The debate over the recent U.S. offer to sell M1A2 Abrams battle tanks to Saudi Arabia has raised the question of Saudi dependency on U.S. equipment for its defense needs in general and for the prosecution of its war in Yemen in particular. Saudi Arabia has requested up to 153 tanks, 20 of which have been described by the Pentagon as being destined to replenish vehicles damaged in the war in Yemen. The deal also includes related equipment, including machine guns, grenade launchers, night vision devices, and ammunition.
As digital technologies rapidly grow and the use of the Internet expands, so do the risks that accompany it. Cyber security capacity building efforts thus have become a priority, not only for governments, but also for the private sector and civil society around the world.
Since September 11, the U.S. government has overseen a massive expansion in Pentagon-funded aid to foreign security forces, moving from $800 million in FY 2001 to more than $10.8 billion in FY 2015. However, a string of reports and articles over the past year have highlighted serious concerns with these efforts.
A recent report suggested that if the current cessation of hostilities breaks down, as it appears to be doing, the C.I.A. plans to provide “more-powerful” weapons to “moderate” Syrian rebels. But this wasn’t the only recent announcement of a shifting policy to train and equip the Syrian rebels. This month, the Pentagon began a new program to train and equip Syrian rebels to combat Islamic State militants, but it’s still unclear if the program will be able to overcome the past problems.
Security Assistance Monitor recently acquired the Department of Defense’s 2015 fourth quarter report on the Coalition Support Fund program through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.