Jim Kouri
U.S. gave $Billions to train, equip foreign police forces: Gov't report
By Jim Kouri
May 5, 2011

This week, the Government Accountability Office submitted a report to the U.S. Congress addressing the foreign aid earmarked for police agencies in nations that deal with terrorism, narcotics trafficking and other criminal activities such as Pakistan. The rationale for such aid is that these terrorists, narco-terrorists and criminal enterprises have an impact on U.S. national security.

Over the past few years, the United States has increased its emphasis on training and equipping foreign police as a means of supporting a wide range of U.S. foreign-policy goals, including countering terrorists overseas and stopping the flow of narcotics to the United States.

Funding for these activities has increased significantly since the GAO last reported on these issues in 1992.

In response to congressional request, GAO analysts estimated the amount of the funding the U.S. government provided for activities to train and equip foreign police, referred to as "police assistance," during fiscal year 2009. Also, the GAO defined "police" as all law-enforcement units or personnel with arrest, investigative, or interdiction authorities.

During fiscal year 2009, seven U.S. federal agencies and 24 components within them funded or implemented police-assistance activities to support their counter-narcotics, counterterrorism, and anti-crime missions. Five of these agencies provided an estimated $3.5 billion for police assistance to 107 countries in fiscal year 2009.

This amount compares to about $180 million in inflation adjusted dollars provided for these efforts in 1990, when the GAO last compiled a similar inventory.

The U.S. Departments of Defense and State provided an estimated 97 percent of all U.S. government funds ($3.4 billion) for police assistance; DOD provided about 55 percent of the total and State about 42 percent.

Department of Energy and the Department of Justice provided the remaining 3 percent of U.S. funds for activities such as procuring nuclear detection devices and training law-enforcement officers on their use, establishing community-based police training programs, and developing terrorist crime-scene investigation capabilities.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia, and the Palestinian Territories each received an estimated $100 million or more in police assistance. Both DOD and State provided funds for police assistance in 39 of the 107 recipient countries. In a subsequent review, the GAO officials stated that they "plan to assess how the two agencies coordinate efforts in these 39 countries to avoid duplication and overlap.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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