Taken Questions
Office of the Press Secretary
Richard Boucher

Washington, DC
March 26, 2002
Taken Question from March 26, 2002 Daily Press Briefing

Afghanistan: Funding for an Afghan Army

Question: Secretary Rumsfeld mentioned that the State Department would play an important role in coaxing countries to contribute to training the Afghan national army. What are the needs and how are they being met?

Answer: The State Department manages U.S. security assistance programs overseas and will play an important role in marshalling the resources necessary to train and equip an Afghan army and police force. The Department will also lead the diplomatic effort to encourage other countries to contribute resources.

The Administration submitted a request for a supplemental appropriation to the Congress last week that includes $250 million for Afghanistan. Fifty $50 million of that request is for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $20 million is for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) , funds which, if appropriated, can be used to help train and equip the Afghan National Army. $20 million is for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) funds with which we plan to help meet budget shortfalls for Afghan military salaries.

We are meeting next week in Geneva with other potential donors specifically to address the breadth of Afghanistan's security needs, including demobilization and a trained national army and police force. That will be an opportunity to better define the scope of the challenge, to present our plans to address Afghanistan's security needs, to hear the plans of others, and to seek to combine our efforts so that the burden of training and funding for that training is appropriately shared.