Building Partnership Capacity through Security Cooperation
What is it?
Security Cooperation is the means by which the Department of Defense encourages and enables countries and organizations to work with us to achieve strategic objectives. Types of Security Cooperation include:
- Education and training for US and foreign military and civilian personnel in Army and foreign schools,
- Multinational and bilateral military exercises,
- Exchanges of military and civilian personnel,
- Military-to-military contacts ranging from staff talks to senior officer visits,
- Equipping and training international forces,
- Export licensing for direct commercial sales,
- Cooperative research, development and acquisition, and
- International support, treaty compliance and interoperability.
What has the Army done?
The Army’s security cooperation activities are numerous and diverse. In 2007, they included (but were not limited to):
- The US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) hosting more than 7,700 foreign students in its schools.
- Staff Talks, which resulted in interoperability agreements with Australian, French, German, and British Armies, and included developments in counter-insurgency and stability operations doctrine and associated lessons learned.
- TRADOC (in addition to the major ongoing efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan) deploying training teams to 11 countries in the Central Command’s Area of Operations; 22 training teams to 12 countries in the US European Command; 8 teams to 6 countries in US Pacific Command; and 14 teams in 4 countries in the US Southern Command.
- The Latin American Cooperation Program developing cooperative security arrangements and confidence building measures with Mexico and improving cooperation with the Colombian Army in counter-drug operations.
- The Medical Command training 342 foreign students in 634 medical courses in the US; conducting 43 missions which directly supported the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s efforts in Eurasia; its Medical Research Unit facility in Nairobi conducting Emergency Infection Surveillance and research on malaria, HIV and Ebola drugs and vaccines.
- The Corps of Engineers’ infrastructure construction in Armenia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Ecuador, and Colombia supporting the State Department and the Agency for International Development.
- The Army engineers also supporting the US Department of Interior in the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.
- The Security Assistance Command executing over $8 billion in sales of military equipment and training to allies and partners.
- Sixty foreign cadets attending the US Military Academy through the 4-Year International Cadet Program and US officers attending 27 foreign military schools in 20 countries through the Schools of Other Nations Program.
- The Army is leading NATO’s Defense Against Terrorism technology initiatives for Joint Precision Air Drop Systems and playing a key role in the following:
- Defense Against Mortar Attacks;
- Countering Improvised Explosive Devices;
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Consequence Management, and
- Defense against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Attack.
- The U.S. establishing a Land Battlespace Memorandum of Understanding and a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Project Arrangement (PA) with the UK supporting the Future Combat System and coalition operations; The Army developing a framework agreement with Australia for future cooperation on Land Force Capability Modernization and for the demonstration of the interoperability of the joint precision air drop; and developing a multilateral Net Centric Project Arrangement to build interoperability.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue its current security cooperation programs and activities and look for opportunities to build partnership capacity and relationships. The Army will continue to assess their effectiveness and institute a management information system that will significantly improve our ability to integrate Army as well as geographic combatant command security cooperation activities. An exciting new initiative is the Global Partners Seminar, a collaborative effort with selected international partner armies to build capacity in underdeveloped regions and countries. The initial work of the Seminar will focus on cooperation in capability assessments, military training and education, and working with security forces.
Why is this important to the Army?
We are in an era of persistent conflict. The challenges to our country’s security are complex and cannot be mastered solely by military means or through US unilateral actions. It is therefore important that the US Army continues its multifaceted efforts that are significantly contributing to improving US relationships with allied and partner nations while simultaneously contributing to both their and our capacity to meet those challenges.