December 11, 2014
ISLAMABAD:(APS)The 23rd meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group (DCG), a working group under the Strategic Dialogue framework, was held in Washington, D.C., December 9-10, 2014. The two sides were led, respectively, by Lt. Gen. (Retired) Alam Khattak, Pakistan’s Secretary Defence, and Ms. Christine E. Wormuth, the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The DCG is the primary forum for exchanging views and coordinating defense policy with the goal of strengthening cooperation to support both countries’ security interests. The DCG last met in November 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Both delegations welcomed the continued positive trajectory of the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship and agreed that bilateral cooperation is essential to promoting regional peace and stability and defeating al-Qaeda and other terrorist elements in the region. Both sides reaffirmed their mutual commitment to a strong defense relationship, which they stressed should focus on achieving common objectives.
During the plenary session, DCG participants shared their respective assessments of the bilateral relationship and discussed each country’s strategic priorities, and agreed on areas for future defense cooperation. Both delegations affirmed the significance of the Pakistan military’s ongoing North Waziristan operation, which the U.S. side affirmed has disrupted militants.
The Pakistani delegation provided an update on its military campaign along its border with Afghanistan. The U.S. briefed on the security transition in Afghanistan, including plans for U.S. forces to help train, advise, and assist Afghan national security forces over the next year. Both sides expressed appreciation for the efforts by their respective militaries to improve operational coordination, and deep appreciation for the sacrifices of all military personnel and civilians in the common fight against all forms of violent extremism.
Both sides reviewed the challenges facing regional security, and shared their views regarding the importance of regional peace and stability. Recognizing the enduring security requirements on both sides of the Pakistan Afghanistan border, the two delegations agreed to continue providing Pakistan’s counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency requirements which will inform the provision of security assistance. The United States and Pakistan also discussed the importance of a mechanism to reimburse Pakistan for operational expenses after Coalition Support Funds expire at the end of fiscal year 2015.
The delegations reaffirmed that the DCG remains an invaluable forum to discuss strategic defense policy issues and exchange views on shared security concerns, they committed to continue working together to implement a framework for defense cooperation based on areas of convergence between U.S. and Pakistani interests.