Secretary Albright today announced that the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Uzbekistan will expand their cooperative efforts to improve border security in Central Asia. The United States intends to provide approximately $3 million in assistance, subject to the availability of funds, for equipment and training to help Uzbekistan combat terrorism and illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD), conventional arms and narcotics. These activities pose a serious threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the Central Asian states and interfere with legitimate trade and commerce in the region. The proposed assistance would be provided through the following U.S. programs:
Anti-terrorism and counter-narcotics
- State Department: Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program (ATA): ATA plans to provide Uzbekistan with additional training courses such as: Senior Crisis Management; Airport Security Management; and Rural Border Patrol Operations. When this training is completed, ATA will have trained about 110 Uzbekistan officials at a cost of about $2 million. Uzbekistani officials also will be included in a regional Counterterrorism Conference to be hosted by the Office of Counterterrorism in Washington in June 2000.
- State Department: Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)/ Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Training: The INL program is providing 21 law enforcement courses in-country and proposes an additional 15 courses as well as additional training slots at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest for Uzbekistani officials. A bilateral agreement was signed in March 2000 providing $.300 million to purchase 4-wheel drive vehicles and spare parts for the Uzbek Customs Service and $.18 million for additional patrol equipment.
OTHER RELATED PROGRAMS:
- State Department: NIS Nonproliferation export control/border security assistace: Assistance proposed includes provision of maritime law enforcement training and equipment to enhance capabilities at the border with Afghanistan; enforcement and interdiction equipment and training to combat trafficking of WMD across borders. Proposed assistance also includes support for a dedicated communications link to facilitate Uzbekistan's exchange of information with its neighbors on border security problems and transnational threats.
- DOD/FBI Counterproliferation Program: The U.S. proposes to provide additional weapons-related law enforcement training to deter, interdict and prevent possible proliferation and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by organized crime groups and individuals in the NIS.
- DOD/U.S. Customs Service (USCS) Counterproliferation Program: Under the counterproliferation agreement the U.S. and Uzbekistan signed in 1997, for FY2000, the U.S. proposes additional training and equipment to enhance Uzbekistan's border infrastructure and capabilities to prevent weapons smuggling and illicit trafficking.
Several other U.S. assistance programs complement and supplement the above activities including the DOD Cooperative Threat Reduction/Defense and Military Contacts Program (with exchanges that focus on border defense issues); Partnership for Peace (PFP) Program (focus is on interoperability with NATO and provision of dual-use equipment that also enhances border guard capabilities); and International Military Education and Training (focus on English language and other training).