Military Authorization FY 13: Iran Sections & Amendments

May 7, 2012

See full text of the National Defense Authorization Act here.

See a full list of amendments FCNL has been watching here.

Iran Amendments

(Passed en bloc/without roll call vote) Amendment No. 95: Rep. John Conyers (MI) and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) offered a bipartisan amendment stating that “nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran.”

(Failed 77-344) Amendment No. 161: Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) and Rep. John Conyers (MI) offered an amendment that would appoint a Special Envoy for Iran to ensure that all diplomatic avenues are pursued to avoid a war with Iran and to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

(Passed en bloc/without roll call vote) Amendment No. 133: Rep. Michael Conaway (TX) offered a dangerous pro-war amendment which would require the administration to prepare extraordinarily detailed contingency plans for an attack on Iran and put further pressure on the administration to support an Israeli attack on Iran. It also seeks to increase U.S. and Israeli military presence in the Mideast.

National Defense Authorization Bill 2013 (H.R. 4310): Sections Relating to Iran

Section 1221—Declaration of Policy
This section would express certain findings related to the threat represented by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United States, the State of Israel, and Iran's neighbors. This section would further declare that it is the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if necessary, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies, or Iran's neighbors with a nuclear weapon.

Subtitle C—Matters Relating to Iran SEC. 1221. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

Section 1222—United States Military Preparedness in the Middle East
This section includes findings that recognize the importance to the national security of the United States and its allies of conducting military exercises in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. These exercises benefit the readiness of the U.S. military and allied forces, as well as serve as a signal to the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the willingness of the United States to defend its national security interests.

This section would further require the Secretary of Defense to submit to the congressional defense committees not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, a plan to strengthen the presence of the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Middle East to include conducting military deployments, exercises, and other military readiness activities.

(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Iran, which has long sought to foment instability and promote extremism in the Middle East, is now seeking to exploit the dramatic political transition underway in the region to undermine governments traditionally aligned with the United States and support extremist political movements in these countries.

1 SEC. 1222. UNITED STATES MILITARY PREPAREDNESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

(2) At the same time, Iran may soon attain a nuclear weapons capability, a development that would threaten United States interests, destabilize the region, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower and embolden Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and provide it the tools to threaten its neighbors, including Israel.

(3) With the assistance of Iran over the past several years, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas have increased their stockpiles of rockets, with more than 60,000 rockets now ready to be fired at Israel. Iran continues to add to its arsenal of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, which threaten Iran’s neighbors, Israel, and United States Armed Forces in the region.

(4) Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is among the most urgent national security challenges facing the United States.

(5) Successive United States administrations have stated that an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

(6) President Obama stated on January 24, 2012, ‘‘Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.’’

(7) In order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the United States, in cooperation with its allies, must utilize all elements of national power including diplomacy, robust economic sanctions, and credible, visible preparations for a military option.

TITLE X—GENERAL PROVISIONS ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST COUNTER-DRUG ACTIVITIES

(8) Nevertheless, to date, diplomatic overtures, sanctions, and other non-kinetic actions toward Iran have not caused the Government of Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

(9) With the impact of additional sanctions uncertain, additional pressure on the Government of Iran could come from the credible threat of military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

(b) DECLARATION OF POLICY.—It shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies, or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.

(a) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) military exercises conducted in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman emphasize the United States resolve and the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b) by enhancing the readiness of the United States military and allied forces, as well as signaling to the Government of Iran the commitment of the United States to defend its vital national security interests; and

(2) the President, as Commander in Chief, should augment the presence of the United States Fifth Fleet in the Middle East and to conduct military deployments, exercises, or other visible, concrete military readiness activities to underscore the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b).

(b) PLAN.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Defense shall prepare a plan to augment the presence of the United States Fifth Fleet in the Middle East and to conduct military deployments, exercises, or other visible, concrete military readiness activities to underscore the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b).

(2) MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED.—The plan required under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum, steps necessary for the Armed Forces to support the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b), including— (A) pre-positioning sufficient supplies of aircraft, munitions, fuel, and other materials for both air- and sea-based missions at key forward locations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean; (B) maintaining sufficient naval assets in the region necessary to signal United States resolve and to bolster United States capabilities to launch a sustained sea and air campaign against a range of Iranian nuclear and military targets, to protect seaborne shipping, and to deny Iranian retaliation against United States interests in the region;

(C) discussing the viability of deploying at least two United States aircraft carriers, an additional large deck amphibious ship, and a Mine Countermeasures Squadron in the region on a continual basis, in support of the actions described in subparagraph (B); and

(D) conducting naval fleet exercises similar to the United States Fifth Fleet’s major exercise in the region in March 2007 to demonstrate ability to keep the Strait of Hormuz open and to counter the use of anti-ship missiles and swarming high-speed boats.

(3) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS.—The plan required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted to the congressional defense committees not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

Counter-Drug Activities in Afghanistan

The committee recognizes the President’s current plan to cease combat operations in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The Government of Afghanistan's ability to provide security for its own population relies in part on its ability to control narco-trafficking. The committee notes that Afghanistan’s link to the worldwide drug trade promotes instability and provides funding for terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda. Following the end of combat operations in 2014, the counter-drug programs developed in Afghanistan will remain vital to preserving stability in the region. The committee acknowledges that over the course of Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States has invested approximately $2.25 billion in counter-drug training and programs. This investment must not be neglected by the pending withdrawal from Afghanistan. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to develop a strategy for counter-drug programs and funding following combat operations in Afghanistan, and to submit a report on the strategy to the congressional defense committees by November 30, 2012. The strategy should outline the goals of both the U.S. military and civilian personnel as well as the Afghan military and police forces with respect to counter-drug programs. Also, the committee notes the need to outline timelines and resources necessary to accomplish these goals.

Study on Terrorist Organization Linkages in the Western Hemisphere

The committee notes the efforts made by the United States and governments in the Western Hemisphere in combating counter-drug and counterterrorism activities. The committee commends these governments for improving stability in the region as a result of counter-drug initiatives. However, the committee continues to be concerned about the increasing presence of transnational criminal organizations and internationally recognized terrorist organizations throughout the Western Hemisphere. The committee is aware that international terrorist organizations have participated in narcotrafficking, human-trafficking, and money laundering within the region, which has contributed to increasing violence. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on terrorist organizations operating in the Western Hemisphere and submit the findings of the study to the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the House Committee on Armed Services, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee by November 30, 2012. The study should include the activities of state sponsors of terror within the region, the current locations and organizational structure of the international terrorist groups operating in the Western Hemisphere, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the activities and strategic intentions of Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Quds Force, and Al Qaeda and its associated movements in the Western Hemisphere.

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