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Letter Opposing US Military Aid to Nepal

NOTE: We are now preparing printed copies of these materials to send them to the concerned members of the United States Government. Over the course of one week they have gathered over 600 signatures of support from 29 countries, with the highest representation from the USA and Nepal.

Click here to see where the letter and memorandum will go. If any on the list are your representatives, we urge you to write to them individually as well, to express your concern and draw their attention to this letter and memorandum. Information on how to contact your representative and senator, and a sample letter will be posted on this website shortly.

We, the undersigned members of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies and other deeply concerned scholars and professionals, urge the United States government to rescind the FY2002 supplemental appropriation of $20 million for military aid to His Majesty's Government of Nepal. For all the reasons set out in the attached memorandum we also urge review and reconsideration of the military aid to Nepal proposed in the FY2003 Foreign Operations and Security Assistance budget requests, including grant Excess Defense Articles transfers under the Foreign Assistance Act.

The Justifications for the $20 million emergency supplemental funding hold that increased military assistance will "help the G[overnment] O[f] N[epal] create a situation in which the Maoists decide that a military victory is not possible and that negotiations provide the best hope for realizing their goals". (1) Our collective experience in the study of Nepali society and our close attention to the course of events since the commencement of the CPN(Maoist)'s armed insurgency in 1996 lead us to the opposite conclusion.

It is our considered view that military aid will not help to bring about a negotiated settlement, but instead deepen and prolong an already devastating civil war. Rather than increase the chances for Nepal to achieve a peaceful functioning democracy in the foreseeable future, such aid will only aggravate the present conflict, leaving Nepal and the region to cope with unintended repercussions and untold suffering far into the future.

Our assessment of three fundamental factors informs this view: (1) the political situation, (2) the human rights situation and, (3) the negative impact of military aid upon efforts to reestablish a democratic politic process and upon the human rights situation. The attached memorandum on these matters draws on the collective knowledge and experience of a number of scholars who specialize in the study of Nepal. It has been prepared in order to assist those in the US government who are making decisions that will have far-reaching impact upon the geopolitical stability of a highly sensitive region and the future of some 27 million Nepali people.

We request that you circulate this letter and the attached memorandum to all those involved in decisions regarding United States military aid to Nepal.





1. FY2002 Foreign Operations Emergency Supplemental Funding Justifications, p. 9.

2. Signatures were collected electronically. To sign this document required selecting a link that stated, "By clicking here I affirm that I have read the attached memorandum and I wish to sign this letter". The electronic signatures can be viewed at:

The letter and memorandum will be deliverd to:

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations

Representative Jim Kolbe, Chair, House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations


(1) Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), Chair Senate Foreign Relations Committee
(2) Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
(3) Representative C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), Chair, House Appropriations Committee
(4) Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Chair, House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense
(5) Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense
(6) Hon. Colin Powell, Secretary of State
(7) Representative Jim Walsh
(8) Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) (co-sponsors of a failed amendment
(9) Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) opposing the $20 million in military aid to Nepal)
(10) Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Member, Senate Appropriations Committee
(11) Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on South Asian Affairs:
(12) R. Torricelli (D-NJ)
(13) B. Boxer (D-CA)
(14) P. Sarbannes (D-MD)
(15) J. Rockefeller (D-WV)
(16) S. Brownback (R-KS)
(17) G. Smith (R-OR)
(18) B. First (R-TN)
(19) G. Allen (R-VA)
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