Building Partnership Capacity through Security Cooperation
What is it? Security cooperation programs help build partnership capacities by enhancing military capabilities of our international partners while addressing our own capability gaps. These programs develop and establish relationships with our allies/coalition partners while enhancing standardization and interoperability of military equipment and systems. Security Cooperation enhances Our ability to operate effectively across a range of military missions. Several key tools in support of this initiative include: international cooperative research, development, and acquisition (ICRDA) agreements; Security Assistance; and export licensing. ICRDA agreements improve U.S. and allied capabilities by leveraging one another’s resources to address military capability gaps and advance military technology state-of-the-art. ICRDA agreements support defense cooperation in armaments, interoperability and standardization goals, thus maximizing the return on military research and development investment. Security assistance, in the form of Foreign Military Sales (FMS), international military education and training, and review of commercial munitions licenses, enhances interoperability and U.S. national security interests by making U.S. Army training, equipment, and technologies available to our allies and coalition partners. These activities help the U.S. achieve foreign policy and national security objectives.
What has the Army Done? In 2006, the Army initiated or expanded its ICRDA Agreement, many of which focused on support to Future Combat System (FCS). The “C4ISR” Project Arrangement with the UK serves as an example. The U.S. also signed a framework agreement with Australia for future cooperation on Land Force Capability Modernization (LFCM), as well as a Project Arrangement with Singapore on Land Warfare Concepts and Technology (LWCT). Both are examples of the agreements established with our foreign partners to leverage foreign technology and to foster partnerships. The Army is also leading NATO’s Defense Against Terrorism (DAT) initiative for Joint Precision Air Drop Systems (JPADS) and playing a key role in: Defense Against Mortar Attacks; Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs); Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Consequence Management, and defense against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear attack. The Army managed a multibillion dollar FMS program and processed over 7,000 commercial export licenses for Army managed systems and technology. Security assistance activities are involved with 140 different armies, 47 air forces, and 26 navies around the world. These activities serve to build long lasting relationships, maintain interoperability, and train and equip these countries to fight the Global War on Terrorism. FMS activities include the sale of night vision goggles, trucks, helicopters, small arms and ammunition, communication equipment, and other military equipment. The Army not only provided equipment and training in support of stabilization in Afghanistan and Iraq but also supplemented these activities by providing critical warfighting enablers to coalition partners in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? Future efforts under this initiative include continued support to the NATO DAT initiative, expanding the scope of current FCS cooperation with the UK, and pursuing agreements for cooperation with additional partners. The Army will also continue to harmonize requirements wherever possible with our allies and coalition partners to strengthen our ability to fight as a coalition force. We will continue to identify needed revisions to security cooperation laws and procedures to be more efficient and effective in the support of the strategic objectives.
Why is this important to the Army? Security cooperation activities build partnership capabilities by helping ensure that our Allies and coalition partners can continue to fight side-by-side with the U.S. Army in the war against terror today and in the fully network-enabled environment of the future. It also demonstrates Army support for key DoD Security Cooperation and national security themes by demonstrating resolve to fulfill our defense commitments and fostering defense transformation with advanced defense establishments. Through this initiative, the Army will enhance the warfighting capabilities of our allies and coalition partners while protecting critical U.S. Army systems and technologies against unintended proliferation.