Section 1206 Train and Equip Authority

Section 1206 Train and Equip Authority At A Glance

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Section 1206 authority grants the Secretary of Defense the authority to train and equip foreign military forces and foreign maritime security forces to perform counterterrorism operations and to participate in or to support military and stability operations in which U.S. Armed Forces are participating.

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Originally authorized as a temporary authority in 2005, Section 1206 authority grants the Secretary of Defense the authority to provide training, equipment, and transportation to foreign military forces, maritime security forces, and other security forces with counterterrorism responsibilities to perform counterterrorism (CT) and counterinsurgency operations and to participate in or to support military and stability operations in which U.S. Armed Forces are participating. The Defense Department (DOD) had historically had little interest in such activities, but that attitude shifted after 9/11, leading the DOD to request Section 1206 authority from Congress. During Fiscal Years 2006-2009, the vast majority of all Section 1206 assistance was devoted to CT training and equipment, including communications systems; surveillance and reconnaissance systems; various vehicles; aircraft; small arms and rifles; night vision goggles and sights; and clothing. Beginning in FY2012 to present, a significant portion funds have been reserved for stability operations cooperation, particularly to support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The authority remains temporary, consistently reauthorized by Congress, though it has been reauthorized through FY2017. Section 1206 programs are funded from the DOD operations and maintenance (O&M) account. Currently, there is a cap of $350 million on Section 1206 funding per Fiscal Year, and assistance cannot be given without the “concurrence” of the Secretary of State through a “joint review process.” To date, total funding for Section 1206 programs is approximately $2.2 billion. Section 1206 programs also include a two-day training course on human rights and international humanitarian law, with seminars on observing and respecting human rights and respect for civilian authority; the right against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; gender violence; rules for the use of force; rules of engagement; and law pertaining to international armed conflict and internal armed conflict.

Program Data

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