Data Source

Our data comes from publicly available government documents, ranging from Congressional budget justifications to government reports. Below you can find details of where SAM gets the information that makes up our database.

Security Sector Assistance

The State Department-funded programs usually come from the Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ)- Foreign Operations, which is typically released in February of each year. The CBJ provides details on allocated funds to specific countries and regions or sub-regions by program. We use the report to provide details on actual allocations from the previous year, estimated allocations for the current year, and requested funds for the upcoming year. Occasionally, these reports do not provide estimates for the current year. In those cases, we leave with Congress’ budget appropriations.

Additional reports that might also be used for State Department-funded security aid:

  • Report on the Uses of Foreign Military Financing, International Military Education and Training, and Peacekeeping Operations Funds (Section 7010 of the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-8)
  • Congressional Research Service reports
  • Program and Budget Guide for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (No longer produced)
  • DSCA Historical Factsbook
  • Other miscellaneous U.S. Government reports usually acquired through the FOIA process

For Defense Department-funded programs, we use numerous different reports to piece together the diverse array of authorities authorizing security aid since there currently is no one main source. In the past, we used the congressionally required Section 1209 report, which provided allocation funding for most programs, until the report was discontinued after FY2012.

Currently, our DoD-funded data comes from:

  • Foreign Military Training and DoD Engagement of Activities of Interest report (FMTR) • Section 1009 reports on U.S. counter-drug aid
  • Defense Department Comptroller Budget Reports
  • Congressional Research Service (CRS)
  • Government Accountability Office Reports (GAO)
  • USAID’s Foreign Aid Explorer
  • Other miscellaneous U.S. Government reports usually acquired through the FOIA process

As Defense Department reporting is less consistent and less detailed, in some cases we use actual expenditures or obligations instead of spending allocations. For example, the Section 1209 reports allocations for some programs, but expenditures for others. Expenditures data include the Coalition Support Funds and training programs like Aviation Leadership program, where the source is the FMTR. Obligations or expenditures are currently only used when allocations data is not available and can be found by downloading the full dataset.

For several of the programs, such as the Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR), the State Department provides sub-category level spending by country. By clicking on one of the data points associated with the NADR program, one can see how much money is allocated to antiterrorism, weapons of mass destruction, border security, or others.

Arms Sales

The data comes from various reports including the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Historical Factsbook, the State Department’s Section 655 Annual Military Assistance report, and the Commerce Department’s U.S. export list. The 655 report provides details on the equipment licensed for sale based on the U.S. munitions list (USML) categories. In 2010, the 655 report stopped providing information on the actual items licensed and resorted to only providing the number of items per military item category on the USML.

Foreign Military Training

The data comes from the Foreign Military Training and DoD Engagement of Activities of Interest report (FMTR), Volume I. Due to congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, U.S. training of foreign country police forces is not generally included. In some cases, the report will list training provided to the police or coast guard in the FMTR, but it is not a consistent or legally binding requirement and does not represent the vast array of police training the United States conducts.