United States – Pakistan Defense Consultative Group Meeting
The 20th meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group (DCG) was held in Washington, DC on 2-3 May 2011. The two nations’ delegations were respectively led by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Syed Athar Ali, Pakistan’s Secretary of Defense, and Ms. Michèle Flournoy, the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The DCG is the primary forum for exchanging views and coordinating defense policy discussions, with the goal of strengthening the defense relationship based on mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual interest. The last DCG meeting was held in August 2010 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Both delegations acknowledged that the recent counterterrorism operation resulting in the death of al-Qa’ida leader Usama bin-Laden underscores the importance of cooperation in our efforts to defeat terrorism. Both sides affirmed their mutual commitment to their strong defense relations, which they stressed should continue to serve as the foundation of the broader strategic partnership.
During the plenary session DCG participants reviewed achievements in the field of defense collaboration. Both delegations concluded that the accomplishments of the Exchanges on Defense Planning (EDP) process and the announcement of a U.S. multi-year security assistance commitment to Pakistan were significant milestones over the past year. They stressed the significance of continuing these important efforts toward identifying and meeting Pakistan’s resourcing requirements.
The Pakistani delegation described the Pakistan military’s operations since the last DCG meeting and the U.S. side briefed on International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) activities in Afghanistan. Both sides expressed appreciation for the efforts by their respective militaries and commended the growing operational cooperation that has reinforced the effectiveness of efforts on both sides of the border. They both expressed their deep appreciation for the sacrifices of all military personnel in the common fight.
Each side shared lessons they had learned from ongoing military efforts, including from the “clear” and “hold” phases of the strategy, and followed up with a discussion on the necessity of improving “build” and “transfer” capacities. They reviewed the numerous challenges facing regional security, and shared their views regarding the importance of regional peace and stability.
The delegations reaffirmed the DCG remains an invaluable forum to discuss strategic defense policy issues and exchange views on shared security concerns and committed to continue working together to establish a shared framework for coordinating defense cooperation and pursuing agreed-upon mutual objectives.