Program Mission. Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) is a U.S. Government-funded security assistance program intended to enhance international capacity to effectively conduct United Nations (UN) and regional peace operations (POs) by (1) building partner country capabilities to train and sustain peacekeeping proficiencies; (2) increasing the number of capable military troops and formed police units (FPUs) available for deployment; and (3) facilitating the preparation, logistical support, and deployment of military units and FPUs to POs.
Program Background and Phase I/Phase II Objectives. GPOI was launched as the U.S. contribution to the G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, adopted at the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit. Initially proposed as a five-year program (Fiscal Years (FY) 2005-2009), GPOI’s mandate was renewed for a second five-year period (FY 2010-2014). Reflective of global PO requirements at the time of GPOI’s establishment, the program’s first five years focused on significantly increasing the number of peacekeepers available for deployment. The primary objective of “Phase I” was to train and equip at least 75,000 peacekeepers by 2010. GPOI implementers met and surpassed this target, training nearly 87,000 peacekeepers by September 30, 2009. More than 77,000 of this total were African troops trained through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program.
GPOI’s “Phase II” (FY 2010-2014) activities will continue to ensure sufficient numbers of capable peacekeepers are available for POs. However, program emphasis has shifted from the direct training of peacekeepers by U.S. personnel to building sustainable, self-sufficient, national PO training capabilities in targeted partner countries. Toward this end, GPOI’s primary Phase II objective is to work in coordination with other U.S. Government, international community, and national efforts to assist partner countries to establish and strengthen the institutional infrastructure required to achieve and sustain self-sufficient capability to conduct PO training. GPOI will continue its goal of ensuring capable peacekeepers are available for POs, with the target of facilitating training for an additional 242,500 troops. However, at least two-thirds of these peacekeepers will be trained by partner countries’ GPOI-trained national instructor cadres. GPOI will further continue to serve as a mechanism for supporting units deploying to UN and regional peacekeeping missions; building the capacity of regional organizations to train for, plan, deploy, manage, sustain, and integrate lessons learned from POs; and supporting the continuation and enhancement of multilateral approaches and partnerships to coordinate international PO capacity building efforts.
The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) manages the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) Account, through which GPOI is funded. Accordingly, PM is responsible for the financial management and program oversight of GPOI-funded activities. PM works in close coordination with the Department of State regional bureaus, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Regional Combatant Commands, and other DoD organizations, to develop regional program plans and execute training and equipping activities.
Program Accomplishments. To date, GPOI implementers have directly trained 174,807 peacekeepers and additionally enabled the training of at least 49,192 peacekeepers by partner country trainers. Through GPOI-funded training and equipping activities, the program has facilitated the deployment of more than 179,000 personnel from 38 countries to 25 POs around the world. GPOI further funds a variety of regional capacity building initiatives, to include the provisaion of technical assistance, staff training, equipment, and building refurbishments for two regional headquarters (the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)) and 45 national and regional PO training centers. GPOI also provides financial, technical, and staffing support to the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (COESPU), an Italian-led center to facilitate the training of stability/formed police unit (FPU) trainers.