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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.

On September 21, 2013, four gunmen affiliated with Somalia’s al-Shabaab entered a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and began shooting.  Kenyan special forces units were on the scene within hours – troops that the United States had spent millions to equip and train, and who were considered the cream of the African counterterrorism crop – but they took two full days to flush out the terrorists, and then spent the next two looting the mall.

In the past few months, major news outlets have highlighted the massive failures of U.S. security assistance efforts to combat terrorism in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. With these failures, a key question is whether or not the United States should increase or decrease the use of security cooperation for U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

U.S. security assistance and cooperation programs have come under a lot of fire recently.  The failure of the $500 million program to train and equip moderate opposition forces in Syria is the latest example. However, there is a longer history,

The State Department’s Directorate for Defense Trade Controls has proposed a rule change that could loosen oversight of private security companies and exacerbate the problems we’ve seen with them.

 

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Recent Blog

Jun 17, 2019
In a contentious hearing last week, lawmakers grilled a senior State Department official on the...
Jun 10, 2019
With new details emerging regarding the President's recent announcement that he would be...
Mar 17, 2019
While the portion of President Trump’s 2020 request for security assistance programming...
Oct 10, 2018
Prepared Remarks of Colby Goodman Director, Security Assistance Monitor   “The Trump Administration...
Sep 10, 2018
Corruption Risks to U.S. Counterterrorism Aid       The United States has...