he added, "You can't get $5 billion by additional fuel savings, and things like that, so there will be programs that are cut, and that's what we're trying to finalize today, with the appropriates and the Senate."
In response to a question on whether they are looking at "big-ticket programs" like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, he said, "We're looking at them all...and trying to do the least damage but...there's going to be pain.”
Congress and the White House last week agreed on a budget agreement that would leave the Pentagon with $5 billion less in 2016 than was authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act.
Thornberry said he is working with senators and defense appropriators to cut the $5 billion, which could help rally Democratic support this Thursday, when the House is scheduled to vote to override President Obama's veto of the defense bill.
Congress passed the defense bill last month and sent it to the president to sign, despite a veto threat over its use of a war fund to skirt budget caps for defense spending.
The recently negotiated budget agreement would lift caps for both defense and non-defense spending, but leave the Pentagon short of $5 billion than authorized, which Thornberry said will hurt some Defense Department programs since the budget has already been cut in the past several years.
One plan to pass the defense bill is for lawmakers to vote to override the president's veto, which would require Republican and Democratic support, and then send a follow-on bill to fix the funding levels.
The second plan is to send a whole new bill through Congress again. But Thornberry said he is worried that senators may try to amend provisions that have already been hashed out during the first process, complicating its passage.
Thornberry said he thinks he is in the "ballpark" of enough votes to override the president's veto, which he said would be the easier path forward.
"It would be the cleanest, simplest way," he said. "We can't open it back up."
The final version of the bill passed the House last month, 270-156. The bill would need 20 more supporters to override the president's veto.
Thornberry said "most of the Republicans are back who had voted against it, and some Democrats will switch their votes to ‘yes,’ since the president's objection to the bill is fixed.”
Thornberry said he hoped Congress could return to a bipartisan approach in passing a defense policy bill, which has passed annually for 53 consecutive years with bipartisan support.
"We're going to be ready with both options," he added, however.
"It's really going to be a leadership call on which approach to take," he said.
-- Updated 5:17 p.m.

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