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During his visit to Islamabad last week, Gen.Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, announced the decision of the Bush Administration to designate Pakistan as a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) of the US. The decision would become effective 30 days after a notification in this regard has been sent by the President to the Congress.

Background Information: MNNA Status does not entail the same mutual defense and security guarantees afforded to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members. However, designation of Thailand as an MNNA represents an affirmation of the importance the US places on the US-Thai alliance relationship in the 21st century. Thailand has been a treaty ally of the United States for nearly 50 years, since the 1954 Manila Pact. The alliance partnership has continued to expand over the years. Recently, Thailand has made important counterterrorism contributions and has sent troops to coalition efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

(MNNA) Definitions: U.S. legislation creates two categories of MNNA status. The first category is under Title 10 U.S Code Section 2350a (Nunn Amendment of 1987). The Second is under Section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA) (title 22, USC Section 2321k).

Title 10 U.S. Code Section 2350a authorizes the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to designate MNNAs for purposes of participating with the Department of Defense (DOD) in cooperative research and development programs. Israel, Egypt, Japan, Australia, and the Republic of Korea were given MNNA designation under Title 10 in 1987, followed by Jordan (1996), Argentina (1998), New Zealand and Bahrain (2002), and the Philippines and Thailand (2003).

Designation under this provision:

  • Permits firms of the country to bid on certain USG contracts for maintenance, repair or overhaul of DOD equipment outside the Continental US. (10 USC 2349)
  • Makes a country eligible for certain joint counterterrorism research & development projects. (22 USC 2349a-10(b); PL 104-132 sec. 328(b))
  • Allows DOD to enter into cooperative R&D projects with the country to improve conventional defense capabilities on an equitable cost-sharing basis. (10 USC sec 2350a)

    Section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, authorizes the President to designate a country as a MNNA after 30-days notification to Congress, for purposes of the FAA and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The statute, enacted in 1996, initially designated Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand as MNNAs. Subsequently, Jordan (1996), Argentina (1998), Bahrain (2002), and the Philippines and Thailand (2003) have also been designated as MNNAs under this provision.

    Designation under this provision:

  • Makes a nation eligible, to the maximum extent feasible, for priority delivery of excess defense articles if it is on the South or Southeastern flank of NATO. (FAA 516)
  • Makes a nation eligible to buy depleted uranium ammunition. (FAA 620G)
  • Makes the country eligible to have U.S.-owned War Reserve Stockpiles on its territory outside of U.S. military installations. (FAA 514) )]. [Note: The US closed down a previously existing War Reserve Stockpile, established in 1987, in 2002, and transferred the remaining munitions to Thai ownership.]
  • Allows the country to enter into agreements with the USG for the cooperative furnishing of training on a bilateral or multilateral basis under reciprocal financial arrangements that may exclude reimbursement for indirect costs and certain other charges. (AECA 21(g))
  • Allows the country to use U.S. provided Foreign Military Financing for commercial leasing of certain defense articles. (Section 589 of the FY01 Foreign Operations Appropriation Act, Public Law 106-429)
  • Makes a country eligible for loans of materials, supplies and equipment for cooperative R&D projects and testing and evaluation. (AECA 65)
  • Makes a country eligible for expedited processing of export licenses of commercial satellites, their technologies, components, and systems. (Section 1309 of the James W. Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001, Public Law 106-113)

    MNNA designation under section 517 of the FAA can be terminated at the discretion of the President with 30 days notice to the Congress, but no specific criteria or precedents exist regarding termination.



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