Andrei Akulov writes in the online journal of the Strategic Culture Foundation this week about an under-analyzed component of the US interventionist foreign policy: foreign military training and assistance. According to Akulov, although attention often falls on expanded and high-profile US joint military exercises in places like South Korea, as well as increased US military involvement in Africa and more drone strikes in more parts of the world, the “training, assisting, and subsidizing armed forces of other countries is another significant aspect of US foreign policy, which is often overlooked or underestimated.” The author points out that in countries with human rights records too abysmal for overt US military assistance, the US nevertheless often finds itself employing special forces troops and trainers. The US special forces are active in approximately 70 nations on any given day.
Here is a brief excerpt from the article:
The US has a vast number of military training and assistance missions globally; it is the largest world contributor of military aid to foreign countries, providing some form of assistance to over 150 countries in 2013. It was 134 in 2012, or 75 percent of the states on the planet Earth. There has been almost zero discussion of how military assistance is organized and how effective it is. The administration requested $9.8 billion in security assistance funding for fiscal year 2013 against the background of sequester.
There are three main programs designed for foreign military aid:
-Foreign military financing for the acquisition of U.S. defense equipment, services, and training;
-Peacekeeping operations provide voluntary support for international peacekeeping activities;
-The International Military Education and Training program (IMET) offers military training on a grant basis to foreign military officials.
Read the whole very interesting piece here.