The Security Assistance Team is organized into three regional teams and develops military assistance policy and manages security assistance funding through three programs: Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), and Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). The Security Assistance Team, in close cooperation with the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources (F), regional and functional bureaus, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and U.S. regional Combatant Commanders, determines military grant assistance policy, develops and manages the programs’ budgets, provides notifications to Congress, supports determinations made to waive legislative constraints on security assistance funding, distributes funds, and provides program oversight.
Foreign Military Financing Account Summary
FMF provides grant assistance for the acquisition of U.S. defense equipment, services, and training. It furthers U.S. interests around the world by ensuring that coalition partners and friendly foreign governments are equipped and trained to work toward common security goals and share burdens in joint missions. FMF provides grant assistance for the acquisition of U.S. defense articles, services, and training which promotes U.S. national security by contributing to regional and global stability; strengthening military support for democratically-elected governments; and containing transnational threats, including terrorism and trafficking in narcotics, weapons, and persons. These grants enable key allies and friends to improve their defense capabilities and foster closer military relationships between the United States and recipient nations. Increased military capabilities build and strengthen multilateral coalitions with the United States and enable partner nations and allies to be increasingly interoperable with U.S., regional, and international military forces.
International Military Education and Training Account Summary
The IMET program is a key component of U.S. security assistance, promoting regional stability and defense capabilities through professional military training and education. Through professional and technical courses, and specialized instruction, IMET provides students from allied and friendly nations valuable training and education on U.S. military practices and standards, including exposure to democratic values and respect for internationally recognized standards of human rights. IMET serves as an effective means to strengthen military alliances and international coalitions critical to U.S. national security goals. The program facilitates the development of important professional and personal relationships with the defense leaders who often play a pivotal role in a country’s transition to a democratic government. It also helps develop a common understanding of shared international challenges and fosters the relationships necessary to counter those challenges collaboratively.
Peacekeeping Operations Account Summary
PKO funds advance international support for voluntary multi-national stabilization efforts, including support for international missions not supported by the United Nations. This funding supports regional peace support operations for which international coalitions or neighboring countries take primary responsibility. These funds also help build capabilities in countries seeking to participate in international peace support missions. Additionally, PKO funds help diminish and resolve conflict; enhance the ability of states to participate in stability operations and address counter-terrorism and maritime security threats; and reform military establishments, in the aftermath of conflict, into professional military forces.
Title 10 Coordination and Concurrence
A number of DoD security sector assistance (SSA) programs require varying levels of coordination with the State Department. The Office of Security Assistance facilitates coordination and clearance on behalf of the Department for multiple Title 10 authorities, to include the Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF), and section 333. Section 333 authorizes DoD – with joint development, planning, and coordinated implementation between State and DoD, and with Secretary of State concurrence – to provide assistance to the national security forces of foreign countries to support: (1) counterterrorism operations; (2) counter-weapons of mass destruction operations; (3) counter-illicit drug trafficking operations; (4) counter-transnational organized crime operations; (5) maritime and border security operations; (6) military intelligence operations; and (7) operations or activities that contribute to an international coalition operation that is determined by the Secretary to be in the national interest of the United States.
In recognition of its role as the lead agency for foreign assistance, State ensures that all SSA strategically targets and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives. The Office of Security Assistance facilitates State coordination and concurrence by:
- Considering bilateral and regional foreign policy and national security implications;
- Determining whether State restrictions prohibit or limit proposed Title 10 assistance;
- Verifying appropriate third-party transfer and end-use monitoring assurances are in place for the respective partner nation prior to the provision of assistance;
- Deconflicting Title 10 and Title 22 assistance to ensure a single coherent strategy with foreign partners; and
- Liaising with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the regional Combatant Commands, and the military services on proposed Title 10 programming and the optimization of U.S. government SSA resources.
The Defense Sector Plans Team (DSP) Team provides political-military analysis and recommendations to Department of State leadership on emergent national security issues. Leveraging our global strategic perspective to assist regional and functional bureaus in addressing regional and global challenges, we work closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, and Combatant Commands to help develop comprehensive political-military solutions to complex national security issues. The DSP Team assesses the viability of defense policy options and alternatives, and it develops and recommends innovative approaches that maximize support to U.S. foreign policy goals. The team provides Department input to DoD efforts in policy and institutional reform, identifies key trends and issues in national security affairs, and assesses the potential impact on State Department plans, programs, activities, and authorities.
The DSP Team provides recommended policies, actions, planning guidance, and inputs to DoD and is the primary Department of State point of contact for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy/Plans, Joint Staff J5, and Combatant Commands for interagency coordination. The DSP team accomplishes this function by:
- Facilitating the development of global and regional political-military plans and guidance with DoD (e.g., global campaign plans and regional campaign, posture, and contingency plans);
- Liaising with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy/Plans, Joint Staff (J5), Combatant Commands, and military services on political-military issues involving strategic planning and foreign policy—highlighting the diplomatic aspects of campaign plans, campaign support plans, and war plans;
- Improving political-military coordination and effectiveness across agencies through participation in planning, training events, and exercises in various fora, seminars, war games, and conferences; and
- Managing force structure change processes by representing the Department in DoD’s global defense posture planning and decision-making bodies.