In a world where national security is increasingly dependent on close cooperation with like-minded governments, the United States is working with long-time partners and forming new and innovative partnerships to advance our mutual security goals.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs links together the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, the Congress, and the U.S. defense industry, in a combined effort to help improve the security capabilities of our allies around the world. We do this by providing them with the tools and training necessary to effectively respond to even the most dire of security challenges.
“We work worldwide: helping Iraq and our coalition partners make gains against ISIS; supporting nations across Southeast Asia to safeguard their territorial waters; and standing with our partners across Africa against terrorists like Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab; among other challenges,” David McKeeby, Public Affairs officer at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs wrote in a recent blog post.
To help achieve this goal, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs oversees some 6 billion dollars in security assistance programs that are meant to help our partners invest in U.S. training and U.S.-manufactured equipment.
At the same time, the Foreign Military Sales system, a foreign policy tool that acts as a form of security assistance, allows the United States to transfer defense equipment and services to our partners worldwide. Any such transfer first goes through a sensitive vetting process, because before a sale is approved, the U.S. Government must carefully weigh a wide range of factors, to ensure that such transfers of often sophisticated, top-of-the line U.S. military equipment are consistent with U.S. foreign policy.
Finally, the Lead Nation Procurement Initiative allows our NATO allies to transfer to other NATO members, military equipment purchased from the United States. Thus, the United States and its allies can maintain flexibility, keep down costs, yet still retain the ability to keep track of the equipment.
“While we may not know what next major international security challenge may emerge,” wrote Public Affairs Officer David McKeeby, “you can count on [the United States’] continued commitment to taking action, strengthening our allies and partners, and safeguarding America.”