In January 2013, three Americans were killed when terrorists attacked an Algerian BP gas
facility. The plan for the attack was conceived in the North African nation of Mali, and a Malibased jihadist with ties to Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. Regrettably, this was neither the first nor likely the last threat to Americans coming from Mali.
This unforgivable tragedy is one important reason why this past spring, the United States urged the United Nations to authorize a peacekeeping mission to Mali. However, the U.S., for all its support of this mission, which deployed in July, did not anticipate the size and scope of it when crafting the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request. As a
result, as peacekeepers now work to restore stability and peace to Mali, the U.S. has fallen
dangerously behind on its bills. In fact, absent congressional action, we could fall more than
$300 million short on funding to fuel this mission.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and the
Representative of one of the slain Americans recently noted that “North Africa is the next theater of operations in the War on Terror,” and that this tragedy reminds us that “we must never grow complacent.”
Indeed, now is the time for Congress to heed these words by providing the U.S. share of funds needed for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)—the mission we asked for. This is an essential step towards ensuring that security is restored to this region.
We at the Better World Campaign are committed to fostering a strong U.S.-UN relationship that promotes core American interests and builds a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. We look forward to working together as Congress and the Administration consider this urgent issue.