Department of Defense assistance to Africa


The Department of Defense 1209 Report

Security Assistance Monitor recently received the United States Department of Defense’s Section 1209 and Section 1203(b) Report to Congress (from here on referred to as the 1209 report) for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012.

The 1209 report provides information on foreign assistance-related programs carried out by the Department of Defense. In Africa, these include Section 1004 Counter-Drug Assistance, Section 1033 Counter-Drug Assistance, Section 1206 Train and Equip Authority and the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP).  Additionally, the report also provides data on two development and humanitarian assistance programs: Defense Department Humanitarian Assistance and Section 1207 Security and Stabilization Assistance.

Congress mandated the report for the years up until 2012 in the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (Public Law 111-84.) The Congressionally mandated due date for the report was February 1 of each year. This specific reporting requirement was not extended, so the FY2012 report is the last time we’ll receive this comprehensive report on DOD foreign assistance-related programs.

Trends in the data

In FY2011 DOD security assistance to Africa spiked significantly, largely because of a sudden increase in Section 1206 assistance to Uganda, Mauritania and Tunisia. 

Source: Security Assistance Monitor

From 2007 to 2011, the majority of security assistance to Africa was provided through the Section 1206 Train and Equip Authority (Section 1206). Section 1206 was authorized in 2005 as a contingency program, but has been extended ever since. Under Section 1209, Congress gave DOD the authority to “train and equip foreign military forces for two specified purposes—counterterrorism and stability operations—and foreign maritime security forces for counterterrorism operations.”

As visible in the graph below, in 2006 the program provided $41,066,00 in assistance to countries in Africa and spiked in 2011 to $113,502,267. In 2012 the program provided $44,376,000 in assistance to Africa – a 61 percent drop from 2011, but more in line with assistance levels prior to 2011.

While aid through Section 1206 declined in 2012, two new programs replaced it: Section 1207(n) Transitional Authority and the Global Security Contingency Fund – neither of which are included in the 1209 report.

Source: Security Assistance Monitor                                                  

DOD’s Military Aid versus Development & Humanitarian Aid

The Section 1209 report also provides data for two DOD humanitarian and development aid programs: Defense Department Humanitarian Assistance and Section 1207 Security and Stabilization Assistance. The graph below includes these two programs, as well as two other DOD humanitarian programs: Humanitarian Mine Action and Humanitarian and Civic Assistance.

Source: Security Assistance Monitor

Comparing the data shows that, DOD humanitarian and development aid represents a small fraction of DOD assistance to Africa. Nevertheless, in 2007 assistance provided through these humanitarian and development programs spiked significantly: in 2007, DOD provided $47,216,100 in development assistance, compared to $57,282,159 in security assistance. However, humanitarian and development programs have declined since 2010 and now make up only four percent of DOD assistance to the region.

Top Recipients

In 2011 four countries in Africa received a comparatively large portion of all DOD military aid to the region: Mauritania, Tunisia, Uganda and Burundi. In fact, in 2011 these three countries were in the top ten of all Section 1206 assistance recipients worldwide. In 2011 Uganda received a total of $33,697,497, Mauritania $31,994,921, Tunisia $22,376,214 and Burundi $16,043,533 – compared to the rest of Africa at a $30,215,857. Kenya, the next up, received $12,988,480.


Source: Security Assistance Monitor              

Note, because DOD treated Uganda and Burundi jointly in FY12, our website represents that value as Great Lakes Regional. In order to accurately show that the two countries remained in the top recipients, we decided to treat them jointly in the graph below, which compares the top recipients in Africa from 2007 to 2012. 

Source: Security Assistance Monitor              

For more Department of Defense assistance details, please visit our data page