archivos de los protestos globales

Detail Reports on U.S. Funded Foreign Military Training

***Detail Reports on U.S. Funded Foreign Military Training
Date: 7/8/2002 10:03:56 PM Pacific Daylight Time

On a related note, Foreign Policy in Focus recently released an extensive
report entitled "U.S. Foreign Military Training: Global Reach, Global Power,
and Oversight Issues." It documents military training of foreign forces in
Colombia and at the School of the Americas, among other places. To download
and read the entire report, see:

The following is the executive summary by Lora Lumpe...

Over the past decade one of the principal means by which the U.S. has 
interacted with almost all governments in the world is by training their
military forces. In recent years U.S. forces have been training approximately
100,000 foreign soldiers annually. This training takes place in at least 150
institutions within the U.S. and in 180 countries around the world.1

The means and programs through which this training is provided have mushroomed.
Since 1994, funding for the best-known of these programs, the International
Military Education and Training program (IMET), has increased fourfold. During
this period each of the military training programs has been justified, at least
partially, as strengthening human rights and democratization. In truth, most of
the programs have had no discernible focus on human rights and have been
carried out in a highly, if not completely, unaccountable manner. The State
Department's 2002 Human Rights Report cited the security forces in 51 of the
countries receiving IMET training (38% of the total) for their poor human
rights records.

Several different congressional committees bear oversight responsibility for
military training. None has command of the big picture, the scope, magnitude,
and potential impact of this domain of U.S. foreign policy. U.S. military
training programs expanded during the 1990s with insufficient congressional
oversight and scant public debate.

Training programs in the past decade were justified mainly on counternarcotics
or "peacekeeping" grounds, but the September 2001 terrorist attacks have
created a new rationale for expanding them. In December 2001, Congress
established a new regional counterterrorism fellowship program to fund training
of foreign officers at U.S. military institutions. This program is aimed
primarily at Indonesian officers, currently banned by a separate act of Congress
from receiving other forms of military training due to the Indonesian Army's
egregious human rights record.

Since September 11, the Bush administration has offered police or military
training to a growing list of countries said to be at the front lines in the
fight against global terrorism”, including Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Yemen,
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Colombia. Many
of these new allies have extensive records of ongoing human rights violations,
including torture and assassination. The administration's March 2002 "emergency
supplemental appropriations" request includes well over a billion dollars in
new military aid and training. Among the items requested is $100,000,000 that
the Defense Department would distribute for weapons and training to countries
it would secretly choose; it would do so without congressional oversight; and
it would assert the right to discard any human rights or other conditions that
Congress has developed over the past decades to minimize unintended negative
consequences of U.S. military aid.

Training conducted by covert intelligence units has been a perennial problem
for oversight, and new problems have been created by the trend toward
outsourcing training to private companies. Now the Bush administration is
seeking to restrict the flow of information to Congress and the public even
more. Most notably, the executive branch is trying to scale back the Foreign
Military Training Report, which in recent years has provided the most
comprehensive public accounting available, and is seeking authority to provide
assistance with no transparency or accountability, as in the 2002 emergency
supplemental request.

Greater scrutiny needs to be devoted in particular to the widespread training
deployments of U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). These troops, which
operate in small commando units and utilize unconventional warfare tactics,
have gained acclaim for their role in the war in Afghanistan and enjoy greater
public prominence with recent revelations that they are training Filipino,
Yemeni, and Georgian troops. In reality, these forces have been training
foreign military and paramilitary forces in these and other countries around
the world throughout the past decade, but their routine training deployments
have been shrouded in secrecy.

Questions persist about the skills that SOF units are conveying and the impact
of this assistance. During the cold war and throughout the 1990s, these troops
were revealed to be training foreign units with bloody records, including the
Atlacatl Battalion in El Salvador in 1989 (this battalion killed six Jesuit
priests whom they viewed as too sympathetic to guerillas, their housekeeper,
and her young daughter during that same year) and Kopassus units in Indonesia
through mid-1998 (these units supported and armed militias in East Timor that
brutally attacked and killed citizens and UN officials during the vote for
independence in 1999).

The long-term legacies of foreign military training must not be excluded from
current decisionmaking about the costs and benefits of this exercise of foreign
policy. Throughout the cold war, the U.S. government facilitated and condoned
many human rights abuses by providing training and assistance justified in the
name of fighting "global communism." Some of the unintended consequences of
doing so are only now coming to light. Most notably, by arming and training
local anticommunist forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. government
helped establish the global network of militant anti-Western Muslim
fundamentalists that it is now combating. If in this current effort U.S.
intervene and provide training in support of regimes repressing legitimate
political activism and/or using torture or coercion to maintain power, they are
likely to foster, rather than diminish, political violence (terrorism) around
the globe.

Given the pace at which military-to-military relations are now being
established and ratcheted up in the name of fighting terrorism, serious
scrutiny is needed more than ever to ensure that America's fight against
terrorism is pursued by means and in partnerships consistent with its
democratic ideals and with national and international legal obligations.

Box 1: Major U.S. Foreign Military/Paramilitary Training Programs*

African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI)/Africa Region programs: State
Department-funded training, conducted by U.S. Special Operations Forces and
private military contractors; offered in African countries.

Antiterrorism programs: some funded by Defense Department, conducted in
foreign countries; some funded by State Department, conducted in the U.S. and

Central Intelligence Agency: budget and locations of training abroad are

Combatant Commander-in-Chief (CINC) Theater Security Cooperation Plans:
Defense Department-funded training in host countries and at regional U.S.
strategic studies schools, some in the U.S. and some abroad.

Counternarcotics programs: some funded by Defense Department and conducted in
host countries; some funded by Justice Department or State Department and
conducted in the U.S. or in host countries.

FBI International Training: funded by Department of Justice, training in the
U.S. and abroad.

Humanitarian assistance programs: medical training of foreign forces funded
by Defense Department, conducted in host countries.

International Military Education and Training (IMET): State
Department-funded, mostly conducted at military bases in the U.S.; some of
this funding used to send mobile training teams abroad.

Joint bilateral or multilateral military exercises: funded by Defense
Department, conducted in host countries.

Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET): funded by Defense Department,
conducted in host countries.

Military academies: 60 slots each at four U.S. armed forces war colleges,
funded by Defense Department.

Mine clearance training: funded by State Department, conducted by Special
Operations Forces in host countries.

Mobile Training Teams: traveling versions of IMET courses, funded by State

Peacekeeping: some funded by State Department in the U.S. and abroad; some
funded by Defense Department in host countries.

Reciprocal Personnel Exchange Program: funded by Defense Department, training
of foreign personnel in the United States.

Reciprocal visits by military units: funded by Defense Department, foreign
personnel in the United States.

Regional Defense Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program: funded by Defense
Department; brings foreign personnel to training centers in the United

Special Operations Forces Foreign Internal Defense training: funded by
Defense Department, conducted in host countries.*See Tables 1 and 2 for
recent and current funding levels for many of these activities.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has
not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making
such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of
environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and
social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any
such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this
site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving the included information for research and educational
purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted
material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use',
you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Noticias sobre Colombia | Plan Colombia | AGP