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The U.S. war on terrorism has also affected military assistance to countries not directly involved with the Afghanistan campaign. First the United States has increased military and counterterrorism assistance to nations deemed to face immediate threats of violence. Second it has cultivated military relations with governments willing to support the new international goals of the United States. Finally it has developed war-related tools it could use to expedite previously negotiated military sales to foreign states.


Since September 11, the United States has made a commitment to help the Philippines defeat Abu Sayyaf, a guerilla group with alleged al Qaeda connections that has held two U.S. citizens hostage since May 2001. Philippine officials generally oppose the introduction of U.S. combat troops, but they have welcomed defense equipment and training to improve the military's anti-terror capabilities.65 A contingent of two dozen U.S. Army personnel traveled to the Philippines in October to advise its military on how to fight Abu Sayyaf.66 The State Department meanwhile reiterated its spring 2001 pledge to request $19 million in foreign military financing for the Philippines in 2002, up almost ten times from the $2 million given in fiscal year 2001.67 Most of the money would be used to improve the operation and maintenance of existing equipment.68

After meeting with President of the Phillipines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on November 20, President Bush announced a generous military assistance plan for this Southeast Asian ally. In addition to a "robust training package" and the $19 million already promised in foreign military financing, Bush said he would earmark $10 million in Defense Department goods and services for the Philippine military and $10 million for counterterrorism initiatives and law enforcement.69 He estimated his administration would give about $100 million in military assistance to the Philippines in fiscal years 2001-2002.70 The first piece of equipment, a C-130 transport plane, arrived on November 30 with "16,000 pounds of military hardware, including rifles."71 On December 20, the U.S. Army sent thirty sniper rifles, twenty-five 81mm mortars, and 350 M-203 grenade launchers.72 Philippine officials said the equipment package would also include eight UH-1 "Huey" helicopters, Cyclone-class patrol boats, and 30,000 M-16 infantry rifles with 120,000 magazines.73 Other items on their wish list are twelve AH-1 "Cobra" attack helicopters and an unmanned reconnaissance plane, or "drone."74 In mid-January, the first of a scheduled 650 U.S. troops arrived in the Philippines to train with and advise Philippine forces in their campaign against Abu Sayyaf.75 The United States should consider the abuses discussed in the State Department's annual human rights report as it distributes military assistance to that country. According to this report, abuses by military and police forces include extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention.76

Shortly after September 11, the United States officially announced a decision made over the summer to increase military-to-military contacts with Indonesia. Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri was the first head of state to come to the United States after the attacks, and President Bush used the opportunity to express his willingness to cooperate with this majority Muslim state. In a joint statement issued September 19, Bush and Sukarnoputri agreed to discuss ways to "strengthen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism" and enhance military and civilian defense relations.77 As part of reform efforts, members of the Indonesian military will travel to the United States to take part in training and joint exercises. Bush said he would also ask Congress for $400,000 in "Expanded IMET," a variation of the IMET program that would give Indonesian civilian officials training in defense issues.78 In the same statement, Bush opened the door to transfers of certain military equipment by lifting sanctions on commercial sales of nonlethal defense equipment.79 On October 1, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said that the United States and Indonesia had discussed plans to share information or organize joint training sessions in the fight against terrorism.80 Admiral Blair conditioned "full military cooperation" on the Indonesian armed forces' accountability for 1999 violence in East Timor. In a November 27 speech, Blair said, "We are ready to resume the full range of bilateral cooperation, when the military reforms which the TNI [Indonesian armed forces] is undertaking reach maturity."81 Indonesia suffers from widespread domestic unrest in several regions, and despite President Sukarnoputri's expressions of concern about human rights, government and guerilla violence and impunity continue.82 Although the negotiations with Indonesia were not related to September 11, the United States should make sure it does not weaken its human rights conditions on military assistance in its effort to maintain support for its war on terrorism.

The Middle East

A range of countries, especially in the Middle East, may also benefit from the increased willingness of the United States to give military assistance. The DSCA has announced several possible foreign military sales since September 11. Although some, if not all, were negotiated prior to September 11, the DSCA's recently established "war room," discussed above, could expedite their approval. The list of countries and their purchase requests includes several Middle Eastern recipients:

· United Arab Emirates-twelve RGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles worth $40 million.
· Egypt-$77 million of assistance overhauling 201 155mm self-propelled howitzers plus 240 wheeled bulldozers worth $98 million.
· Oman-twelve F-16 fighter jets; dozens of Sidewinder, Maverick, Harpoon, and Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air (AMRAAM) missiles; one hundred Paveway II bombs; and eighty Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), a total package valued at $1.12 billion.

All of these requests include related equipment and services. In each case, the DSCA said the "proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability in the Middle East."83 The Bush administration proposed additional arms sales to Egypt in November. The $400 million deal would include fifty-three Harpoon Block II missiles, "highly accurate surface-to-surface missiles" like those the United Arab Emirates requested, and four patrol boats from which to use them.84 According to the Washington Post, Bush, Powell, and CIA Director George Tenet also discussed a $400 million package of U.S. aid with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on November 27. The package, which has not yet been approved, would include special operations training and U.S. help in getting military assistance from U.S. allies.85 Before expediting any of these requests in its new DSCA "war room," the United States should ensure that the human rights and humanitarian law implications of the proposed transfers receive appropriate scrutiny.86

65 Jason Sherman, "Philippines To See Boost in U.S. Military Financing," Defense News, November 5-11, 2001; "US Military Activity in the Philippines," National Public Radio Morning Edition transcript, October 30, 2001.

66 "DoD News Briefing-Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers," U.S. DoD News Transcript, October 29, 2001.

67 U.S. Department of State, International Affairs (Function 150) Budget Request, April 9, 2001.

68 Sherman, "Philippines To See Boost in U.S. Military Financing"; "US Military Activity in the Philippines."

69 "Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines," September 20, 2001.

70 Ibid.

71 Oliver Teves, "Philippines Lands U.S. Aid Package: Plane, Gear Set for Military Use," San Antonio Express-News, December 1, 2001.

72 "First Batch of US Military Aid Arrives in Fort Boni," Business World (Philippines), December 21, 2001; Oliver Teves, "Philippines Receives U.S. Arms Shipment," Associated Press, December 21, 2001.

73 Juan V. Sarmiento, Jr., "GMA on Visit: `It's $4.6B and Counting,'" Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 21, 2001; Steven Mufson, "U.S. To Aid Philippines' Terrorism War," Washington Post, November 21, 2001.

74 Adam Entous, "Bush Pledges Economic, Arms Aid to Philippines," Reuters English News Service, November 20, 2001.

75 Steve Vogel, "Special Forces Sent to Philippines Fight: 650 GIs Deployed for Training Exercises," Washington Post, January 16, 2002.

76 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practice, 2000, at (accessed January 16, 2002).

77 "U.S. and Indonesia Pledge Cooperation, Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia," September 19, 2001.

78 Ibid.

79 Ibid.

80 "U.S. To Send Team to Indonesia To Discuss Combating Terrorism," Xinhua News Agency, October 1, 2001.

81 "US Admiral Urges Indonesian Military To Account for East Timor Mayhem," Agence France-Presse, November 27, 2001.

82 Human Rights Watch, "Human Rights Backgrounder on Indonesia," A Human Rights Watch Backgrounder, September 2001. See also Human Rights Watch, World Report 2002, p. 229-39; Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001, pp. 201-08; Human Rights Watch, "Indonesia: Human Rights and Pro-Independence Actions In Papua, 1999-2000," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 12, no. 2 (C), May 2000; Human Rights Watch, "Indonesia: The Violence in Ambon," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 11, no. 1(C), March 1999; Human Rights Watch, "Indonesia: Human Rights and Pro-Independence Actions in Irian Jaya," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 12, no. 2(C), December 1998; Human Rights Watch, Academic Freedom in Indonesia: Dismantling Soeharto-Era Barriers (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1998); Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, "Indonesia: Release Prisoners of Conscience Now," A Human Rights Watch Joint Report, vol. 10, no. 3(C), June 1998; Human Rights Watch, "West Kalimantan: Communal Violence in West Kalimantan," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 9, no. 10(C), December 1997.

83 DSCA, "Major Arms Sales Notifications (Section 36(b) AECA [Arms Export Control Act of 1976]) - Arms Sales Notification Index," at (accessed December 4, 2001).

84 John Lancaster, "U.S.-Egypt Arms Deal Questioned," Washington Post, November 27, 2001. According to the Washington Post, the Bush administration sent a classified memorandum to Congress on November 2 proposing the additional arms sales to Egypt. The State Department publicly acknowledged the proposal on November 29. Richard Boucher, U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing transcript, November 29, 2001.

85 Walter Pincus, "Yemen Hears Benefits of Joining U.S. Fight," Washington Post, November 28, 2001.

86 For information on human rights abuses in Egypt, see Human Rights Watch, World Report 2002, p. 414-23; Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001, pp. 372-78; Human Rights Watch, "Underage and Unprotected: Child Labor in Egypt's Cotton Fields," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 13, no. 1(E), January 2001; Human Rights Watch, World Report 2000, pp. 345-51.
For information on human rights abuses in Yemen, see Human Rights Watch, World Report 2002, p. 481-84; Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001, pp. 420-24; Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001, pp. 385-88.

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