U.S. Foreign Military Assistance
Economic Support Fund: Congress established the economic support fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs.
International Military Education and Training: International Military Education and Training (IMET) grants are given to foreign governments to pay for professional education in military management and technical training on US weapons systems. Over 2,000 courses are offered, including some on human rights and civil-military relations. This program is said by its proponents to promote positive military-to-military contacts, thereby familiarizing foreign officers with "US values and democratic processes," though critics argue there is too much emphasis on military skills and not enough on human rights. The Expanded IMET program offered to certain states only focuses on the latter.
Counter-Narcotics Assistance: Through International Narcotics Control programs, the US government provides funds for military equipment and training to overseas police and armed forces to combat the production and trafficking of illegal drugs. These funds are generally dedicated to the export of firearms and the refurbishment of surveillance aircraft, transport planes and helicopters.Additional counter-narcotics training and equipment is provided by the Department of Defense, the Drug Enforcement Agency and other agencies. In recent years, human rights abuses by military and police units receiving this aid - especially in Colombia - have intensified criticism of the program.