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"I have never seen a day of peace in my life," Colombian civil society leaders have told me. As President Juan Manuel Santos visits Washington on February 3 and 4, 2016, there's hope they may see such a day.

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. 

Last month the United States approved a $1.29 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia. This deal is the latest in a string of major arms sales agreements totaling $20.8 billion since the Gulf country began fighting in Yemen against the Houthi rebels in March 2015. In addition, from 2009-14 the United States delivered over $13 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, making it the largest recipient of U.S. arms in the world. Human rights groups have denounced the most recent sale, citing the recklessness of the Saudi-led air attacks that have left thousands of civilians dead.

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.

Challenging a longtime U.S. military critique of security assistance, some defense experts are saying suspending U.S. military aid to foreign security forces because of their poor human rights record has often caused an improvement in the force’s behavior.

 

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Recent Blog

Jun 13, 2017
As Congress prepares for a vote today on a proposed sale of U.S. precision-guided munitions to...
Mar 10, 2017
The State Department requested Congress to approve over $662 million worth of commercial firearms...
Mar 5, 2017
This blog post first appeared on Lobelog under the title Commerce Department Boosts Arms Sales...
Nov 1, 2016
This article was originally published on the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)...
Sep 6, 2016
Introduction The debate over the recent U.S. offer to sell M1A2 Abrams battle tanks to Saudi Arabia...