U.S. Military Assistance

“U.S. Financing Fails to Sustain Foreign Forces” (front page, Oct. 4), about the routine failures of American foreign arms and training programs to meet their objectives, underscores the need for a move away from reliance on these programs as a central component of United States strategy. Your article does a good job of detailing the most costly, counterproductive American efforts, from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to North Africa. But these cases are just the tip of the iceberg. According to data compiled by the Security Assistance Monitor, in fiscal year 2015 the United States provided military and police aid to 163 countries. And there are 15 separate United States government programs that finance some form of foreign military or police training. This proliferation of training efforts calls for more vigorous congressional oversight. One step in the right direction would be a yearly report to Congress that provides information on all proposed United States arms and training programs for the year to come, with an enumeration of project objectives and an evaluation of past performance. This would be a first step toward getting control of far-flung United States arms and training initiatives. WILLIAM D. HARTUNG The writer is a senior adviser to the Security Assistance Monitor.
Syria Train and Equip Fund
Deployments for Training
International Military Education and Training
Date Published: 
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Publisher / Source: 
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