Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

We are writing to request that you encourage Pakistani government officials to take urgent action to stem the flow of ammonium nitrate into Afghanistan where it is used in improvised explosive devices to kill U.S. troops. IEDs have also increasingly become a problem in Pakistan and we urge you to emphasize this common threat in your meetings with Pakistan's civilian and military leaders.

We have each lost constituents to IEDs in Afghanistan and visit with young service members injured by these terrible weapons. In Afghanistan alone, 268 U.S. service members were killed by IEDs in 2010, and 51 have been killed since January of this year.

This is not just a problem in Afghanistan. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) reports that since January, there have been 395 IED events in Pakistan. Of those, 28% targeted Pakistan's security forces, 9% targeted schools and civilians respectively and 18% targeted infrastructure. Overall, Pakistan has lost tens of thousands of civilians in the fight against extremism, as well as thousands of troops and police. This common threat requires a common strategy.

The prevalence of IEDs in Pakistan is not a new phenomenon. Last year, Pakistan experienced more than 1000 reported IED incidents -- only Iraq and Afghanistan experienced more. The vast majority of these attacks have occurred in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas where Pakistani security forces continue operations against Taliban insurgent groups.

Last year, Pakistan took promising steps to counter IEDs. In November, the government established a task force to counter IEDs and conducted a conference on the issue attended by U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter. The U.S. and U.K. have increasingly engaged their Pakistani counterparts on this issue, but little progress has been made to diminish the supply of ammonium nitrate in Afghanistan.

Pakistan can take several measures to restrict ammonium nitrate. First, Pakistani legislature can pass legislation which would regulate explosive precursor materials used in IEDs such as ammonium nitrate and potassium chlorate. Second, customs officials can improve efforts to limit the passage of goods across the border which are illegal in Afghanistan, like ammonium nitrate. Third, the private owners of the Pak Arab fertilizer plant and other producers active in Pakistan should introduce taggants or other material which make ammonium nitrate easier to track. Finally, Pakistani authorities can conduct a broader public education campaign on the dangers posed by ammonium nitrate and the value of alternative fertilizers.

We appreciate the efforts of Project Global Shield (PGS) and the increased international engagement on this issue. The United States has played an important role in leading PGS and we support a continuation of this critical national security priority. We urge you to encourage Germany and Sweden, two key exporters of ammonium nitrate, to join Project Global Shield.

In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, we believe Pakistan must implement concrete measures to counter terrorism. Removing ammonium nitrate from the terrorist arsenal is one such good faith measure that is also in Pakistan's national security interests. Thank you for the State Department's diplomatic efforts and ongoing commitment to removing ammonium nitrate from the battlefield.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

Carl Levin
United States Senator

Al Franken
United States Senator

Jack Reed
United States Senator

Christopher A. Coons
United States Senator

Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Richard Durbin
United States Senator

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Bob Corker
United States Senator

Olympia J. Snowe
United States Senator

Bill Nelson
United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

Michael Bennet
United States Senator

Jon Tester
United States Senator

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

Lisa Murkowski
United States Senator

Kelly Ayotte
United States Senator


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top