U.S. Department of State

Foreign Military Training and DoD Engagement Activities of Interest: Joint Report to Congress   -Report Home Page
Released by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
May 2003

II. Description of Programs


Foreign military assistance directly contributes to U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives. The principal components of foreign military assistance are Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), and transfers of Excess Defense Articles (EDA). Drawdowns of defense articles and services, directed by the President in response to urgent requirements, are also managed as part of the foreign military assistance program. The foreign military assistance program enables allies and friendly nations to acquire U.S. defense articles, services, and training for legitimate self-defense and for participation in multinational security efforts.

Ongoing foreign military assistance efforts support the primary foreign policy goals of safeguarding U.S. security, building U.S. prosperity, and promoting U.S. values. By enhancing the capabilities of U.S. allies and friendly nations to address conflicts, humanitarian crises, and natural disasters, foreign military assistance makes it less likely that U.S. forces will be called upon to respond to regional problems. Strengthening deterrence, encouraging defense responsibility sharing among allies and friendly nations, supporting U.S. readiness, and increasing interoperability between potential coalition partners through the transfer of defense equipment and training help security partners defend against aggression and strengthen their ability to fight alongside U.S. forces in coalition efforts. Therefore, if U.S. involvement becomes necessary, these programs help to ensure that foreign militaries can work more efficiently and effectively with ours rather than be hobbled by mismatched equipment, communications, and doctrine.

Foreign military assistance, particularly the IMET program, helps to promote the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. In addition to making the world a safer place, the spread of democratic principles contributes to a political environment more conducive to the global economic development so critical to a nation’s well-being. Thus, there is a genuine linkage between foreign military assistance programs and the day-to-day lives of Americans.



FMS are the government-to-government sales of U.S. defense articles, services, and training. Responsible arms sales further national security and foreign policy objectives by strengthening bilateral defense relations, supporting coalition building, and enhancing interoperability between U.S. forces and militaries of allies and friendly nations. These sales also contribute to U.S. prosperity by improving the U.S. balance of trade position, sustaining highly skilled jobs in the defense industrial base, and extending production lines and lowering unit costs for such key weapon systems as the M1A2 tank, F-16 aircraft, AH-64 helicopter, and F/A-18 aircraft.

Total FMS sales in FY 2002 (articles and training) were approximately $12.5 billion. However, military education and training, to include professional military education as well as technical training related to equipment purchases is also sold to foreign countries via FMS. Total military education and training sold to foreign countries reported in this report through the FMS program in FY 2002 was over $398 million.



The principal means of ensuring U.S. security is through the deterrence of potential aggressors who would threaten the United States or its allies. Foreign Military Financing (FMF), the U.S. appropriation for financing the acquisition of U.S. defense articles, services, and training through grants or loans, supports U.S. regional security goals and enables allies and friendly nations to improve their defense capabilities. Congress appropriates FMF funds in the International Affairs budget; the Department of State allocates the funds for eligible allies and friendly nations; and the Department of Defense executes the program. As FMF helps countries meet their legitimate defense needs, it also promotes U.S. national security interests by strengthening coalitions with allies and friendly nations, cementing cooperative bilateral military relationships, and enhancing interoperability with U.S. forces. Because FMF monies are used to purchase U.S. defense articles, services and training, FMF contributes to a strong U.S. defense industrial base, which benefits both America’s armed forces and U.S. workers.

FMF grants in FY 2002 totalled $4.052 billion, with the vast majority of funds earmarked to support stability in the Middle East. FMF is also being used to facilitate integration of new NATO ascendants as well as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO and to continue support of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Specifically, PfP participating countries receive Warsaw Initiative Funding (WIF) which helps them enhance their interoperability with NATO forces, improve their compatibility with and understanding of NATO practices and terminology, and participate in PfP exercises. FMF is also being used to sustain small defense and maritime forces promoting peace and security in the Caribbean island nations, to support worldwide demining efforts, and to bolster the capabilities of African nations to respond to limited, regional peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.


The International Military Education and Training (IMET) program is a low-cost, highly effective component of U.S. security assistance that provides training on a grant basis to students from over 122 allied and friendly nations in FY 2002, with 133 programmed to receive IMET funds in FY 2003.

The overall objectives of the program are to:

  • further the goal of regional stability through effective, mutually beneficial military-to-military relations which culminate in increased understanding and defense cooperation between the U.S. and foreign countries;
  • provide training that augments the capabilities of participant nations’ military forces to support combined operations and interoperability with U.S. forces; and
  • increase the ability of foreign military and civilian personnel to instill and maintain basic democratic values and protect internationally recognized human rights into their own government and military.

Training provided under the IMET program is professional and non-political, exposing foreign students to U.S. professional military organizations and procedures and the manner in which military organizations function under civilian control. IMET's mandatory English language proficiency requirement establishes an essential baseline of communication skills necessary for students to attend courses. It also facilitates the development of important professional and personal relationships that have provided U.S. access and influence in a critical sector of society that often plays a pivotal role in supporting, or transitioning to, democratic governments. A less formal, but still significant, part of IMET is the Information Program, which exposes students to the U.S. way of life, including regard for democratic values, respect for individual civil and human rights, and belief in the rule of law. These key elements of the E-IMET program foster greater respect for and understanding of the principle of civilian control of the military, expose students to military justice systems and procedures, and promote the development of strong civil-military relations by showing key military and civilian leaders how to overcome barriers that can exist between armed forces, civilian officials, and legislators. Finally, the IMET program introduces military and civilian participants to elements of U.S. democracy such as the U.S. judicial system, legislative oversight, free speech, equality issues, and U.S. commitment to the basic principles of internationally recognized human rights.

IMET objectives are achieved through a variety of military education and training activities conducted by the DoD for foreign military and civilian officials. These include formal instruction that involves over 4,100 courses taught at approximately 275 military schools and installations for roughly 9,000 foreign students annually.

Additionally, the IMET program assists U.S. allies and friendly nations in professionalizing their militaries through participation in U.S. military educational programs. U.S. allies and friendly nations have long recognized such training as essential for the progression of their own military leaders. In doing so, IMET strengthens regional friendships and enhances self-defense capabilities. Finally, IMET and E-IMET push for institutional changes that will result in professional, apolitical militaries under civilian control. The resulting military competence and self-sufficiency provide a wide range of benefits to the U.S. in terms of collective security, stability and peace. As foreign militaries improve their knowledge of and integrate U.S. military principles into their own forces, military cooperation is strengthened. Similarly, opportunities for military-to-military interaction, information sharing, joint planning, and combined force exercises, as well as essential requirements for access to foreign military bases and facilities, are notably expanded. Lastly, IMET fosters important military linkages essential to advancing global security interests of the United States and improving the capabilities of its allies and friendly nations.


The International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) program wages one of the most aggressive and effective attacks by the U.S. against the threat from foreign crime and drugs. It delivers one of the largest returns of any Federal anti-drug program against the overall problem of international crime, including drug trafficking, which poses serious threats to the security of the U.S. INL has two strategic goals: minimize the impact of international crime on the U.S. and its citizens, and significantly reduce the entry of illegal drugs into the United States. These two goals include supporting policies and programs to stimulate more effective foreign political will and financial commitment, to strengthen foreign criminal justice sectors, and to promote concrete international cooperation.


The African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program is a U.S. peace support operations assistance and training program designed to provide trained and equipped contingents from selected African militaries with the capacity to respond quickly and effectively to peace support and humanitarian relief situations on the continent. ACOTA's comprehensive approach encourages regional peace support operations for which African countries and security institutions take the primary responsibility, thereby potentially reducing the humanitarian burden on the United States. The increased regional stability created by an enhanced African peace support capacity also serves U.S. interests in promoting African democracy and economic growth. ACOTA provides partner military units with interoperable peace support operations skills and a package of basic equipment that enables contingents from different countries to work together effectively in international settings. The relatively small size of African militaries means that effective peace support requires participation by several nations at one time. ACOTA emphasizes multi-national activities and common doctrine.


The United States has an interest in developing other countries’ willingness and capability to contribute to international peace operations. By enhancing international peacekeeping capabilities we can increase burdensharing, promote operational efficiency, strengthen regional conflict prevention and resolution initiatives, and reduce the costs of international peace operations.

The primary objective of the EIPC initiative is to assist selected foreign countries in developing their institutional capacities to field more efficient and well-led peacekeeping units, capable of taking on the toughest assignments. EIPC aims to enhance military interoperability, leadership performance, use of common peacekeeping doctrine, and English language proficiency to help promote effective combined peacekeeping operations (PKOs) when battalion-level or larger units from diverse countries deploy together. In doing so, EIPC seeks not only to promote burdensharing, but also to enhance national and regional capability to support peace.

Since its inception, EIPC funds have been allocated to: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Fiji, Hungary, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine and Uruguay.

All of the countries that have received EIPC funds have taken decisive steps to increase their international PKO role. To cite a few examples: Chile sent helicopters to East Timor and declared its national policy to support Chapter 7 operations in certain instances; Argentina has developed the pre-eminent PKO training center in Latin America; and Mongolia, an aspiring PKO participant, has engaged U.S. Pacific Command on the prospect of participating in combined peacekeeping exercises and is actively developing PKO training capabilities for its military.

EIPC funds are used to develop core curricula for PKO education and training, and to procure non-lethal defense-related training equipment. EIPC funds events that emphasize "train-the-trainer" in order to maximize the benefits of the expenditures. It also funds educational seminars tailored to a country's peacekeeping training needs. The program provides for visits to U.S. peacekeeping training centers and installations for senior-level officers and trainers that are directly involved in national PKO training programs. Additionally, EIPC funds help to procure peacekeeping training and doctrine-related manuals and other library resources. Finally, EIPC enables countries to obtain and employ peacekeeping software training simulations rather than relying on more costly field exercises. The EIPC program is complemented by non-FMF resources, including IMET, Excess Defense Articles programs, and Unified Command peacekeeping exercises.



The Regional Centers for Security Studies support DoD security objectives with programs designed to enhance security, deepen understanding, foster bilateral and multilateral partnerships, improve defense related decision-making, and strengthen cooperation among U.S. and regional military and civilian leaders.

The Regional Centers support the DoD’s Security Cooperation Guidance by:

  • Building defense relationships that promote specified DoD security interests for the regions, to include providing U.S. forces access to foreign countries.

  • Encouraging foreign countries to develop defense policies and to allocate defense resources that are aligned with DoD interests.

  • Dissuading regional military competition by fostering defense relationships, deepening understanding of regional issues, and promoting cooperation among military and civilian security professionals.

Each Regional Center, based on guidance from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the geographic Combatant Commands that it supports, tailors its program specifically for the regional security environment. Common topics are regional security issues, defense planning, and civil-military relations.

Regional Centers have been established for all major regions of the world. The five Regional Centers are:

  • Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
  • Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
  • George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
  • Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies

Typical activities include in-resident extended academic programs, 1-3 week seminars conducted in the region, multi-day conferences, and research studies. In addition, the Centers maintain communications with their former participants through electronic mail, web sites, newsletters, and country-based alumni organizations.


Counter-Drug Training Support includes deployments for training of foreign forces at the request of an appropriate law enforcement agency official as defined in section 1004 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1991. The purpose of the CDTS is to conduct counternarcotics related training of foreign military and law enforcement personnel. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Service forces conduct this counter-drug training of light infantry, aviation, coastal, riverine, rotary wing operations, and staffs associated with counter-drug operations.


The U.S. Government provides Mine Action assistance to many countries throughout the world to relieve human suffering from the dangers of landmines, to promote regional peace and stability and to promote U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. A collateral benefit to the program is the enhancement of operational readiness skills of participating U.S. forces. Within the overall U.S. Government MA program, DoD provides training to foreign nations in mine clearance operations, mine awareness education and information campaigns, assistance in the establishment of mine action centers, emergency medical care, and leadership and management skills needed to successfully conduct a national-level mine action program. When called upon for mine-action training, the ultimate goal of DoD participation is to develop a self-sustaining, indigenous demining capability within each recipient country.

Special Operation Forces (SOF) normally conduct MA training, using the “train-the-trainer” concept, with augmentation from explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and engineer personnel, as needed. The Combatant Commands execute the MA program, providing them an excellent mil-to-mil engagement opportunity. DoD participation in Mine Action Programs allows the Combatant Commanders to work closely with Country Teams to show mine-affected countries how military forces can support the civilian population. By participating in these activities, the Unified Commands and the Country Teams demonstrate the U.S. commitment to provide direct, bilateral humanitarian assistance, relieve suffering, improve the socio-economic environment, promote regional stability and support democratic ideals.


Humanitarian Assistance, including training in disaster response and/or disaster preparedness, is authorized by 10 U.S.C. 2561. Normally, humanitarian assistance and training conducted under 10 U.S.C. 2561 is not provided to foreign militaries. However, selected military members of the host nation occasionally are included in the training so that the military understands its role in supporting the civilian government during emergencies. In some instances, disaster response training is provided directly to the host nation military when the military is the only government institution capable of responding to the natural disaster. Disaster response training provides the necessary skills for civilian leaders of foreign governments and institutions to organize emergency workers, hospital medical and administrative personnel, and military members to respond to natural disasters. Disaster response programs contribute to regional stability, and support both ambassadorial and Commander theater security cooperation strategies. The ultimate goal of disaster response training is an improved host nation capability to respond effectively to disasters, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for a U.S. military response.


The Regional Defense Counterterrorism Fellowship Program enables DoD to assist key countries in the war on terrorism by providing training and education for counterterrorism activities. The CT Fellowship allows the Secretary to work with countries of critical importance to the war on terrorism – providing non-lethal counterterrorism education and training that will have a direct impact on the long-term capability and capacity of our allies and friendly nations. Specifically, the CT Fellowship program will be used to bolster the capacity of foreign nations to detect, monitor, and interdict or disrupt the activities of terrorist networks ranging from weapons trafficking and terrorist related financing to actual operational planning by terror groups. This program will be a key tool for Regional Combatant Commanders to foster regional cooperation and professionalize foreign counterterrorism capabilities to assist in the fulfillment of the command’s responsibilities. The CT Fellowship will complement existing assistance programs and will fill a current void in the US Government’s efforts to provide targeted counterterrorism assistance. Combatant commands will recommend (through the Joint Staff) participants in the program to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for approval. OASD SO/LIC will oversee the creation of a mixture of mobile and resident institutional courses which are tailored to the specific need of key countries, and which will advance broader U.S. Government counterterrorism objectives. Key senior and mid-level military will be given the tools to effectively build, manage, and sustain counterterrorism programs. All personnel will be thoroughly vetted consistent with legal requirements regarding human rights issues.


a. Academy Exchanges/Service Academy Foreign Student Program

DoD's three Service Academies have conducted traditional academic exchange programs of varying length and content. As with civilian exchanges, cadets and/or midshipmen may spend a portion of the academic year or summer training period at a comparable foreign institution while counterpart students participate in the U.S. program. In addition, up to 40 foreign students may attend each Service Academy at any one time as actual members of an Academy class (i.e., as full-time, four-year degree candidates). The foreign and national security policy justification for these activities centers on the inestimable value of exposing future foreign leaders, at the beginning of their careers, to their U.S. peers in an environment that is designed to promote military professionalism in every respect. The presence of foreign students in U.S. institutions also serves our foreign and national security policy interests by exposing future U.S. military leaders to individuals from the many parts of the globe to which they may deploy. The cost reflected in the report represents the cost to the DoD. Some countries reimburse all or a portion of the cost of the program to the service academies.

b. Aviation Leadership Program (ALP)

The Aviation Leadership Program provides Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) to a small number (15-20 per year) of select international students from friendly, less-developed nations.

ALP is an USAF-funded program authorized under 10 U.S.C. 9381-9383. ALP consists of English language training, UPT and necessary related training, as well as programs to promote better awareness and understanding of the democratic institutions and social framework of the United States. The duration of the ALP program is 1-2 years, depending on the amount of English language training required to bring the student up to entry level and the student's progression through the UPT program. The cost of the ALP program is approximately $396,321 per student entering in FY 2002. The ALP program was suspended for FY 1999, FY 2000, and FY 2001 due to a shortfall of UPT quotas for overall Air Force requirements. The program resumed in FY 2002 with a number of students entering into English Language Training and follow-on undergraduate pilot training in FY 2003. Countries receiving invitations to participate in the program FY 2002-2003 are: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. Training dates have not been determined at the time inputs for this report were submitted and therefore are not reflected in this report. Twenty countries will also be invited to nominate a candidate to participate in the program, commencing with English Language Training in FY 03.

c. Exchanges

Reciprocal professional military education (PME) exchanges are authorized by section 544 (Exchange Training) of the Foreign Assistance Act. This section authorizes the President to provide for the attendance of foreign military personnel at PME institutions in the United States (other than Service Academies) without charge, if such attendance is part of an international agreement. These international agreements provide for the exchange of students on a one-for-one reciprocal basis each fiscal year between the United States professional military education institutions and comparable institutions of foreign countries and international organizations.

The Arms Export Control Act (Section 30A - Exchange of Training and Related Support) authorizes the President to provide training and related support to military and civilian defense personnel of a friendly foreign country or international organization. Such training and related support are provided through the Military Departments (as opposed to the Combatant Commands). Unit exchanges conducted under this authority are arranged under international agreements negotiated for such purposes, and are integrated into the theater engagement strategies of the relevant Combatant Commander. Recipient countries provide, on a reciprocal basis, comparable training and related support.


Under section 506(a)(1) of the FAA, the President may direct the drawdown of defense articles from DoD stocks, defense services, or military education and training from the DoD if he determines and reports to the Congress that an unforeseen emergency exists which requires immediate military assistance to a foreign country or international organization, and that such emergency requirements cannot be met under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) or any other law except this section.

Under section 506(a)(2) of the FAA, the President must determine and report to the Congress, in accordance with Section 652 of the FAA, that it is in the national interest of the U.S. to drawdown articles and services from the inventory and resources of any agency of the U.S. Government and military education and training from the DoD. If he so determines, the President may direct the drawdown of such articles, services and military education and training for the purposes and under the authorities of Chapter 8 of Part I of the FAA (relating to international narcotics control assistance); Chapter 9 of part I of the FAA (relating to international disaster assistance); Chapter 8 of part II of the FAA (relating to antiterrorism assistance); Chapter 9 of part II of the FAA (relating to nonproliferation assistance); or the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962; or for the purpose of providing such articles, services and military education and training to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos as the President determines are necessary to (1) support cooperative efforts to locate and repatriate members of the United States Armed Forces and civilians employed directly or indirectly by the United States Government who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War; and (2) to ensure the safety of USG personnel engaged in such cooperative efforts and to support DoD-sponsored humanitarian projects associated with such efforts.

If the President determines that, as the result of an unforeseen emergency, the immediate provision of assistance for the purpose of Chapter 6 of Part II of the FAA in amounts in excess of funds otherwise available for such assistance is important to the national interest of the United States, section 552 of the FAA provides for drawdown of commodities and services from the inventory and resources of any agency of the United States Government of an aggregate value not to exceed $25M in any fiscal year.


The JCET program, authorized under 10 U.S.C. 2011, permits U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) to train through interaction with foreign military forces. The particular value of this training is that it enhances those SOF skills, such as instructor skills, language proficiency, and cultural immersion, critical to required missions generated by either existing plans or unforeseen contingencies. The primary purpose of JCET activities is always the training of U.S. SOF personnel, although incidental training benefits may accrue to the foreign forces.


DoS and DoD, as well as other federal agencies, frequently request the Coast Guard to provide training in maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, as well as the operational assets and personnel resources to support those missions through programs such as the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative (ETRI); Non-Proliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related Activities (NADR); Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR); U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other DoS programs. Coast Guard training is also provided under other categories including IMET, INL, Drawdown, country funds, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS).


14 U.S.C. 195 authorizes a limited number of foreign national appointments (maximum of 36) to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Cadets can earn a bachelor of science degree in one of the following disciplines: marine engineering and naval architecture; electrical engineering; civil engineering; mechanical engineering; marine and environmental sciences; management; or government. As in the DoD Service Academies, the foreign and security policy justification for these activities centers on the inestimable value of exposing future foreign leaders, at the beginning of their careers, to their U.S. peers in an environment that is designed to promote military professionalism in every respect. The presence of foreign students in U.S. institutions also serves our foreign and security policy interests by exposing future U.S. military leaders to individuals from the many parts of the globe to which they may deploy. The cost reflected in the report represents the cost to the U.S. Coast Guard. The sponsoring government must agree in advance to reimburse the Coast Guard for all costs incurred for a cadet's training at the Coast Guard Academy except where a waiver has been granted by the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. Countries also must agree that, upon graduation, the cadet will serve in the comparable maritime service of his or her respective country, for an appropriate period of time, as determined by the sponsoring government.


The Caribbean Support Tender (CST) is a U.S. Coast Guard 180’ ex-buoy tender with 120,000 pounds of cargo carrying capacity, berthing for 58 personnel, and onboard training capability and shop/repair capability. The concept for the CST was developed in response to the President’s commitments in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1997, was authorized under P.L. 105-277, Chapter 4, and subsequently commissioned in September 1999. The Commanding Officer, the Executive Officer and the Engineering Officer are U.S. Coast Guard officers. The remaining multi-national crew includes U.S. Coast Guard and Caribbean partners, consisting of experienced trainers, maintenance experts, and bilingual members, with broad, multi-mission talents in maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, marine safety, environmental protection, and disaster relief. The CST provides a platform for leading U.S. engagement efforts in the Caribbean by drawing together many programs and fostering international cooperation. It offers the opportunity for a diverse, international and joint/interagency crew to work together and creates a sense of ownership, fosters teamwork and encourages information sharing by using the sea to link countries.

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