Andrew J. Shapiro

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 13:21
Let me begin by first explaining why security assistance is an essential part of the State Department’s mandate. There is sometimes confusion about where security assistance roles begin and end between the Departments of Defense and State. And many often wonder why the State Department is involved at all in “harder” security related areas. The reason is fairly straightforward: security assistance has broad foreign policy implications. It is not just that weapons can be used in a conflict and therefore must be dealt with very carefully. It is that the distribution of security assistance is fundamentally a foreign policy act.