Peace Operations:

Cost of DOD Operations in Somalia

NSIAD-94-88: Published: Mar 4, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1994.

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GAO reviewed the costs of United Nations (UN)-sponsored peacekeeping operations in Somalia, focusing on: (1) the incremental costs the Department of Defense (DOD) incurred in its operations in Somalia; (2) the impact of operations in Somalia on normal DOD spending plans; and (3) what UN reimbursement the United States could expect for expenses incurred in Somalia.

GAO found that: (1) through the end of fiscal year 1993, DOD had incurred nearly $885 million in incremental costs due to its participation in three UN-sponsored operations in Somalia; (2) Congress appropriated no additional funds to cover these costs, but DOD believes that the fund transfers necessary to cover its operations have not adversely affected its normal spending plans; (3) DOD believes that participation in peacekeeping operations could degrade some units' combat readiness, but that such activities enhance the skills of some noncombat personnel; (4) DOD is entitled to be reimbursed at least $123.6 million, and UN has been billed for other costs related to operations in Somalia; (5) under the Foreign Assistance Act, DOD could retain certain UN-reimbursed funds in its existing appropriation accounts; and (6) the reimbursements, if retained, would be over the amounts that Congress appropriated for DOD.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: To the extent that Congress does not provide supplemental funding for peacekeeping operations through its actions, it has shown no inclination to adjust DOD's budget to reflect U.N. reimbursements.

    Matter: Given the significant level of reimbursements involved, Congress may wish to consider whether: (1) DOD should continue to have access to these reimbursements as currently allowed by the Foreign Assistance Act and, if so, whether the 180-day time limit for retaining any reimbursements received under section 607 of that act should be revised; (2) an amount equal to the reimbursements should be rescinded from current DOD appropriations, if DOD is allowed to retain the reimbursements; or (3) it should create an account into which these UN reimbursements could be deposited for use in funding future DOD contingency operations.


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