Photo courtesy of Center for International Policy, Inc.
Center for International Policy, Inc.
Since 2001, the United States has greatly increased its investment in foreign militaries and police units to combat terrorism and address other security concerns. American defense contractors and military forces are now active in more than 130 countries at a cost of more than $18 billion each year. However, unlike other forms of U.S. foreign assistance, most information on security assistance is not easily accessible and remains poorly evaluated.
Recognizing that this lack of knowledge makes it difficult to analyze such a central component of U.S. foreign policy, the Center for International Policy (CIP) launched the Security Assistance Monitor (SAM) program in late 2014. SAM is part of CIP’s human rights and security focus, which works to inform international decision makers and the public about policies related to security, policing, and defense assistance.
The SAM program is dedicated to increasing transparency and oversight on U.S. military, police aid, and arms sales around the world to inform and elevate the debate about the use of security assistance. SAM has become the first and only resource to house all publicly available, official data on U.S. security assistance in one place and makes it easily searchable on its website.
Through data-driven research and convening roundtable discussions, SAM also helps illuminate key trends, risks, and promising practices. It revealed the extent of the Pentagon’s proposed 2016 funding for international military aid at a briefing in the U.S. Senate. In another case, after SAM helped cast light on the extent of U.S. funds going to fund Colombians to train Central American security forces, the U.S. Senate added in language to require more transparency for this aid. SAM also highlighted the risks of reducing State Department oversight of private security contractors engaged in security force training abroad.
Our online database includes grants made by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund over the past five years.