oversight

Combating Terrorism: State Should Enhance Its Performance Measures for Assessing Efforts in Pakistan to Counter Improvised Explosive Devices

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-05-15.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States Government Accountability Office

GAO          Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
             on Near Eastern and South and Central
             Asian Affairs, Committee on Foreign
             Relations, U.S. Senate

May 2012
             COMBATING
             TERRORISM
             State Should Enhance
             Its Performance
             Measures for
             Assessing Efforts in
             Pakistan to Counter
             Improvised Explosive
             Devices




GAO-12-614
                                                May 2012

                                                COMBATING TERRORISM
                                                State Should Enhance Its Performance Measures for
                                                Assessing Efforts in Pakistan to Counter Improvised
                                                Explosive Devices
Highlights of GAO-12-614, a report to the
Chairman, Subcommittee on Near Eastern
and South and Central Asian Affairs,
Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate



Why GAO Did This Study                          What GAO Found
Improvised explosive devices have               Multiple U.S. agencies and international partners are engaged in efforts to assist
been a significant cause of fatalities          Pakistan in countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs) but face a variety of
among U.S. troops in Afghanistan.               ongoing challenges. The agencies providing counter-IED assistance to Pakistan
About 80 percent of the IEDs contain            are primarily the Departments of State (State), Defense (DOD), Homeland
homemade explosives, primarily                  Security (DHS), and Justice (DOJ). The following table identifies the types of
calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN)                  assistance these U.S. agencies have provided and the corresponding objectives
fertilizer smuggled from Pakistan. U.S.         of Pakistan’s National Counter-IED Strategy. According to U.S. officials, U.S.
officials recognize the threat posed by         agencies have encountered ongoing challenges to their efforts to assist Pakistan,
the smuggling of CAN and other IED
                                                such as delays in obtaining visas and in the delivery of equipment. U.S. officials
precursors from Pakistan into
                                                have also identified broader challenges to Pakistan’s ability to counter IEDs,
Afghanistan, and State and other
agencies are assisting Pakistan’s
                                                including the extreme difficulty of interdicting smugglers along its porous border
government to counter this threat. This         with Afghanistan. In addition, though Pakistan developed a National Counter-IED
report (1) describes the status of U.S.         Strategy in June 2011, it has yet to finalize an implementation plan for carrying
efforts to assist Pakistan in countering        out the strategy.
IEDs and (2) reviews State’s tracking
of U.S. assisted efforts in Pakistan to         Types of U.S. Assistance to Pakistan to Counter IEDs
counter IEDs. To address these
                                                 U.S. assistance efforts                              Objectives of Pakistan counter-IED strategy
objectives, GAO reviewed agency
strategy and programmatic documents,             Counter-IED training and/or equipment                Engage the international community for equipment,
including State’s fiscal year 2013                                                                    training, and capacity building in the area of counter-IEDs
MSRP for Pakistan. GAO also met with             Counter-IED public awareness                         Launch a vigorous counter-IED public awareness
U.S. officials in Washington, D.C.,              campaign                                             campaign
Arlington, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida;
                                                 Training of border officials                         Control cross-border movement of IEDs, accessories,
and met with U.S. and Pakistani                                                                       smuggling of ammonium nitrate and other precursors
officials in Islamabad, Pakistan.
                                                 Legal assistance for laws and                        Modify the existing legislative framework by
                                                 regulations to counter IEDs and IED                  strengthening legislation on terrorism and explosives
                                                 precursors
What GAO Recommends
                                                Source: GAO analysis based on documents and interviews.
To improve State’s ability to track
progress of efforts in Pakistan to              The U.S. fiscal year 2013 Mission Strategic and Resource Plan (MSRP) for
counter IEDs, GAO recommends that               Pakistan includes a new performance indicator to track some of Pakistan’s efforts
the Secretary of State direct the U.S.          to counter IEDs, but the indicator and targets used to measure progress do not
Mission in Pakistan to enhance its              cover the full range of U.S. assisted efforts. The performance indicator focuses
counter-IED performance measures to             on cross-border activities, specifically on Pakistan’s efforts to prevent illicit
cover the full range of U.S. assisted           commerce in sensitive materials, including chemical precursors used to
efforts. State concurred and committed          manufacture IEDs in Afghanistan. As such, progress of U.S. counter-IED
to look for ways to broaden the scope           assistance efforts not specifically linked to cross-border smuggling are not
of existing metrics in order to better          covered, such as counter-IED training and/or equipment, a counter-IED public
reflect and evaluate interagency                awareness campaign, and legal assistance for laws and regulations to counter-
participation in counter-IED efforts.           IEDs and IED precursors. Consequently, effects of key U.S. assisted counter-IED
                                                efforts are not tracked under the existing performance indicator and related
                                                targets. The absence of comprehensive performance measures that reflect the
                                                broad range of U.S. assisted counter-IED efforts limits State’s ability to track
                                                overall progress in Pakistan to counter IEDs and to determine the extent to which
View GAO-12-614. View related video clip.       these counter-IED efforts are helping to achieve the U.S. goals.
For more information, contact Charles Michael
Johnson, Jr. at (202) 512-7331 or
johnsoncm@gao.gov.


                                                                                                           United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                    1
               Background                                                                 2
               U. S. Agencies Face Ongoing Challenges Assisting Pakistan in
                  Countering IEDs                                                         7
               State’s Strategic Document Includes Performance Measures for
                  Some U.S. Assisted Counter-IED Efforts in Pakistan, but Other
                  Key Areas Are Not Covered                                             13
               Conclusions                                                              15
               Recommendation for Executive Action                                      15
               Agency Comments                                                          16

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                    17



Appendix II    Comments from the Department of State                                    19



Appendix III   Comments from the Department of Homeland Security                        21



Appendix IV    GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                    22



Tables
               Table 1: Objectives of Pakistan’s National Counter-IED Strategy            6
               Table 2: Key U.S. Agency Roles for Counter-IED Efforts                     6
               Table 3: Types of U.S. Assistance to Pakistan to Counter IEDs              8


Figures
               Figure 1: Bag of CAN Fertilizer                                            4
               Figure 2: Map of Pakistan and Afghanistan Showing the Two
                        Primary Border Crossings                                          5




               Page i                                         GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Abbreviations

CAN               calcium ammonium nitrate
CENTCOM           Central Command
DHS               Department of Homeland Security
DOD               Department of Defense
DOJ               Department of Justice
IED               improvised explosive device
JIEDDO            Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat
                  Organization
MSRP              Mission Strategic and Resource Plan
ODRP              Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan
SOCOM             Special Operations Command
State             Department of State


View GAO-12-614 Component

Video showing the border region and activity at the primary border
crossings.


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Page ii                                                  GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   May 15, 2012

                                   The Honorable Robert P. Casey, Jr.
                                   Chairman
                                   Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South
                                      and Central Asian Affairs
                                   Committee on Foreign Relations
                                   United States Senate

                                   Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                   Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been a significant cause of
                                   fatalities among U.S. troops in Afghanistan. About 80 percent of the IEDs
                                   contain homemade explosives, primarily calcium ammonium nitrate
                                   (CAN) fertilizer smuggled from Pakistan. U.S. officials recognize the
                                   threat posed by the smuggling of CAN and other IED precursors from
                                   Pakistan into Afghanistan, and the Department of State (State) and other
                                   agencies are assisting Pakistan’s government to counter this threat. In
                                   addition, with the adoption in 2011 of its National Counter-IED Strategy,
                                   Pakistan recognized the importance of addressing the IED threat, both for
                                   its own security and stability goals, as well as for counterterrorism efforts
                                   in the region. Various insurgent groups in Pakistan regularly use IEDs,
                                   which have killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and security force
                                   members.

                                   In your November 2010 hearing on this issue, officials from State and the
                                   Departments of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS) testified
                                   about the flow of CAN from Pakistan into Afghanistan as well as the need
                                   for Pakistan to step up its efforts to address the IED threat. Since then,
                                   senior U.S. officials have continued to raise this issue with Pakistani
                                   counterparts. Recognizing the importance of this issue, you asked us to
                                   report on U.S. agencies’ efforts to provide counter-IED assistance to
                                   Pakistan, including development of Pakistan’s National Counter-IED
                                   Strategy and the follow-on plan to implement that strategy. In this report,
                                   we (1) describe the status of U.S. efforts to assist Pakistan in countering
                                   IEDs and (2) review State’s tracking of U.S. assisted efforts in Pakistan to
                                   counter IEDs.

                                   To describe the status of U.S. efforts to assist Pakistan in countering
                                   IEDs, we reviewed documentation from multiple U.S. agencies to
                                   inventory and describe their relevant activities. In addition, we reviewed
                                   the Pakistan National Counter-IED Strategy and draft National


                                   Page 1                                           GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
             Implementation Plan to gain knowledge of the areas that Pakistan has
             focused on in seeking assistance from the international community. We
             analyzed U.S. agencies’ funding and program information on specific
             projects that assist Pakistan in these efforts and followed up with
             interviews with knowledgeable U.S. officials and international partners,
             including officials from State, DHS, and the Department Justice (DOJ) in
             Washington, D.C., and from DOD in Arlington, Virginia, and Tampa,
             Florida. We also interviewed representatives of all these agencies and the
             U.S. Department of Agriculture at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. In
             addition, while conducting fieldwork in Pakistan, we interviewed Pakistani
             customs officials to obtain their perspective on counter-IED efforts and
             challenges, and we met with representatives of the Pakistan Trade
             Project and the Pakistan National Fertilizer Development Center. Finally,
             we also interviewed officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and
             Crime, the British High Commission, and the International Security
             Assistance Force International Coordination Element–Pakistan.

             To review State’s tracking of U.S. assisted efforts in Pakistan to counter
             IEDs, we reviewed State’s fiscal year 2013 Mission Strategic and
             Resource Plan (MSRP) for the U.S. Mission in Pakistan. Specifically, we
             reviewed goals, performance indicators, and targets for counterterrorism
             and counterinsurgency; regional security, stability, and nonproliferation;
             law enforcement reform and rule of law; and public diplomacy and
             strategic communications to identify the extent to which they covered
             counter-IED efforts. We also followed up with a State official at the U.S.
             Embassy in Pakistan with regard to how targets under the new counter-
             IED performance indicator in the MSRP track progress of counter-IED
             efforts.

             We conducted this performance audit from October 2011 to May 2012 in
             accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
             Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
             sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
             findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
             the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
             conclusions based on our audit objectives.


             Since 2001, Pakistan has been a U.S. ally in the fight against al Qaeda
Background   and a recipient of both civilian and military assistance. Key areas where
             both countries share common concerns include IEDs, which not only
             cause the majority of fatalities among U.S. troops in Afghanistan but have
             also caused thousands of fatalities in Pakistan. According to DOD, about


             Page 2                                          GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
16,500 IEDs were detonated or discovered being used against U.S.
forces in Afghanistan in 2011. About 80 percent of the IEDs used in
Afghanistan have homemade explosives as the main charge, and more
than 80 percent of these are derived from CAN fertilizer produced in
Pakistan. The President of Afghanistan issued a decree outlawing CAN
fertilizer in 2010.

According to DOD, CAN is produced in Pakistan at two factories, each
generating between 463,000 and 496,000 tons 1 annually. DOD estimates
that as little as 240 tons of CAN—representing less than one-tenth of 1
percent of the total annual production capacity of these two factories—is
used to make IEDs in Afghanistan. According to officials from the National
Fertilizer Development Center in Pakistan, less than 10 percent of the
fertilizer used in Pakistan is CAN, but CAN is well suited for farmers in
some areas. Figure 1 shows a bag of CAN, which is typically packaged in
110-pound bags. When processed and mixed with fuel oil, CAN fertilizer
becomes a powerful homemade explosive.




1
U.S. tons.




Page 3                                         GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Figure 1: Bag of CAN Fertilizer




According to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials, Pakistan prohibits
fertilizer producers from exporting CAN to Afghanistan or any other
country. According to these officials, because there is a demand for CAN
in Afghanistan for use as fertilizer and for the manufacture of IEDs, it is
smuggled into Afghanistan, for example, on trucks hidden under other
goods. U.S. officials said that Pakistan maintains two primary border


Page 4                                          GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
crossings along the approximately 1,500-mile border with Afghanistan,
and only a small percentage of the trucks crossing the border are
inspected. U.S. officials also believe that CAN is smuggled into
Afghanistan at multiple points along the porous border in the same way
that other contraband, including consumer goods and narcotics, is
trafficked across the border. See figure 2 for a map showing the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the two primary border crossings. (See
a video clip showing the border region and activity at the primary border
crossings.)

Figure 2: Map of Pakistan and Afghanistan Showing the Two Primary Border
Crossings




In response to the threat that IEDs pose to both security forces and
civilians, the Government of Pakistan adopted a National Counter-IED
Strategy in June 2011. The strategy identifies objectives and specific
areas of effort to counter IEDs and prevent the smuggling of CAN and


Page 5                                            GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
other precursors out of the country. Table 1 lists the objectives contained
in Pakistan’s counter-IED strategy.

Table 1: Objectives of Pakistan’s National Counter-IED Strategy

    Engage the international community for equipment, training, and capacity building in the
    area of counter-IEDs, (including the establishment of a National IED Exploitation
             a
    Facility)
    Launch a vigorous counter-IED public awareness campaign
    Control cross-border movement of IEDs, accessories, smuggling of ammonium nitrate
    and other precursors (including attacking the insurgents’ network)
    Modify the existing legislative framework by strengthening legislation on terrorism and
    explosives
    Carry out effective interagency coordination (Pakistani government)
Sources: GAO analysis of Government of Pakistan documents.
a
 The National IED Exploitation Facility would be an advanced laboratory able to exploit chemical,
technical, biometric, and documentary evidence.

Multiple U.S. agencies assist Pakistan in countering IEDs. Table 2
summarizes the roles of the key agencies.

Table 2: Key U.S. Agency Roles for Counter-IED Efforts

    Agency           Role in counter-IED efforts in Pakistan
    State            Advocacy through diplomatic channels with various Pakistani ministries;
                     training and infrastructure support; public diplomacy
    DOD              Training and equipping Pakistani forces to be able to interdict contraband
                     (including IED precursors) along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border
    DHS              Border management and customs investigation training
    DOJ              Technical and legal expertise, forensic investigations, and criminal
                     prosecutions
    Agriculture      Technical assistance, such as providing alternative fertilizers to CAN
Source: GAO analysis based on interviews with agency officials.


According to agency officials, U.S. agencies work through various
organizations to share information in assisting Pakistan with counter-IED
efforts; officials provided the following information on them:

•      U.S. Embassy-Pakistan Counter-IED Working Group helps keeps
       counter-IED efforts a priority. Coordinated by State, participants also
       include DOD (Office of Defense Representative, Pakistan (ODRP),
       and Special Interagency Assistance Team); DOJ (Federal Bureau of
       Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration); DHS; the
       Department of Agriculture; and the U.S. Agency for


Page 6                                                            GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
                            International Development; as well as the British High Commission
                            and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

                        •   Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) 2
                            leads DOD’s counter-IED efforts by providing intelligence and
                            expertise on IEDs. For example, JIEDDO hosted a conference on
                            homemade explosives in Crystal City, Virginia, in fall 2011 that was
                            attended by fertilizer producers and representatives from several
                            agencies. JIEDDO conducted several studies and provided technical
                            assistance to fertilizer producers on how they could identify the
                            product to help inhibit smuggling.

                        •   Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
                            participates in regular discussions on counter-IED issues with Central
                            Command (CENTCOM), Special Operations Command (SOCOM),
                            JIEDDO, and the Counter-IED Working Group at the U.S. Embassy in
                            Pakistan. In addition, officials from this office work with the Office of
                            the Secretary of Defense for Policy to ensure that the highest levels in
                            the U.S. and Pakistani governments remain focused on counter-IED
                            issues, including efforts to disrupt the smuggling of CAN and other
                            IED precursors from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

                        •   CENTCOM Interagency Action Group works with other agencies to
                            coordinate activities with its antiterrorism activities, including counter-
                            IED efforts.

                        •   SOCOM Interagency Task Force tracks trends that are collected by
                            intelligence agencies, including the number of IED attacks, injuries,
                            and deaths. In addition, the task force raises awareness of the issue
                            of IEDs with multiple U.S. agencies to address the smuggling of CAN
                            and other IED precursor materials.

                        Multiple U.S. agencies and international partners are engaged in efforts to
U. S. Agencies Face     assist Pakistan in countering IEDs but face various ongoing challenges.
Ongoing Challenges      The U.S. agencies—primarily State, DHS, DOJ, and DOD—have
                        provided counter-IED assistance to Pakistan, including counter-IED
Assisting Pakistan in   training and/or equipment, funding and development for a counter-IED
Countering IEDs         public awareness campaign, training of border officials, and making legal
                        advice available on drafting laws and regulations to counter IEDs.


                        2
                        JIEDDO is an agency of DOD.




                        Page 7                                             GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
                                               However, according to U.S. officials, these U.S. agencies have
                                               encountered ongoing challenges to their efforts to assist Pakistan, such
                                               as delays in obtaining visas and in the delivery of equipment. U.S.
                                               officials have also identified broader challenges to Pakistan’s ability to
                                               counter IEDs, including the extreme difficulty of interdicting smugglers
                                               along its porous border with Afghanistan. In addition, though Pakistan
                                               developed a National Counter-IED Strategy in June 2011, it has yet to
                                               finalize an implementation plan for carrying out the strategy.


Multiple Agencies and                          Multiple U.S. agencies and international partners are providing assistance
International Partners Are                     to Pakistan to counter IEDs. Table 3 identifies the types of assistance
Assisting Pakistan to                          U.S. agencies have provided and the objectives of Pakistan’s National
                                               Counter-IED Strategy that these assistance efforts help address.
Counter IEDs
Table 3: Types of U.S. Assistance to Pakistan to Counter IEDs

                                                       U.S. agencies providing                   Objectives of Pakistan’s National Counter-IED
U.S. assistance efforts                                assistance                                Strategy
Counter-IED training and/or equipment                  State, DHS, DOJ, and DOD                  Engage the international community for equipment,
                                                                                                 training, and capacity building in the area of counter-
                                                                                                 IEDs
Counter-IED public awareness campaign                  State                                     Launch a vigorous counter-IED public awareness
                                                                                                 campaign
Training of border officials                           State, DHS, and DOD                       Control cross-border movement of IEDs,
                                                                                                 accessories, smuggling of ammonium nitrate and
                                                                                                 other precursors
Legal assistance for laws and regulations to           DOJ and DOD                               Modify the existing legislative framework by
counter IEDs and IED precursors                                                                  strengthening legislation on terrorism and explosives
                                               Source: GAO analysis based on documents and interviews.


                                               Counter-IED training and/or equipment. For example, DOD, through
                                               ODRP, is partnering with the United Kingdom to establish a counter-IED
                                               Center of Excellence at the Military College of Engineering in Risalpur,
                                               Pakistan. According to British officials, the Center would establish a “train
                                               the trainer” program to build the capacity of the Pakistan military and
                                               police forces to develop, gather, and use intelligence; attack networks;
                                               and search, dispose of, and study the forensics of IEDs. According to an
                                               ODRP official, the United Kingdom has already provided funding to
                                               establish the Center and provided the initial training portion of the
                                               Center’s program. According to DOD, State has allocated $25 million in
                                               training and equipment for the Center’s program. In addition ODRP
                                               purchased 110 IED jammers—devices that block the detonation of
                                               remote-controlled IEDs—for Pakistan, but the delivery of this equipment



                                               Page 8                                                                 GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
has been delayed. Other U.S. procured counter-IED equipment under
review and still in U.S. storage includes kits for use by combined
explosive exploitation cells, explosive ordnance disposal items, and
portable trace explosive detectors. Additional counter-IED equipment
procured by ODRP is still in production, such as counter-IED route
clearance vehicles costing a total of about $63.9 million and additional
remote controlled IED jammers costing about $12.1 million. Further, DOJ
has also provided counter-IED training. For instance, DOJ’s Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) provided explosive ordnance disposal
and IED identification training to a number of Pakistan’s Anti-Narcotics
Force Special Investigative Cell members in 2011. This training was
provided by FBI’s Legal Attaché office in Pakistan. DEA has provided
investigative training and mentors for Pakistan’s Anti-Narcotics Force
Special Investigative Cell investigators, who have uncovered some
linkages to IED networks and other terrorist activities.

Counter-IED public awareness campaign. In November 2011, State’s
Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan launched a $1.3
million public awareness campaign using television, radio, and print
media to communicate messages aimed at countering violent extremism
and the use of IEDs in Pakistan. The campaign consisted of three
phases: (1) define the IED problem, (2) create a forum to discuss the
problem, and (3) empower citizens to detect and report threats to the
local military and law enforcement authorities. According to State officials,
the initial phase of the campaign focused on placing messages defining
the IED problem on commercial stations, but Pakistan’s Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting has also aired some of them on state-run
media. According to State officials, the campaign may be extended
beyond its initial 6-month time frame, which was to end in May 2012, due
to the positive response of the Pakistani public.

Training of border officials. Multiple U.S. agencies have provided
training to Pakistani border officials. For instance, DHS conducts joint
regional training and operational exercises for both Pakistani and Afghan
border officials, including international border interdiction training and
cross-border financial investigation training. According to a State official,




Page 9                                           GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
                             DHS also plays a lead role in Program Global Shield 3 to foster cross-
                             border cooperation and initiate complementary border management and
                             customs operations. In November 2011, DHS and State sponsored an
                             International Visitors Leadership Program in the United States for
                             Pakistani and Afghan border management and customs officials.
                             According to ODRP officials, ODRP has provided training and equipment
                             to Pakistani forces including Frontier Scouts active in the western border
                             region, to enhance their capability to interdict contraband, including CAN
                             and other IED precursor materials.

                             Legal assistance for laws and regulations to counter-IEDs and IED
                             precursors. DOD and DOJ have made available legal assistance to
                             Pakistan to advance its efforts to counter IEDs. ODRP’s Strategic
                             Interagency Assistance Team is prepared to provide legal advice in
                             drafting laws and regulations with regard to the use, production, and
                             transportation of IED precursor chemicals and other explosives, as well
                             as in areas relating to the arrest and prosecution of persons engaged in
                             the IED supply and production chain. According to DOJ officials, they are
                             also available to provide additional legal assistance as needed.


Agencies Face a Variety of   U.S. agencies have encountered some challenges to providing
Ongoing Challenges to        assistance to Pakistan to counter IEDs, and events over the past 6
Assisting Pakistan to        months have strained this important bilateral relationship. U.S. officials in
                             Washington, D.C., and Pakistan identified four key difficulties that hamper
Counter IEDs                 the provision of training and equipment.

                             •   Obtaining visas for U.S. officials. We have previously reported that
                                 U.S. officials face delays in obtaining visas to travel to Pakistan. 4


                             3
                               Program Global Shield is an international effort to counter the smuggling of chemical
                             precursors that could be used to manufacture IEDs, including CAN. The World Customs
                             Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Interpol, and DHS jointly
                             initiated this project in 2010 and established it as a program in June 2011 with funding of
                             about $5.9 million that State provided through its Bureau of International Narcotics and
                             Law Enforcement Affairs, according to the Bureau’s Global Shield liaison officer.
                             According to DHS, the main goals of Program Global Shield are (1) to identify and interdict
                             falsely declared explosive precursor chemicals, (2) to initiate investigations of smuggled or
                             illegally diverted IED materials, and (3) to uncover the smuggling and procurement
                             networks that foster illicit trade.
                             4
                              GAO, Accountability for U.S. Equipment Provided to Pakistani Security Forces in the
                             Western Frontier Needs to Be Improved, GAO-11-156R (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 15,
                             2011).




                             Page 10                                                    GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
    During our January 2012 meetings at the U.S. Embassy, officials from
    several agencies told us that it is difficult to obtain visas for U.S.
    officials to travel to Pakistan, including trainers. One official stated that
    obtaining Pakistani visas for contractors providing services, including
    training, is persistently a challenge. According to officials, visa
    renewals sometimes take up to 6 weeks, which can force trainers to
    leave the country until they get their visa renewed. This has
    sometimes resulted in disruptions and cancelled training courses that
    has slowed the progress of U.S. efforts to initiate training programs
    and strengthen working relationships with Pakistani counterparts.

•   Vetting Pakistani officials to receive U.S. training. U.S. law requires
    that U.S. agencies determine whether there is credible evidence of
    gross violations of human rights by security force units or individuals
    slated to receive security assistance. 5 According to U.S. officials,
    Pakistan must provide in advance the names of individuals who will
    be receiving U.S. training in order for them to be vetted. In addition
    U.S. officials stated that Pakistan has not always been timely in
    releasing the names of its officials who are to be the recipients of the
    training, which can create logistics and scheduling difficulties. For
    example, according to DHS officials, lack of sufficient time to complete
    the vetting process resulted in the cancellation of a Program Global
    Shield training session in October 2011.

•   Ensuring timely delivery of equipment. Problems clearing customs
    and other issues have delayed the transfer of counter-IED equipment
    from the United States to Pakistani forces. For example, as of April
    2012, of the 110 IED jammers that ODRP procured in 2009 for
    Pakistan at a cost of about $22.8 million, 55 Jammers were still in
    Karachi awaiting release from Pakistani customs, and the remaining
    55 jammers were being kept in storage in the United States until the
    initial 55 were released.

•   Reaching agreement on the specifics of U.S. assistance projects.
    Efforts by the United States to reach agreement with Pakistan on the
    specific terms of assistance projects can be challenging, as illustrated
    by the breakdown in efforts to establish an advanced IED exploitation


5
  See 22 U.S.C. 2378d regarding assistance furnished under the Foreign Assistance Act or
the Arms Export Control Act. For programs funded by DOD appropriations, the provision is
limited to training programs and is incorporated annually in the Department of Defense
Appropriations Act. See, for example, Pub. L. No. 112-10, Div. A. sec. 8058.




Page 11                                                GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
    facility. The United States and Pakistan planned to establish a facility
    capable of exploiting chemical, technical, biometric, and documentary
    evidence to enable Pakistan to disrupt insurgent networks. According
    to DOD officials, once it became clear that the United States and
    Pakistan could not reach agreement on joint use of the facility, DOD
    terminated its support for establishing this facility.

In addition to these challenges to U.S. efforts to assist Pakistan, U.S.
officials identified several broader challenges to Pakistan’s ability to
counter IEDs in general and, more specifically, to suppress the smuggling
of CAN and other IED precursors across its border with Afghanistan.

•   Finalizing Pakistan’s National Counter-IED Implementation Plan.
    While Pakistan’s Directorate General for Civil Defense has developed
    a National Counter-IED Implementation Plan as outlined in the
    National Counter-IED Strategy, as of April 2012, the plan had not
    been approved due to concerns over resourcing and other issues.
    This plan would establish the various provincial, divisional, and district
    counter-IED cells that would monitor, analyze, and disseminate
    information on IEDs at the national, regional, and local levels.
    Pakistan’s adoption of its implementation plan is needed to allow U.S.
    agencies to align their efforts with Pakistan’s.

•   History of smuggling across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The
    border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is approximately 1,500
    miles long and much of the rugged mountainous terrain along the
    central and northern border is difficult to patrol. There is a history of
    smuggling goods in both directions at many points along this porous
    border. According to those involved with monitoring or interdicting this
    covert movement of goods, it is likely that CAN and other IED
    precursors are viewed as illicit commodities, like narcotics, to be
    smuggled for financial gain.

•   Small amount of CAN needed to make IEDs. DOD officials noted that
    only a small amount of CAN is required to make powerful IEDs.
    According to DOD, a 110-pound bag of CAN yields about 82 pounds
    of bomb-ready explosive material. Packed in palm oil jugs, this small
    quantity has the capacity to destroy an armored vehicle or detonate
    10 small blasts aimed at U.S. forces conducting foot patrols.

•   Substitutes for CAN available to make IEDs. Even if the smuggling of
    CAN could be suppressed, insurgents could readily switch to another
    precursor chemical to make IEDs. According to DOD, other products
    available in Pakistan such as potassium chlorate, used in making


Page 12                                          GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
                             matches, and urea, which is another commonly used fertilizer, can
                             also be used to produce IEDs. At a JIEDDO conference on
                             homemade explosives, a panel of experts agreed that insurgents
                             could easily substitute these commodities to make IEDs if it becomes
                             more difficult for them to access CAN.

                         •   IED precursors can be imported or smuggled into Afghanistan from
                             other bordering countries. While Pakistan is the principal source of
                             CAN coming into Afghanistan, China and Iran are also reported to be
                             suppliers of IED precursor chemicals. According to State officials,
                             other substitutes for CAN, including urea and potassium chlorate, are
                             exported by countries other than Pakistan.

                         The U.S. fiscal year 2013 MSRP for Pakistan included a new
State’s Strategic        performance indicator to track some of Pakistan’s efforts to counter IEDs,
Document Includes        but the indicator and targets used to measure progress did not cover the
                         full range of U.S. assisted efforts. According to State, each year every
Performance              embassy develops its MSRP for the fiscal year two years out; this is done
Measures for Some        to facilitate long-term diplomatic and assistance planning. 6 The MSRP
U.S. Assisted Counter-   lays out the U.S. vision for the bilateral relationship and identifies and
                         establishes broad goals and corresponding performance indicators with
IED Efforts in           specific targets for monitoring progress. State reports that its Washington,
Pakistan, but Other      D.C.-based bureaus draw on MSRPs to gauge the effectiveness of
                         policies and programs in the field and to formulate requests for resources.
Key Areas Are Not
Covered                  The MSRP for Pakistan included several goals, such as
                         counterterrorism/counterinsurgency; regional security, stability, and
                         nonproliferation; law enforcement reform and rule of law; and public
                         diplomacy and strategic communications. Each of these goals included
                         corresponding performance indicators and targets. In the MSRP for fiscal
                         year 2013, State included—under its goal for regional security, stability,
                         and nonproliferation—a new performance indicator and three targets to
                         track some U.S. assisted Pakistani counter-IED efforts.

                         Specifically, the fiscal year 2013 MSRP included a performance indicator
                         to monitor Pakistan’s implementation of effective measures to prevent
                         illicit commerce in sensitive materials, including chemical precursors used



                         6
                          Thus, according to a State official, the fiscal year 2013 MSRP for Pakistan was finalized
                         in 2011.




                         Page 13                                                   GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
to make IEDs in Afghanistan. To measure progress toward this
performance indicator, the fiscal year 2013 MSRP included three targets:
(1) implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement
for fiscal year 2011, (2) improved competency of Pakistani customs and
border officials and improved monitoring at border stations for fiscal year
2012, and (3) Pakistan’s implementation of a real-time truck-tracking
system for fiscal year 2013. According to a State official at the U.S.
Embassy in Pakistan, the 2013 MSRP’s inclusion of a target for
implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement had
implications for countering IEDs because the agreement included
measures aimed at reducing smuggling.

While the inclusion of a counter-IED performance indicator and targets to
measure progress toward the indicator in the fiscal year 2013 MSRP is a
positive step, it does not reflect the broad range of U.S. assisted counter-
IED efforts in Pakistan. The existing performance indicator is focused on
cross-border activities, specifically, Pakistan’s efforts to prevent illicit
commerce in sensitive materials, including precursors used to
manufacture IEDs in Afghanistan; however, the indicator does not
explicitly address other key counter-IED efforts in Pakistan. Progress of
U.S. counter-IED assistance efforts not specifically linked to cross-border
smuggling are not covered, such as counter-IED training and/or
equipment, a counter-IED public awareness campaign, and legal
assistance for laws and regulations to counter-IEDs and IED precursors.
For example, while some of these efforts are included in the MSRP under
other goals, they are not tracked to gauge progress toward counter-IED
objectives. 7 Consequently, the effects of key U.S. assisted counter-IED
efforts, including the development of the Counter-IED Center of
Excellence at the Military College of Engineering in Risalpur, Pakistan,
and the provision of IED jammers, are not tracked under the existing
performance indicators and targets.

The absence of comprehensive performance measures reflecting the
broad range of U.S. assisted counter-IED efforts limits State’s ability to
assess overall progress in Pakistan to counter IEDs and to determine the



7
 The fiscal year 2013 MSRP includes performance measures for a general public
diplomacy campaign against violent extremism; however, targets did not include counter-
IED efforts. In addition, the MSRP included a target on police training, counternarcotics,
and prison reform that referenced counter-IED efforts, but the target is used to track
Pakistan’s progress on law enforcement reform.




Page 14                                                   GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
                     extent to which these counter-IED efforts help achieve the U.S. goal of
                     regional security, stability, and nonproliferation in Pakistan.


                     Pakistan’s ability to stem the flow of CAN and other IED precursors is a
Conclusions          life and death issue for U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Despite a
                     broad range of U.S. assisted efforts undertaken by Pakistan, IEDs made
                     from CAN and other precursor chemicals smuggled in from Pakistan
                     continue to remain a significant cause of fatalities among U.S. troops in
                     Afghanistan. Multiple U.S. agencies and international partners are
                     assisting Pakistan in countering IEDs, and Pakistan has developed its
                     own National Counter-IED Strategy. However, U.S. efforts to assist
                     Pakistan in implementing effective measures to prevent illicit commerce in
                     IED precursors, including CAN, continue to face a spectrum of
                     challenges. Some difficulties are narrower in scope, such as delays in
                     obtaining and renewing visas for U.S. officials and trainers or reaching
                     agreement on the specific terms for key projects. Other challenges are
                     broader and more complex, such as the porous border between Pakistan
                     and Afghanistan and the ready availability of IED precursors that can be
                     smuggled across that border, of which only a small amount is needed to
                     produce multiple IEDs. These challenges highlight how critically important
                     it is that Pakistan finalize its National Counter-IED Implementation Plan to
                     facilitate concrete actions necessary to achieve the objectives outlined in
                     its National Counter-IED Strategy.

                     State has demonstrated the depth of the U.S. commitment to assist
                     Pakistan in countering IEDs, as evidenced by the fiscal year 2013 MSRP
                     for Pakistan, which included a new performance indicator and some
                     targets to track the progress of some of Pakistan’s counter-IED efforts.
                     However, these performance metrics only partially capture the progress
                     of counter-IED efforts in Pakistan. Enhancing performance measures to
                     ensure that they provide a more comprehensive view of the progress and
                     effect of U.S. assisted efforts could yield additional insights needed to
                     refine the U.S. approach to assisting Pakistan in countering IEDs and to
                     determine the extent to which these efforts further U.S. goals.


                     To improve State’s ability to track progress of efforts in Pakistan to
Recommendation for   counter IEDs, we recommend that the Secretary of State direct the U.S.
Executive Action     Mission in Pakistan to enhance its counter-IED performance measures to
                     cover the full range of U.S. assisted efforts.




                     Page 15                                         GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
                  We provided a draft of this report to State, DHS, DOD, and DOJ. State
Agency Comments   and DHS provided written comments, which are reproduced in
                  appendixes II and III, respectively. State concurred with our
                  recommendation and noted that comprehensive metrics would better
                  enable evaluation of progress of counter-IED efforts in Pakistan. State
                  committed to improve assessment of its programs by looking for ways to
                  broaden the scope of existing metrics in order to better reflect and
                  evaluate interagency participation in counter-IED efforts. In its comments,
                  DHS noted that it is committed to working with interagency partners to
                  improve abilities for tracking counter-IED efforts in Pakistan. DOD
                  provided technical comments that were incorporated, as appropriate. DOJ
                  responded that it did not have any comments on the draft report.


                  As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents of
                  this report earlier, we plan no further distribution until 30 days from the
                  report date. At that time, we will send copies to appropriate congressional
                  committees, the Secretaries of State, Homeland Security, and Defense,
                  as well as the Attorney General of the United States. In addition, the
                  report will be available at no charge on the GAO website at
                  http://www.gao.gov.

                  If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
                  me at (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov. Contact points for our
                  Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on
                  the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this
                  report are listed in appendix IV.

                  Sincerely yours,




                  Charles Michael Johnson, Jr., Director
                  International Affairs and Trade




                  Page 16                                        GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




             To describe the status of U.S. efforts to assist Pakistan in countering
             improvised explosive devices (IEDs), we reviewed agency documentation
             of relevant activities since 2010. In addition, we reviewed the Pakistan
             National Counter-IED Strategy and draft National Implementation Plan to
             gain knowledge of the areas that Pakistan has focused on in seeking
             assistance from the international community. We inventoried and
             described the efforts of U.S. agencies to assist Pakistan in countering
             IEDs and preventing the smuggling of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN)
             and other IED precursors from Pakistan to Afghanistan. We analyzed
             funding and program information on specific projects and activities and
             followed up with interviews with knowledgeable U.S. officials and
             international partners to obtain their views on efforts to assist Pakistan to
             counter IEDs and prevent the smuggling of CAN and other precursors.
             We interviewed officials from the Departments of (State), Homeland
             Security (DHS), and Justice (DOJ), in Washington, D.C., and the
             Department of Defense (DOD) in Arlington, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida,
             as well as representatives of all these agencies at the U.S. Embassy in
             Pakistan. Specifically, in Pakistan we interviewed representatives from
             State’s Economic, Political, Narcotics Affairs, and Public Affairs sections;
             DHS’s Homeland Security Investigations office; DOJ’s, Drug Enforcement
             Administration and Legal Attaché; and DOD’s Office of Defense
             Representative, Pakistan, and Strategic Interagency Assistance Team.
             The international partners we interviewed included representatives from
             the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the British High
             Commission, and the International Security Assistance Force
             International Coordination Element–Pakistan. We also interviewed
             Pakistani customs officials from the Directorate General of the
             Intelligence and Investigations and the Federal Board of Revenue to
             obtain their perspective on counter-IED efforts and challenges. During our
             January 2012 trip to Pakistan to learn more about the use of CAN and
             other fertilizers, we met with U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and
             Plant Health Inspection Service officials as well as with representatives of
             the Pakistan National Fertilizer Development Center, but we were unable
             to meet with other Pakistani officials or representatives of the Pakistani
             company that manufactures CAN fertilizer. To learn more about
             Afghanistan and Pakistan border issues, we met with representatives
             from the Pakistan Trade Project, a U.S. Agency for International
             Development partner who provided video footage of the Chaman and
             Torkham border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

             To review State’s tracking of U.S. assisted efforts in Pakistan to counter
             IEDs, we reviewed State’s fiscal year 2013 Mission Strategic and
             Resource Plan for the U.S. Mission in Pakistan. Specifically, we reviewed


             Page 17                                          GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




goals, performance indicators, and targets for counterterrorism and
counterinsurgency; regional security, stability, and nonproliferation; law
enforcement reform and rule of law; and public diplomacy and strategic
communications to identify the extent to which they covered counter-IED
efforts. We also followed up with a State official at the U.S, Embassy in
Pakistan with regard to how targets under the new counter-IED
performance indicator in the MSRP track progress of counter-IED efforts.
The information on foreign law in this report is not the product of GAO’s
original analysis, but is derived from interviews and secondary sources.

We conducted this performance audit from October 2011 to May 2012 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 18                                        GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             of State



of State




             Page 19                                     GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of State




Page 20                                     GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Appendix III: Comments from the
             Appendix III: Comments from the Department
             of Homeland Security



Department of Homeland Security




             Page 21                                      GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Charles Michael Johnson, Jr., (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the individual named above, Jason Bair, Assistant Director;
Staff             David Dayton, Eddie Uyekawa; and Tom Zingale made key contributions
Acknowledgments   to this report. Alissa Czyz, David Dornisch, Mark Dowling, Carol E.
                  Finkler, Brandon Hunt, Theresa Perkins, Cary Russell, Kira Self, and
                  Yong Song provided additional support.




(320872)
                  Page 22                                        GAO-12-614 Combating Terrorism
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