New Report: The Expanding Scope of U.S. Security Assistance Since 9/11
Security Assistance Monitor, September 2021
A new report from the Security Assistance Monitor examines the developments in U.S security assistance since the September 11th attacks, highlighting strategic, thematic, and geographic trends in the security cooperation enterprise over the past two decades. The report – The Expanding Scope of U.S. Security Assistance Since 9/11 – finds that U.S. security assistance has expanded dramatically since the events of September 11, 2001, reflecting evolving national security priorities in the post-9/11 era and reshaping the U.S. government’s approach to foreign policy.
Using budget documents from the State Department and Pentagon the report shows how U.S. security assistance around the world nearly doubled from $8.28 billion in FY2001 to $14.7 billion FY2004, peaking in FY2007 at $30.57 billion, before dipping back to $16.23 billion in 2020. Assistance also continued to prioritize the Middle East and North Africa but expanded dramatically in South Asia as the war in Afghanistan accelerated. Conversely, as the US shifted focus from counter-drug to counterterror operations, the Western Hemisphere, and Latin America in particular, saw steep cuts in its aid packages, dropping from peak between FY2001-FY2004 of 11.69% of the budget ($5.79 billion during those years), to just 3.91% of the budget between FY2017-FY2020 ($3.01 billion during those years).
Additionally, security assistance shifted from a largely Department of State-controlled endeavor to one that favored Department of Defense programs over time. The State Department share of security aid budgets fell from 79.09% in FY2001 to 35.54% by FY2007, before returning to a relative parity with the Pentagon in subsequent years.
The report also provides critical context for the current security assistance landscape as the U.S. pivots from a focus on counterterrorism to that of Great Power Competition.
To read the full report and its findings click here.
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