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Title XII MATTERS RELATING TO FOREIGN NATIONS

 

House Conference Report 109-360

SEC. 1231. PURCHASE OF WEAPONS OVERSEAS FOR FORCE PROTECTION PURPOSES IN COUNTRIES IN WHICH COMBAT OPERATIONS ARE ONGOING.

    (a) Force Protection Purchases- Chapter 3 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 127b the following new section:

`Sec. 127c. Purchase of weapons overseas: force protection

    `(a) Authority- When elements of the armed forces are engaged in ongoing military operations in a country, the Secretary of Defense may, for the purpose of protecting United States forces in that country, purchase weapons from any foreign person, foreign government, international organization, or other entity located in that country.

    `(b) Limitation- The total amount expended during any fiscal year for purchases under this section may not exceed $15,000,000.

    `(c) Semiannual Congressional Report- In any case in which the authority provided in subsection (a) is used during the period of the first six months of a fiscal year, or during the period of the second six months of a fiscal year, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report on the use of that authority during that six-month period. Each such report shall be submitted not later than 30 days after the end of the six-month period during which the authority is used. Each such report shall include the following:

      `(1) The number and type of weapons purchased under subsection (a) during that six-month period covered by the report, together with the amount spent for those weapons and the Secretary's estimate of the fair market value of those weapons.

      `(2) A description of the dispositions (if any) during that six-month period of weapons purchased under subsection (a).'.

    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 127b the following new item:

      `127c. Purchase of weapons overseas: force protection.'.

Purchase of weapons overseas for force protection purposes in countries in which combat operations are ongoing (sec. 1231)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1221) that would permit the Secretary of Defense to purchase weapons from any foreign person, foreign government, international organization, or other entity located in a country in which U.S. combat personnel are engaged in military operations for the purpose of protecting those personnel. The provision would limit the amount expended during any fiscal year for this purpose to $15.0 million. The provision would also require an annual report on the use of this authority.

The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 324) that would permit weapons purchased under this authority to be destroyed, and would require the Secretary of Defense to promptly notify the congressional defense committees of any use of this authority.

The Senate recedes with an amendment that would require a semiannual report on the use of this authority.

The conferees note that this provision does not provide the Secretary of Defense authority to transfer weapons purchased under this authority to military and security forces of a foreign country. The conferees further note that authority in this section is intended for use by the U.S. Armed Forces during ongoing military operations. On those occasions when the Secretary of Defense uses this authority during military operations in a country in which a wider internationally-led disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program, such as those that took place in Bosnia or Afghanistan, is taking place, the conferees believe that the Secretary of Defense should closely consult and coordinate with the Secretary of State to ensure that actions taken pursuant to the authority of this section complements, or is integrated with, such an internationally-led program or utilizes best practices for such DDR programs.

House Report 109-89

SECTION 1221--PURCHASE OF WEAPONS OVERSEAS FOR FORCE PROTECTION PURPOSES

This section would permit the Secretary of Defense to purchase weapons from any foreign person, foreign government, international organization, or other entity located in a country in which United States combat personnel are engaged in military operations for the purposes of protecting those personnel. The Secretary of Defense has conducted so-called weapons `buy back' programs in the past in order to protect United States military personnel using authority to expend funds for `emergency and extraordinary expenses' contained in section 127 of Title 10, United States Code. The section, however, has generally been reserved for unique circumstances. The length of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, suggests that so-called weapons `buy backs' may occur more frequently and regularly than would be suited to section 127. Therefore, the committee recommends granting the Secretary permanent authority to conduct such a program in order to improve the force protection of U.S. military personnel.

Senate Report 109-69

Purchase and destruction of weapons overseas (sec. 324)

The committee recommends a provision that would authorize the use of Department of Defense operation and maintenance funds to purchase weapons overseas from any person, foreign government, international organization, or other entity, for the purpose of protecting U.S. forces engaged in military operations overseas. The provision would permit the destruction of the purchased weapons. The provision would also require the Secretary of Defense to promptly notify the congressional defense committees of any use of this authority.

This provision would clarify the authority of the Department to purchase weapons in foreign countries where U.S. Armed Forces are engaged in military operations, when such a program is undertaken for force protection purposes. Providing this authority would eliminate the need for the Department to use its `emergency and extraordinary expense' authority to fund such programs. The committee believes that providing clear statutory authority to the Department to conduct such programs is desirable, given the security environment in Afghanistan and Iraq and the need to respond promptly to similar threats elsewhere in prosecuting the global war on terrorism.

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