Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has spent more than $250 billion building up military and police forces around the world. From attempts to build whole armies in Iraq and Afghanistan to efforts to help Yemen or Nigeria fight terrorism, the impact of these efforts has been mixed and in some cases counterproductive, exacerbating local corruption, human rights abuses, and even terrorism.
A knot of U.S. offices and agencies have evolved to provide this aid, mostly pulling in different directions.
Untangling the Web: A Blueprint for Reforming American Security Sector Assistance describes the main failures in the system and sets out immediate steps the next administration can take to improve how the U.S. government plans, coordinates, and executes its security-related assistance. This would significantly increase transparency and accountability and link the aid more closely to the human rights, development, and governance outcomes that are essential to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security.