Peace Operations Capacity Building Division

The Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs manages the two primary U.S. security assistance programs focused on building international peacekeeping capacity:  the Global Peace Operations Initiative and the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership.  Both programs are implemented in close partnership with the Department of Defense.

Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI)

The vision for GPOI is to work collaboratively with U.S. and international stakeholders to achieve and sustain operational effectiveness in peace operations and promote international peace and security.  In support of this vision, the GPOI mission is to strengthen international capacity and capabilities to execute UN and regional peace operations by enhancing partner countries’ sustainable, self-sufficient peace operations proficiencies and building the capacity of the UN and regional organizations to conduct such missions.

GPOI was launched in 2005 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. With a total budget of nearly $1.3 billion from fiscal years (FY) 2005-2020, GPOI funding accomplishes the following objectives:

  • Build Self-sufficient Peace Operations Training Capacity in Partner Countries:  Assisting partner countries to establish or strengthen the institutions required to self-sufficiently execute core peace operations training capabilities for military personnel, including the development of national trainer cadre, refurbishment of training facilities, refinement of training materials, and provision of training equipment.  So far 58% of countries have achieved self-sufficiency in core peace operations training while active partners.  Achievement of self-sufficiency does not end GPOI partnership, but enables the partnership to focus on other objectives, such as those listed below.
  • Support Partner Countries’ Development and Employment of Critical Enabling Capabilities: Providing training, equipment, and advisory assistance to help 38 partner countries develop and employ 63 critical enablers, such as engineer, aviation, medical, logistics, signals, riverine, and counter-improvised explosive device capabilities.  68% of these partner capabilities have been, are currently, or have been selected to deploy to UN and African Union (AU) peace operations.
  • Enhance Partner Country Operational Readiness and Sustainment Capabilities:  GPOI is providing specialized or mission-specific pre-deployment training, technical/advisory assistance, strategic level training, in-mission supplemental training, and training or deployment equipment to improve and maintain partner countries’ operational readiness capabilities to deploy to and sustain units in peace operations.  Overall, GPOI partners have increased the number of military personnel deployed to UN and AU peace operations by 156% since becoming GPOI partners, as compared to only a 41% increase in deployed troops from non-GPOI countries.
  • Strengthen Partner Country Rapid Deployment Capabilities:  GPOI assists select partner countries to strengthen and institutionalize capabilities and processes to rapidly deploy (< 60 days) to emerging crises.
  • Expand the Role of Women and Enhance Gender Integration:  GPOI encourages women’s participation, integration, and leadership in peace operations; trains female peacekeepers; and integrates gender-related topics (such as preventing gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse) into training for all peacekeepers.  Since 2007, more than 9,300 female peacekeepers have participated in GPOI-facilitated training.  Moreover, from June 2010 to June 2019, GPOI partners increased the number of deployed female military peacekeepers by 93%, as compared to a 27% increase among non-GPOI countries.
  • Build UN and Regional Organization Capabilities:  GPOI provides assistance to build the UN and regional organizations’ capabilities to strengthen peace operations.  For example, GPOI has funded 20 projects to help the UN develop doctrine, guidance documents, military unit manuals, and training materials, as well as to  execute UN training events and provide advisory and technical assistance.

African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership (APRRP)

Established in FY 2015, APRRP was announced as a targeted, three-to-five year initiative to help generate and rapidly deploy peacekeepers from six partner countries:  Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.  The program’s mission is to build, strengthen, and institutionalize capabilities to rapidly respond to crises on the African continent.

APRRP complements GPOI’s broader capacity building efforts by focusing on developing high demand enabling capabilities (e.g., airlift; command, control, communications, and information systems (C3IS); engineering; logistics; medical; and FPUs) that are persistent shortfalls in UN and regional peace operations and which underpin capacity to deploy a rapid response force.  Program efforts are designed to be full capability packages, which include equipment, equipment-related training, and training on required skill sets.  APRRP’s budget is approximately $267,500,000 from Fiscal Years (FY) 2015-2017.  As program implementation continues, two partners developing rapid deployment capabilities with APRRP assistance already pledged (at the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial in Vancouver) to elevate engineer and medical units to the UN’s Rapid Deployment Level (RDL).


Security Forces Capacity Building

The Security Forces Capacity Building Division (SFCB) manages three key programs: The Global Security Contingency Fund, Global Defense Reform Program, and Security Forces Professionalization Program.

The Global Security Contingency Fund

The Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF) is a unique authority established in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It provides the Secretaries of State and Defense with a flexible tool to pool funding and expertise across agencies to help advance the U.S. government’s overall strategic objectives and meet security challenges that arise outside of the regular budget cycles.

GSCF’s broad authority allows for tailored and integrated assistance programs coordinated through interagency planning to support security capacity building for U.S. Allies and partner nations. GSCF provides train and equip assistance to enhance the capabilities of partner country military forces and other national-level security forces to conduct border and maritime security, internal defense, and counterterrorism operations, as well as to participate in or support military, stability, or peace support operations consistent with U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.

GSCF Objectives

GSCF has invested $232 million in fourteen countries, from the Lake Chad Basin to the Philippines to Eastern Europe, to accomplish the following key objectives:

  • Expand U.S. flexibility to address emerging security challenges and seize diplomatic opportunities: GSCF complements other State and DoD security cooperation authorities by enabling the Departments to address emerging policy priorities outside of the regular budget cycle. The authority enables State and DoD to pool funding and increase joint planning and partnership to achieve the greatest impact for high-priority policy initiatives.
  • Build partner capacity to meet shared security challenges: GSCF strengthens the capabilities of U.S. allies and partners to effectively manage and confront challenges from regional aggressors, and transnational terrorist and criminal organizations. GSCF efforts have helped enable partner nations to deploy forces or resources beyond their borders in support of international coalitions and multilateral peacekeeping efforts.
  • Develop strong, independent, U.S. security partners: GSCF efforts help build self-sustaining, modern, and professional security institutions, thereby reducing the need for assistance over time and increasing the ability of partners to share the burden of security costs.

Global Defense Reform Program

The Global Defense Reform Program (GDRP) is a new defense reform capacity building program funded by the Department of State in close coordination with the Department of Defense that seeks to assist partner nations’ security forces with providing security in an effective, transparent, and accountable manner to civilian authorities, while advancing U.S. national security objectives.

GDRP is funding projects in seven countries in FY18 including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Madagascar and Brazil. Support includes assistance to define roles, missions, capabilities, command and control, and force structure of the national defense establishment consistent with national objectives; establishing relevant legal and policy frameworks; improving civilian management, leadership, oversight, planning, and budgeting capacities; enhancing coordination and cooperation among defense-related and civil institutions; and managing the legacies and sources of past or present conflict or insecurity.

GDRP Objectives

  • Develop professional partner nation security forces rooted in the rule of law and accountable to civilian oversight;
  • Build the capacity of partner nations to responsibly and effectively employ their forces to address security concerns, in line with U.S. national security objectives.

Security Force Professionalization Program

As required by Section 7049(a)(5) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019, the Department of State is responsible for administering a program to increase the capacity of foreign military and law enforcement personnel to operate in accordance with appropriate standards relating to human rights and the protection of civilians. In particular, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ (PM) Global Programs and Initiatives division will oversee the effort to increase partner capacity to collect, track, and analyze data on civilian casualties resulting from military operations of the respective government, including to apply lessons learned to future operations, and to enhance investigative capacity, transparency, and accountability. PM will collaborate with other bureaus, the Department of Defense, and key non-government organizations throughout the implementation of this new program.


Aviation and Operations Division

The Aviation and Operations Division (AOD) leads for the Department on state aircraft policy, leads political efforts for the U.S. government on countering piracy, coordinates foreign policy approval of DoD humanitarian assistance operations, and synchronizes bureau contributions to the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security.

U.S. State Aircraft Policy and Foreign Diplomatic Clearance

  • U.S. State Aircraft:  AOD is the Department lead on U.S. state aircraft policy, ensuring that foreign country handling of U.S. military and other state aircraft is consistent with international and domestic laws, agreements, and accepted practice.  AOD provides policy and diplomatic support to the Department of Defense (DoD) and other agencies that operate state aircraft in international and foreign airspace.
  • Foreign State Aircraft:  As the U.S. government lead office, AOD provides diplomatic clearance for foreign state aircraft seeking to enter U.S. national airspace.  Foreign missions in the United States submit clearance requests to AOD via the online Diplomatic Clearance Application System (DCAS).  Before granting final approval, AOD coordinates DCAS requests with country desks, DoD, the Federal Aviation Administration, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, and various airport authorities, as appropriate. Instructions on the use of DCAS can be found here.
  • Foreign Naval Vessels:  AOD also grants, via DCAS, diplomatic clearance for foreign state naval vessels seeking to enter U.S. territorial waters or ports.  GPI coordinates these requests with its interagency partners, including various components of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

Maritime Affairs

  • Counter-Piracy:  AOD leads the U.S. government on political efforts to reduce the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia.  AOD leads U.S. delegations to the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, which has 32 active country delegations and more than 20 international organizations participating.  AOD also co-chairs, with DoD, the interagency Counter Piracy Steering Group, which focuses on piracy off Somalia, in the Gulf of Guinea, and in the vicinity of the Strait of Malacca.
  • Maritime Operational Advisories:  AOD represents PM bureau and contributes political-military perspectives on maritime operational threats, responses, and advisories.

Humanitarian Assistance Operations

  • Denton Program:  This program permits DoD to provide transportation of privately donated humanitarian assistance cargo to foreign countries using military transportation on a space-available basis at no cost to the donating non-government organization.  AOD provides foreign policy clearance on each shipment.  As required by statute, AOD also submits to Congress an annual report identifying the origin, contents, destination, and disposition of all supplies transported under this section (Jeremiah Denton Amendment to Title 10 U.S.C., section 402).
  • The Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) Program:  HCA permits U.S. military forces to carry out humanitarian assistance projects as part of training missions overseas. Typical projects include medical, dental, and veterinary care in rural areas, as well as drilling and construction of basic water and sanitation facilities.  AOD ensures the humanitarian and civic assistance is consistent with U.S. foreign policy and provides final Department of State concurrence. It is authorized by Title 10 U.S.C., section 401.

U.S. Department of State

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