Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 9, 2005

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Eliminating Terrorist Sanctuaries
Royce Schedules Hearing on Role of U.S. Security Assistance

BACKGROUND:  Among allies in the war on terror, there is a growing consensus on the need to concentrate resources on eliminating terrorist sanctuaries.  The 9/11 Commission and others have pointed out the importance of keeping terrorist organizations off guard, rendering them less capable of mounting a catastrophic attack against U.S. targets.  Of major concern are remote areas of the developing world where there is little government presence.  This includes the Sahel, Sahara and Horn regions of Africa, areas of the country of Georgia, and the southern Philippines.  The U.S. has helped to create programs that train and equip foreign military forces for counter-terrorism efforts in actual and potential terrorist sanctuaries, specifically the Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI) -which is being transformed into the greatly expanded Trans-Saharan Counter Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI) - the Georgia Sustainment and Security Operations Program and security assistance efforts in the Philippines.  These programs aim to eliminate the “next Afghanistan,” a terrorist sanctuary similar to the one where Osama bin Laden initiated the 9/11 attacks.  However, critics have raised concerns that U.S. military forces are being stretched too thin, the programs only foster anti-American sentiment, and more attention should be given to U.S. development and other forms of assistance that are also important in fighting terrorism.  It also remains unclear whether these efforts are having a strong, lasting effect on eliminating terrorist sanctuaries.

WHAT: Subcommittee Oversight Hearing:  Eliminating Terrorist Sanctuaries: The Role of Security Assistance
Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation, U.S. Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-CA), Chairman
WHEN: 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 10, 2005
WHERE: Room 2200 Rayburn House Office Building
WITNESSES: William P. Pope, Acting Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State; and Rear Admiral Hamlin B. Tallent, USN, Director of Operations, United States European Command

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