Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

New Resource for Tracking US Military and Police Aid

A recently launched website unveils U.S. security and military assistance to countries around the world.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LobeLog

I know this is a little off-topic from our usual Middle East focus, but I wanted to point out a new resource for those of you interested in US security and military assistance to countries around the world. Unfortunately, a lot of that information is very difficult to find, and it’s rarely aggregated in a way that makes it possible for researchers or interested citizens to understand how much assistance is going to X country via how many different programs. The Pentagon, which has a lot of shopping-around money, has been particularly tardy in providing information about the many aid programs it runs and is required to report to Congress.

However, dogged researchers at the Center for International Policy (CIP), with the help of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Latin American Working Group (LAWG), and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), have put together in one interactive website as much of the unclassified data as can be legally gathered. The site launched last month at the Open Society Institute (OSI), which also funded the initiative.

The project was born out of the Just the Facts project, which first documented US security assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean in the mid-1990s. The project became an invaluable resource for Congressional staffers worried about the imbalance between security and development assistance in the region. The Security Assistance Monitor project covers a broader geographical area and includes both State Department-funded, and, to the greatest extent possible, Pentagon-funded programs from 2000 to the present. Of course, given their classified nature it doesn’t include CIA or other intelligence programs.

“Over the past decade, the US government has greatly expanded its investment in security assistance and its involvement in the security sectors of other countries, but where are the dollars going; what is the effect on the security of the recipient; and is it buying us relationships that are big trouble downstream,” asked Gordon Adams, a former senior Clinton administration defence budget official who teaches at American University, in remarks prepared for the website launch.

“As we give more and more responsibility to the Pentagon, we don’t know the answers to these questions,” he said. “Accountability starts with transparency, the Security Assistance Monitor is a big step forward in filling that hole in our knowledge.”

The website, for example, doesn’t explain the effectiveness of US security assistance to Yemen, whose capital Sana’a essentially fell last month to the Houthi insurgency from North Yemen, virtually without a shot fired. The latest reporting indicates that the Yemeni armed forces, to the extent they remain coherent, are now under Houthi direction. But what you can, among other things, find out from the new site is that the ratio of equipment to training provided to Yemen under the Pentagon’s controversial 1206 program during fiscal 2013 was nearly 100:1. The Yemenis received $45.4 million dollars in weapons and related equipment versus $565,000 in training—a ratio that may help explain the Yemeni military’s rather poor performance.

You might also be interested to know that Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most repressive state (which is saying something), received security assistance from 16 different Department of Defense and State Department programs between 2002 and 2013. Washington is currently supplying the government nearly 20 million dollars a year in military and police assistance.

In any event, if you are interested in this kind of data, you should check out the site.

Jim Lobe’s blog on U.S. foreign policy can be read at Lobelog.com

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share