oversight

Security Assistance: U.S. Agencies Should Improve Oversight of Human Rights Training for Foreign Security Forces

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2019-08-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

              United States Government Accountability Office
              Report to Congressional Committees




              SECURITY
August 2019




              ASSISTANCE

              U.S. Agencies Should
              Improve Oversight of
              Human Rights
              Training for Foreign
              Security Forces




GAO-19-554
                                               August 2019

                                               SECURITY ASSISTANCE
                                               U.S. Agencies Should Improve Oversight of Human
                                               Rights Training for Foreign Security Forces
Highlights of GAO-19-554, a report to
congressional committees




Why GAO Did This Study                         What GAO Found
The U.S. government seeks to                   Several entities within the Departments of Defense (DOD) and State (State) are
advance human rights when it provides          involved in human rights training. DOD’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency
security assistance to foreign                 (DSCA) conducts program management for DOD’s efforts to build the capacity of
countries. Such assistance includes            foreign security forces. The human rights training required by 10 U.S.C § 333 is
DOD– and State–supported human                 provided exclusively by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies
rights and international humanitarian          (DIILS), a DOD entity. DOD operates a number of other educational entities that
law training for foreign security forces.      provide training to foreign security forces, and many include human rights–
The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017                  related material in their curriculum or through operational exercises. (See figure.)
consolidated multiple capacity building
authorities, now codified at 10 U.S.C.         Figure: Foreign Military Students Practice a Simulated Raid at the Western Hemisphere
§ 333. DOD implements most U.S.                Institute for Security Cooperation in Fort Benning, Georgia
human rights training for foreign
security forces.
Congress included a provision in the
NDAA for Fiscal Year 2018 for GAO to
review human rights training for foreign
security forces. This report, among
other objectives, (1) describes the
entities through which DOD and State
provide such training, (2) assesses the
extent to which DOD and State track
the provision of and funding for such
training, and (3) examines the extent to
which DOD and State have evaluated
the effectiveness of the training. GAO
reviewed laws, regulations, guidance,
agency training and funding data, and
course catalogs, and interviewed
agency officials.

What GAO Recommends                            DOD does not systematically track human rights training and, as a result, only
                                               limited information is available on the provision of and funding for these activities.
GAO is making three                            Without a process to ensure systematic and accurate tracking of human rights
recommendations, including that the            training data, DSCA is limited in its ability to monitor its compliance with the
Secretary of Defense establish a
                                               training–related provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for
process to systematically track
                                               Fiscal Year 2017. State relies on DOD to track human rights training for military
mandated human rights training and
                                               forces and tracks some training and funding data for police.
develop a timeline for implementing
monitoring and evaluation. DOD                 DOD and State have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for
agreed. GAO also recommends that               foreign security forces, according to agency officials. The NDAA for Fiscal Year
the Secretary of State develop a plan          2017 required DOD to conduct monitoring and evaluation of its security
with a timeline to monitor and evaluate        assistance programs. DOD has taken initial steps to develop monitoring and
such training. State disagreed. GAO            evaluation policies but officials stated that they have not yet determined when
continues to believe the                       DOD will evaluate human rights training. State officials said they do not know
recommendation is valid as discussed
                                               when the agency will begin monitoring and evaluating human rights training
in the report.
                                               provided under the International Military Education and Training program, a large
View GAO-19-554. For more information,         source of funding for such training. Monitoring and evaluation would enable DOD
contact Jennifer Grover at (202) 512-7141 or   and State to determine the effectiveness of U.S.–provided human rights training
groverj@gao.gov.
                                               for foreign security forces.
                                                                                            United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                   1
               Background                                                               2
               Human Rights Training Involves Multiple DOD and State Entities
                 and Is Delivered by a Number of Training Providers                     6
               DOD Does Not Systematically Track the Provision of Human
                 Rights Training for Foreign Security Forces, but DOD and State
                 Have Some Data on Funding                                             13
               DOD and State Have Not Evaluated the Effectiveness of Human
                 Rights Training                                                       20
               DOD and State Officials and Experts Identified Challenges to
                 Achieving Human Rights Objectives through Training                    25
               Conclusions                                                             26
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                    27
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                      27

Appendix I     Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                      31



Appendix II    Comments from the Department of Defense                                 33



Appendix III   Comments from the Department of State                                   35



Appendix IV    GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                  37


Tables
               Table 1: Key Authorities That Require Human Rights Training or
                       Mention Human Rights Training in Statutory Language              5
               Table 2: Department of Defense Entities Involved with Human
                       Rights Training                                                  7
               Table 3: State Department Entities Involved with Human Rights
                       Training                                                         8
               Table 4: Law Enforcement Training Related to Human Rights
                       Provided by International Law Enforcement Academies
                       (ILEA), Top Courses by State Estimated Funding
                       Amounts, Fiscal Years 2015–2017                                 19




               Page i                                        GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Figures
          Figure 1: Foreign Military Students Practice a Simulated Raid at
                   the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security
                   Cooperation in Fort Benning, Georgia                           11
          Figure 2: State Law Enforcement Training Related to Human
                   Rights Provided by International Law Enforcement
                   Academies (ILEA) by Country, Fiscal Years 2015–2017            18
          Figure 3: State Estimated Funding for Planned Law Enforcement
                   Training Related to Human Rights Provided by
                   International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA), Fiscal
                   Years 2015–2017                                                20




          Page ii                                       GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Abbreviations

AFRICOM            U.S. Africa Command
CCMR               Center for Civil–Military Relations
DIILS              Defense Institute of International Legal Studies
DISCS              Defense Institute of Security Cooperation Studies
DRL                Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
DSCA               Defense Security Cooperation Agency
DOD                Department of Defense
E-IMET             Expanded International Military Education and Training
ILEA               International Law Enforcement Academies
IMET               International Military Education and Training
INL                Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
                    Affairs
JAG                Judge Advocate General
M&E                monitoring and evaluation
NDAA               National Defense Authorization Act
OUSD/P             Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
PM                 Bureau of Political–Military Affairs
SC-TMS             Security Cooperation Training Management System
Section 333        10 U.S.C. § 333
SOUTHCOM           U.S. Southern Command
State              Department of State
WHINSEC            Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation



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Page iii                                                   GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                       Letter




441 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20548




                       August 12, 2019

                       Congressional Committees

                       Congress has articulated the importance of human rights in U.S.
                       assistance to partner nations’ security forces. Thus, numerous U.S.
                       government efforts to build the capacity of foreign partners’ security
                       forces incorporate training on the importance of human rights and
                       international humanitarian law. The Department of Defense (DOD) and
                       the Department of State (State) share responsibility for developing,
                       managing, and implementing this training.

                       The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018
                       includes a provision for us to submit to Congress a report on human
                       rights training for foreign security forces. 1 This report (1) describes the
                       entities through which DOD and State provide training for foreign security
                       forces on human rights and international humanitarian law; (2) assesses
                       the extent to which DOD and State track the provision of and funding for
                       such training; (3) examines the extent to which DOD and State have
                       evaluated the effectiveness of the training; and (4) provides DOD, State,
                       and outside expert views on human rights training.

                       To address these objectives, we reviewed laws, guidance, budget
                       documents, course catalogs, and agency data on human rights training
                       and funding for fiscal years 2015 through 2017. We also interviewed
                       agency officials in Washington, D.C., and at DOD geographic combatant
                       commands. In addition, we conducted site visits at three facilities that
                       provide human rights training: the Center for Civil–Military Relations
                       (CCMR) 2 in Monterey, California; the Defense Institute of International
                       Legal Studies (DIILS) in Newport, Rhode Island; and the Western
                       Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in Fort
                       Benning, Georgia. We also interviewed outside experts to obtain
                       additional perspectives on the effectiveness of human rights training for
                       foreign security forces. We selected the experts through interviews with
                       government and nongovernment officials. For more detail on our scope
                       and methodology, see appendix I.

                       1
                        Pub. L. No. 115-91, § 1207(d).
                       2
                        As of April 2019, the Center for Civil Military–Relations became the Institute for Security
                       Governance.




                       Page 1                                                       GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                            We conducted this performance audit from February 2018 to August 2019
                            in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
                            Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
                            sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
                            findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
                            the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
                            conclusions based on our audit objectives.



Background
Promotion of Human          Promoting respect for human rights is a goal of U.S. foreign policy. The
Rights Is a U.S. National   United States considers the advancement of human rights when providing
                            security assistance to foreign countries. Providing training on human
Security Goal
                            rights issues and international humanitarian law to foreign security forces
                            can further U.S. credibility and interests. 3 For example, such training
                            could help maintain local populations’ cooperation with U.S. security
                            efforts by curbing potential abuses by partner country forces. Human
                            rights abuses by U.S.–backed forces can damage the local population’s
                            support for the United States’ strategic aims, according to guidance from
                            the U.S. Army.


Human Rights Training Is    The United States provides military equipment and training, including
Provided through Multiple   human rights training, to partner countries through a variety of security
                            cooperation and assistance programs authorized by statutes, some of
Authorities                 which are codified within Title 10 and Title 22 of the U.S. Code. 4 Human
                            rights training is incorporated into broader security cooperation and
                            assistance efforts. DOD and State share responsibility for developing
                            policy for, managing, and implementing human rights training. Title 10
                            programs are generally overseen by DOD. Title 22 programs primarily fall
                            under State. According to DOD and State officials, most Title 22 human
                            rights training is implemented by DOD.

                            3
                             For the purposes of this report, we refer to all such training as “human rights training.”
                            4
                             DOD uses the term “security cooperation” to refer to its efforts while State uses the term
                            “security assistance.” For the purposes of this report, we will refer to all such activity by
                            both agencies as security assistance. For more information about these programs, see
                            GAO, Building Partner Capacity: Inventory of Department of Defense Security
                            Cooperation and Department of State Security Assistance Efforts, GAO-17-255R
                            (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 24, 2017).




                            Page 2                                                       GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
DOD integrates human rights concepts into various types of training and
assistance, including “train and equip” programs and defense institution
building. Train and equip programs provide training, equipment, and
small–scale military construction activities intended to build the capacity
of partner nations’ military forces. Defense institution building activities
are security assistance programs intended to empower partner nation
defense institutions to establish or re-orient their policies and structures to
make their defense sector more accountable, effective, and responsive to
civilian control, among other things.

Some of the authorities under which DOD and State provide human rights
training to partner countries require such training when security
assistance is provided. For example, one of the more recent and
significant changes to security assistance legislation was the 2017 NDAA,
which enacted a new chapter in Title 10 of the U.S. Code containing
authorities related to security cooperation. Among other things, the 2017
NDAA replaced multiple capacity building authorities with a new statute
codified at 10 U.S.C. § 333 (Section 333). 5 All Section 333 programs are
required to include elements that promote observance of and respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms, rule of law, and the law of
armed conflict, as well as respect for civilian control of the military. Prior
to the 2017 NDAA, a similar requirement was mandated for security
assistance delivered under the Global Train and Equip program (then
codified at 10 U.S.C. § 2282), which required that U.S. assistance
pursuant to this authority include “elements to promote observance of and
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for
legitimate civilian authority.” Section 333 covers a greater range of




5
 See Pub. L. No. 114-328, § 1241. For the purposes of this report, we refer to programs
executed under 10 U.S.C. 333 as Section 333 programs.




Page 3                                                    GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
security assistance programs—for example, counternarcotics
assistance—than did Section 2282. 6

Other authorities include human rights considerations in their authorizing
language. 7 For example, in 1976, Congress established the International
Military Education and Training (IMET) program codified within Title 22.
The program provides education and training to foreign military personnel
with the objectives of professionalizing military forces and increasing
respect for democratic values and human rights. In 1990, Congress
expanded the objectives of the IMET program to include fostering greater
understanding of and respect for civilian control of the military,
contributing to responsible defense resource management, and improving
military justice systems and procedures in accordance with internationally
recognized human rights. State and DOD refer to the expanded IMET
objectives as Expanded IMET (E-IMET). Table 1 lists key authorities
through which DOD and State provide human rights training to foreign
security forces.




6
 The Global Train and Equip Program has previously been called the “Section 1206”
program, as it was originally authorized by section 1206 of the 2006 NDAA; see Pub. L.
No. 109-163, § 1206, 119 Stat. 3456, Jan. 6, 2006. The 2015 NDAA authorized a
permanent program codified at 10 U.S.C § 2282, and the program was often referred to as
“Section 2282.” See Pub. L. No. 113-291, § 1205(a)(1), 128 Stat. 3533, Dec. 19, 2014.
The 2017 NDAA repealed Section 2282 and replaced it with 10 U.S.C. § 333, which
authorizes the same activities that were carried out under Section 2282, including
mandated human rights training, among other things. This report covers periods of time
during which “Section 1206,” “Section 2282,” and “Section 333” were common
nomenclature. Throughout this report, we refer to the activities carried out under Sections
1206 and 2282 as “Global Train and Equip” activities and activities under Section 333 as
Section 333 activities.
7
 As discussed later in this report, DOD and State have used many different authorities to
fund human rights training, regardless of whether the authority legally requires human
rights training when assistance is provided or mentions human rights training in its
statutory language but does not explicitly require it.




Page 4                                                     GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Table 1: Key Authorities That Require Human Rights Training or Mention Human Rights Training in Statutory Language

 Title of authority                                 Citation of authority        Language mentioning human rights training
                                                                                 Requirement: “A program under [section 333] shall
                                                                                 include elements that promote the following . . .
 Capacity Building for Foreign Security
                                                    10 U.S.C. § 333              Observance of and respect for the law of armed
 Forces
                                                                                 conflict, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the
                                                                                 rule of law, and civilian control of the military.”
                                                                                 Requirement: “Assistance and training shall include
 Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative        Pub. L. No. 114-92, § 1263   elements that promote observance of and respect for
                                                                                 human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
                                                                                 Requirement: “The curriculum of the Institute shall
                                                                                 include mandatory instruction for each student, for at
 Western Hemisphere Institute for Security
                                                    10 U.S.C. § 343              least 8 hours, on human rights, the rule of law, due
 Cooperation
                                                                                 process, civilian control of the military, and the role of
                                                                                 the military in a democratic society.”
                                                                                 Mention: “Any training conducted shall, to the
                                                                                 maximum extent practicable, include elements that
 Training with Friendly Foreign Countries           10 U.S.C. § 321              promote observance of and respect for human rights
                                                                                 and fundamental freedoms; and respect for legitimate
                                                                                 civilian authority within the foreign country concerned.”
                                                                                 Mention: “The military education and training would
                                                                                 (i) contribute to responsible defense resource
                                                                                 management, (ii) foster greater respect for and
                                                                                 understanding of the principle of civilian control of the
 International Military Education and                                            military, (iii) contribute to cooperation between military
                                                    22 U.S.C. § 2347 et seq
 Training                                                                        and law enforcement personnel with respect to
                                                                                 counternarcotics law enforcement efforts, or
                                                                                 (iv) improve military justice systems and procedures in
                                                                                 accordance with internationally recognized human
                                                                                 rights.
 Training of Security Forces and Associated
                                                                                 Mention: “The Secretary of Defense is authorized to
 Security Ministries of Foreign Countries to
                                             Pub. L. No. 113-291, § 1206         conduct human rights training of security forces and
 Promote Respect for the Rule of Law and
                                                                                 associated security ministries of foreign countries.”
 Human Rights
Source: GAO analysis of legislation | GAO-19-554.




The United States                                   In addition to human rights training, U.S. agencies consider human rights
Undertakes Additional                               records when providing certain assistance. The Foreign Assistance Act of
                                                    1961, as amended, prohibits assistance to a unit of a foreign
Efforts to Further Human
                                                    government’s security forces if the Secretary of State has credible
Rights Goals                                        information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human




                                                    Page 5                                                 GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                             rights. 8 DOD–funded training programs are covered by a similar
                             provision. 9 These requirements are commonly referred to as Leahy laws.

                             As we have previously reported, these laws and the corresponding
                             policies developed to enforce and supplement these laws are intended to
                             leverage U.S. assistance to encourage foreign governments to prevent
                             their security forces from committing human rights violations and to hold
                             their forces accountable when violations occur. 10 To address
                             requirements under both the State and DOD Leahy laws, State has
                             established a process for vetting potential recipients of U.S. security
                             assistance training. State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and
                             Labor (DRL) is responsible for overseeing this vetting process and for
                             developing human rights vetting policies, among other duties.



Human Rights
Training Involves
Multiple DOD and
State Entities and Is
Delivered by a
Number of Training
Providers
Multiple DOD and State       DOD incorporates human rights training as part of a wide range of
Entities Are Involved with   assistance programs that involve a number of DOD entities in different
                             capacities. (See table 2).
Human Rights Training




                             8
                             See 22 U.S.C. § 2378d.
                             9
                              See 10 U.S.C. § 362. Previously, similar language had been incorporated into another
                             section of Title 10 (10 U.S.C. § 2249e) or in DOD’s annual appropriations measures.
                             10
                               GAO, Human Rights: Additional Guidance, Monitoring, and Training Could Improve
                             Implementation of the Leahy Laws, GAO-13-866 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 25, 2013).




                             Page 6                                                   GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Table 2: Department of Defense Entities Involved with Human Rights Training

 Office of the Under Secretary of                           OUSD/P establishes policy guidance for and oversees assessment, monitoring, and
 Defense for Policy (OUSD/P)a                               evaluation of security cooperation activities, including human rights and related training.
                                     DSCA administers the Title 10 and 22 programs, for which DSCA has responsibility,
                                     including aspects related to human rights training. For example, DSCA oversees the
                                     development and implementation of Section 333 activities, including ensuring that the
                                     human rights training component of those activities is sufficient. DSCA also reviews
 Defense Security Cooperation Agency
                                     training courses to determine whether they meet expanded International Military Education
 (DSCA)
                                     and Training (E-IMET) objectives and may be certified as E-IMET courses. These courses
                                     are certified as such if DSCA determines that at least 51 percent of their content addresses
                                     E-IMET objectives, including respect for and understanding of civilian control of the military,
                                     military justice systems, and internationally recognized human rights.
                                                            Geographic Combatant Commands and Security Cooperation Offices develop training
                                                            plans under IMET and other authorities and propose and plan security assistance
                                                            activities.
                                                            Some Combatant Commands also provide human rights–related engagements within their
                                                            areas of responsibility. Although not necessarily considered trainings, these activities are
                                                            designed to strengthen the promotion of and respect for human rights. For example, the
 Geographic Combatant Commands                              U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Office of Legal Counsel has a division dedicated to
 and Security Cooperation Offices                           Legal Engagements, which aims to advance the AFRICOM Theater Strategy and promote
                                                            military operations subject to the rule of law. According to DOD officials, the division
                                                            designs, implements, and manages legal capacity building activities and exercises with
                                                            African military legal professionals and commanders. The U.S. Southern Command
                                                            (SOUTHCOM) has integrated respect for human rights as part of the SOUTHCOM mission
                                                            since 1990. SOUTHCOM’s commander established a Human Rights Office in the
                                                            command in 1995 to promote greater observance of human rights in the Western
                                                            Hemisphere and to directly advise the commander on these issues.
Source: GAO analysis of Department of Defense (DOD) information | GAO-19-554.
                                                              a
                                                               The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs (SHA),
                                                              under OUSD/P, also plays a role in human rights issues for DOD. SHA oversees human rights issues
                                                              related to civilian casualties, gross violations of human rights, and Leahy vetting. SHA also handles
                                                              human rights training authorized through Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act
                                                              (NDAA) (hereafter “section 1206”) but according to agency officials, is not involved in broader human
                                                              rights training. Section 1206 authorizes the DOD to conduct human rights training of security forces
                                                              and associated security ministries of foreign countries. This human rights training may be conducted
                                                              for foreign security forces otherwise prohibited from receiving such training under any provision of
                                                              law, but only if: (1) such training is conducted in the country of origin of the security forces; (2) such
                                                              training is withheld from any individual of a unit when there is credible information that such individual
                                                              has committed a gross violation of human rights or has commanded a unit that has committed a
                                                              gross violation of human rights; (3) such training may be considered a corrective step, but is not
                                                              sufficient for meeting the accountability requirement under the exception established in 10 U.S.C.
                                                              § 362(b); and (4) reasonable efforts have been made to assist the foreign country to take all
                                                              necessary corrective steps regarding a gross violation of human rights with respect to the unit,
                                                              including using funds authorized by this act to provide technical assistance or other types of support
                                                              for accountability.


                                                              State incorporates rule of law assistance and human rights training as
                                                              part of a wide range of assistance programs that involve a number of
                                                              State entities in different capacities. (See table 3).




                                                              Page 7                                                              GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Table 3: State Department Entities Involved with Human Rights Training

                                                                State’s Bureau of Political–Military Affairs (PM) is State’s principal link to the Department
                                                                of Defense (DOD). PM provides concurrence to DOD on security cooperation projects
 Bureau of Political–Military Affairs                           developed under the Section 333 authority. Additionally, PM sets the budget requirements
                                                                for the amount of funding a country must dedicate to training that adheres to expanded
                                                                International Military Education and Training (E-IMET) objectives.
                                                                State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) leads the U.S.
                                                                government efforts to promote democracy and protect human rights and international
 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights,                             religious freedom globally. DRL develops State’s annual Human Rights Report and
 and Labor                                                      provides input on E-IMET requirements to PM.a According to officials, DRL uses the
                                                                annual Human Rights Report to help determine which countries to prioritize for E-IMET
                                                                requirements.
                                                                State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) helps foreign
 Bureau of International Narcotics and                          governments build law enforcement institutions and supports governments and civil
 Law Enforcement                                                society to build transparent and accountable public institutions. As part of these efforts,
                                                                INL funds training for law enforcement forces, which can include human rights training.
Source: GAO analysis of Department of State (State) information | GAO-19-554.
                                                                 a
                                                                  State, in response to congressional mandates, issues its annual Country Reports on Human Rights
                                                                 Practices. The country reports—collectively known as the Human Rights Report—cover
                                                                 internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal
                                                                 Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. DRL oversees the production of the
                                                                 report.




Numerous Training                                                DOD operates a number of education facilities that provide training to
Providers Deliver Human                                          foreign security forces and many include human rights–related material in
                                                                 their curriculum. However, there are a few training providers that deliver
Rights Training for Foreign
                                                                 the majority of human rights training through courses explicitly focused on
Security Forces but a Few                                        such topics as well as in courses and residential programs that include
Deliver the Majority                                             related material. In addition, State provides some human rights training
                                                                 through the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA).




                                                                 Page 8                                                              GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS): DIILS is
housed under DSCA and is DOD’s lead resource for providing legal
education and rule of law engagement training to foreign military
personnel and civilian defense officials. DIILS delivers its training
primarily through either in-residence courses—for which members of
foreign security forces attend trainings at the DIILS campus—or through
mobile education training that is delivered to foreign military forces
overseas. DIILS provides three types of training: (1) core rule of law
training in the United States and abroad, (2) defense institution building,
and (3) mandated human rights training delivered under Section 333. 11
DIILS is the only institute to provide the mandated human rights training
delivered under Section 333. DOD officials said there are no plans for
other facilities to be certified to meet these training requirements. 12

Mandated Human Rights Training Provided by DIILS: In response to
the increased demand for mandated human rights training, DIILS created
a three–tiered training model to deliver mandated human rights training,
according to DIILS officials, who also noted that DIILS is in the early
stages of applying the model. The three–tiered training model categorizes
mandated human rights training according to basic, intermediate, and
advanced trainings. Basic training includes a 2-hour block of scripted
coursework which is dedicated to general topics covering human rights
and is appropriate when providing training to military units who are not
dealing with a combat environment, for example. Military officials without
legal training or nonattorney civilian personnel—including contractors—
may conduct this training. Intermediate and advanced training is typically
8 or 16 hours of training, respectively, and instruction is provided by DIILS
staff and other military attorneys. According to DIILS officials, each
intermediate or advanced training is intended to be tailored for the


11
  DIILS officials said they provide human rights training for additional authorities that
include similar requirements for mandated human rights training, including the Southeast
Asia Maritime Security Initiative and Global Security Contingency Fund.
12
   In 2016, we reported that DIILS’s efforts to train foreign partners in respect for human
rights, among other rule of law concepts, is an essential element of U.S. efforts to build
stronger coalitions to combat international threats but that DOD had not assessed the
extent to which the size of DIILS’s workforce aligns with the scope of its mission. We
recommended DOD conduct such an assessment. DOD concurred with the
recommendation, and in October 2018, DSCA provided Congress with a comprehensive
review of DIILS. See GAO, Rule of Law Assistance: DOD Should Assess Workforce Size
of Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, GAO-17-118 (Washington, D.C.: Dec.
14, 2016).




Page 9                                                      GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
recipient military unit based on an assessment of its duties and the
lethality of any equipment provided through the security assistance.

Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC):
WHINSEC, also operated by DOD, provides professional education and
training, including human rights training, for military and law enforcement
personnel from countries in the Western Hemisphere. The Institute’s
Center for Human Rights and Democracy promotes human rights
education and training through international programs and partnerships.
Curriculum developed by the Center includes topics such as the lawful
use of lethal force, due process under international human rights law, and
violence against women and vulnerable groups.

Examples of WHINSEC’s Human Rights Training: To meet its statutory
requirement to provide human rights training, 13 WHINSEC provides a
mandatory, 10-hour training on human rights for every student. This
training covers five objectives: (1) human rights, (2) the rule of law,
(3) due process (4) civilian control of the military, and (5) the role of the
military in a democratic society. Additionally, WHINSEC students are
required to take an ethics course that builds on the material covered in
the human rights and democracy classes. WHINSEC also includes
human rights–related material in a number of other courses. For example,
the Counter Transnational Threats course focuses on threat interdiction
activities using simulated exercises and scenarios. WHINSEC officials
explained that one such scenario involves students conducting a
simulated raid of a drug lab. (See fig. 1). During the exercise, students
encounter armed and unarmed criminals, along with civilians. The
simulation is intended to create real–world human rights scenarios for
students to assess and apply lessons learned from classroom–based
human rights training.




13
 See 10 U.S.C. § 343(d).




Page 10                                           GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Figure 1: Foreign Military Students Practice a Simulated Raid at the Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in Fort Benning, Georgia




Center for Civil–Military Relations (CCMR): CCMR is a DOD
organization within the Naval Postgraduate School. CCMR was designed
to support the goals of E-IMET and strengthen civil–military relationships
through a variety of education and training programs. Additionally, CCMR
focuses on defense institution building activities provided under DOD’s
Title 10 authority. Like DIILS, CCMR delivers in-residence programs and
mobile education training.

Examples of CCMR’s Human Rights Training: CCMR officials said that
human rights–related material is included in many CCMR programs,
although it is not always an explicit focus. For example, although the
Maritime Security Program does not explicitly focus on human rights,
CCMR staff said that human rights–related topics are integrated into
various aspects of the program. One of the program’s modules focuses
on how to apply the appropriate use of force when enforcing international
and maritime law. CCMR staff said they use practical scenarios to prompt
discussion among classroom participants on techniques to avoid use of
lethal force. Participants might discuss how to respond if a potential
suicide vessel is approaching a ship, including the use of barriers or other
deterrents to prevent potential terrorist activity without use of lethal force.




Page 11                                               GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Additional DOD Training Providers: A number of other DOD facilities
provide training to eligible foreign security forces that includes human
rights–related material. These facilities include:

•   Regional Centers: DOD operates five regional centers of strategic
    studies, whose main purpose is to engage senior leaders in partner
    countries. A common topic taught at Regional Centers includes civil–
    military relations, which generally contains information related to
    human rights.
•   Judge Advocate General (JAG) schools: JAG schools train
    students on the rules of armed conflict and international humanitarian
    law; international students may attend these schools, according to
    DOD officials.
•   Service War Colleges: The service war colleges educate
    representatives of foreign security forces at a general level about U.S.
    laws and policies. Human rights–related material may be included,
    although DOD officials acknowledged such material is peripheral to
    the main mission.
•   Defense Institute of Security Cooperation Studies (DISCS):
    International partners who are interested in Foreign Military Sales
    management participate in human rights training at DISCS. According
    to DOD officials, DISCS trains hundreds of foreign partners each year
    on military sales.

State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
Affairs (INL): State INL funds human rights–related training that is
delivered by ILEAs. The ILEAs are a global network of training centers
with a mission to support emerging democracies; help promote U.S.
interests through international cooperation; and promote social, political,
and economic stability by combating crime. According to State, this
mission is met through strengthening the rule of law and stressing respect
for human dignity in law enforcement. ILEAs represent a major
component of training provided to foreign law enforcement entities, but do




Page 12                                          GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                            not represent all human rights–related law enforcement training
                            supported by State. 14



DOD Does Not
Systematically Track
the Provision of
Human Rights
Training for Foreign
Security Forces, but
DOD and State Have
Some Data on
Funding
DOD Does Not                DOD was unable to provide aggregate data on the extent of human rights
Systematically Track        training for foreign security forces. According to agency officials, DOD
                            does not systematically track all human rights training in DOD systems.
Human Rights Training for
                            As a result, DOD officials noted they were unaware of the full scope of the
Foreign Security Forces     agency’s human rights training. DOD officials said it is challenging to
                            track human rights training because many courses and training activities
                            might include human rights content. DOD training activities are tracked in
                            the Security Cooperation Training Management System (SC-TMS).
                            However, the tracking is focused on the training overall rather than on any
                            one component of the training conducted, such as human rights. For
                            example, a course at a Regional Center might include human rights–
                            related topics in a civil–military relations class but DOD is not able to
                            identify such a course in SC-TMS or elsewhere as one that could be
                            14
                              In a September 2018 report on Central America police training, we found that State has
                            few formal mechanisms to ensure human rights content is appropriately included in police
                            training provided to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—three countries with notable
                            histories of human rights violations by security forces. As a result, we recommended that
                            the Secretary of State ensure that INL design internal control mechanisms to ensure
                            human rights content is included in INL–funded police training for El Salvador, Guatemala,
                            and Honduras as appropriate. State agreed with the recommendation and said that it
                            intends to amend templates for relevant implementing documents to address human rights
                            as appropriate. See GAO, Central America Police Training: State and USAID Should
                            Ensure Human Rights Content Is Included as Appropriate, and State Should Improve
                            Data, GAO-18-618 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 5, 2018).




                            Page 13                                                   GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
considered human rights training. DOD officials noted that while DOD is
not required to track all human rights training, DSCA and DIILS have
systems in place intended to track the provision of human rights training
mandated by Section 333, as described below.

DSCA uses a case management system to track the mandated human
rights training that DIILS provides under Section 333. However, limitations
in the implementation of this system have led to questions about the
completeness of the data. The case management system is used across
DOD to track and manage a range of security assistance programs, in
addition to DIILS training. The system is designed so that the
implementing entity enters information into the case management system
about the training or other security assistance programming provided.
However, DOD has not designated DIILS as an implementing agency
with authority to enter or edit data in the case management system. As a
result, for many years DIILS has relied on a different entity to enter
human rights training data into the system. DIILS officials said the U.S.
Navy’s agent for international education and training acted as the
implementing agency and entered data in the system for DIILS. 15 Due to
DIILS’ inability to enter data or make changes in the case management
system, DIILS officials told us they have been unable to ensure that data
on DIILS training are properly entered.

In addition, although DSCA is the DOD entity with oversight
responsibilities for ensuring that Section 333 human rights training is
provided as appropriate, DSCA officials acknowledged that they did not
consistently take steps to monitor the accuracy and completeness of data
on the DIILS–provided Section 333 human rights training. DSCA officials
said that most of the DIILS trainings likely were entered into DOD’s data
system because policy and procedures for capturing training records
require it, such as the requirements spelled out in DOD’s Security
Assistance Management Manual. However, DSCA officials said they do
not have assurance that all trainings were entered as a matter of practice
because they lack a process to regularly review whether the training data
were captured as required.



15
  DIILS is located on a naval base, and the Navy’s agent for international education and
training was assigned as the implementing agency for DIILS. The Navy agent, an entity
known as Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity, has direct
access to enter data in the case management system.




Page 14                                                   GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                        DOD officials said as of fiscal year 2019, DSCA and DIILS are taking
                        steps to enable DIILS to enter human rights training data directly into the
                        case management system as an implementing agency, but this is still an
                        ongoing effort and not yet operational. 16 In addition, as part of broader
                        changes implemented in 2019 related to how DIILS is funded, the Navy
                        agent is no longer entering information into the case management system
                        about training DIILS provides under Section 333. 17 In the meantime,
                        DIILS continues to track the provision of training using an internal
                        spreadsheet, according to officials, and plans to enter training data into
                        the case management system when they get access as an implementing
                        agency.

                        Federal standards for internal control state that management should use
                        quality information and design appropriate types of control activities in the
                        entity’s information systems to achieve objectives and ensure quality
                        external reporting. 18 In the case of human rights training, DOD officials
                        acknowledged that they do not have a process to ensure that information
                        on mandated human rights training is systematically and accurately
                        entered into its tracking systems. Without such a process, DOD is limited
                        in its ability to monitor compliance with the statutory requirement that
                        Section 333 assistance include a human rights training component.


DOD Has Some Data on    DOD tracks and reports funding for mandated human rights training at a
Funding for Mandated    global level, but not by country and program, although DOD is taking
                        steps to do so. DSCA has published periodic reports that include global
Human Rights Training
                        funding information for Section 333 activities, including the mandated
                        human rights training. In 2016, Congress required the Director of DSCA
                        to publish quarterly monitoring reports on the status of funding allocated
                        16
                           According to DOD officials, implementing agencies are determined by an internal
                        working group within DSCA that includes the Office of General Counsel. The DIILS effort
                        is to create some of the functions of the implementing agency role which, according to
                        DOD officials, will enable DIILS to better track the provision of required human rights
                        training.
                        17
                          In fiscal year 2019, DOD changed DIILS to a direct funding model, with DSCA allocating
                        funding directly to DIILS, through the DSCA accounting system for Title 10 programs.
                        Prior to that, DIILS was funded entirely on a reimbursement basis, receiving
                        reimbursements from DOD and State for Title 10 and Title 22 programs, respectively.
                        DIILS continues to operate on a reimbursement basis for Title 22 programs, including
                        IMET.
                        18
                          GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO-14-704G
                        (Washington, D.C.: September 2014).




                        Page 15                                                  GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
for Section 333 activities. 19 DSCA published three quarterly monitoring
reports in fiscal year 2018, which identified the amount of unobligated
funds, disbursements, and unliquidated obligations for Section 333
activities. According to the monitoring report from the third quarter of
fiscal year 2018, year-to-date unobligated funds for human rights training
totaled over $2 million dollars, disbursements totaled about $17,000, and
unliquidated obligations totaled about $200,000. The funding data for
human rights training is generally reported globally in these reports, not
by a specific program or country.

DOD could not provide the information we requested on funds obligated
and disbursed for mandated human rights training, by program and
country, for fiscal years 2015 through 2018. DSCA officials said they
could not provide these data because it was challenging to pull this type
of information from their systems in a usable way. Further, DOD officials
noted that their previous accounting system made it challenging to obtain
funding data easily.

DSCA and DIILS transitioned to a new accounting system in 2017 which,
according to DSCA officials, was expected to provide more detailed
information on the status of funding for human rights training. However,
DOD officials said that the transition to the new accounting system
introduced errors in the data and DIILS staff are still working through a
learning curve in adopting the new system. Under the new accounting
system, DIILS is to enter information using a unique program and task-
naming convention. DSCA officials said the new accounting system,
when fully implemented, is expected to allow both DSCA and DIILS to
track funds according to the specific recipient country and Section 333
security assistance program, which would better enable DOD and others
to effectively monitor the status of funds dedicated to these efforts.




19
 See 10 U.S.C. § 333(f).




Page 16                                         GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
State Relies on DOD to        State officials said they rely on DOD to track funding and information on
Track Training for Military   the Title 22 authorities that DOD implements, including IMET, which State
                              officials said is its most substantial source of human rights–related
Forces and Tracks Some
                              training for foreign military forces. DOD provided information on the
Human Rights Training         funding for certified E-IMET courses in recent years. 20 However,
and Funding Data for          according to DOD officials, not all E-IMET courses are related to human
Police                        rights.

                              State INL maintains data on human rights–related training delivered by
                              ILEAs, which is a major component of training provided to foreign law
                              enforcement entities. In September 2018, we reported that while INL
                              collects data for certain types of police training, such as training provided
                              through the ILEA program, they do not have reliable information readily
                              available on police trained through INL–funded projects. 21 We
                              recommended that State develop and implement a process to collect
                              more reliable data on the number of police trained in El Salvador,
                              Guatemala, and Honduras, the geographic focus of that review. State
                              concurred with our recommendation and stated that it is in the process of
                              developing specific indicators related to police training.

                              According to our review of State data on human rights–related training
                              delivered by ILEAs, State supported human rights training for over 5,400
                              law enforcement personnel from over 100 countries at ILEAs from fiscal
                              years 2015 through 2017. (See fig. 2.)




                              20
                                According to DOD officials, DOD and State spent nearly $150 million on certified
                              E-IMET courses for just over 19,000 students from various countries from fiscal years
                              2015 through 2018.
                              21
                               GAO-18-618.




                              Page 17                                                   GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Figure 2: State Law Enforcement Training Related to Human Rights Provided by International Law Enforcement Academies
(ILEA) by Country, Fiscal Years 2015–2017




                                       Note: Training provided by ILEAs is a major component of training related to human rights and
                                       international humanitarian law that was provided to foreign law enforcement forces but does not
                                       represent all training supported by State.


                                       State identified 31 trainings provided by ILEAs that included human rights
                                       topics. (See table 4). According to State, the course that received the
                                       most funding—Law Enforcement and Leadership Development—is not
                                       expressly focused on human rights but is a 6-week long course that
                                       includes human rights concepts in different modules.




                                       Page 18                                                          GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Table 4: Law Enforcement Training Related to Human Rights Provided by International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA),
Top Courses by State Estimated Funding Amounts, Fiscal Years 2015–2017

                                                                                                                                  Funding                Length of course
                                                                                                                              (in millions)        (average time in weeks)
 Law Enforcement and Leadership Development                                                                                          $12.5                                6
 Academic Criminal Justice Seminar: Anti-Corruption Forum                                                                              5.3                                4
 Academic Criminal Justice Seminar and Model Law Workshop                                                                              2.1                                4
 Trafficking in Persons                                                                                                                1.7                                2
 Academic Criminal Justice Seminar: International Policy Development Forum                                                             1.6                                4
 Drug Unit Commanders Course                                                                                                           1.2                                1
 Tactical Safety and Planning                                                                                                          1.2                                2
 Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation                                                                                              1.1                                1
 Anti-Corruption and Model Law Policy and Development Symposium                                                                        1.1                                3
 Other courses (22 unique courses)                                                                                                     6.5                    1.5 (average)
 Total                                                                                                                               $34.4                      3 (average)
Source: GAO analysis of International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) data provided by the Department of State. | GAO-19-554

                                                               Notes: Training provided by ILEAs is a major component of training related to human rights and
                                                               international humanitarian law that was provided to foreign law enforcement forces but does not
                                                               represent all training supported by State. These data represent the estimated funding amounts for
                                                               planned training.


                                                               State provided approximately $34.4 million for such training to foreign law
                                                               enforcement entities at ILEAS from fiscal years 2015 through 2017. (See
                                                               fig. 3.)




                                                               Page 19                                                                        GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                     Figure 3: State Estimated Funding for Planned Law Enforcement Training Related
                     to Human Rights Provided by International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA),
                     Fiscal Years 2015–2017




                     Notes: Training provided by ILEAs is a major component of training related to human rights and
                     international humanitarian law that was provided to foreign law enforcement forces but does not
                     represent all training supported by State. These data represent the estimated funding amounts for
                     planned training.




DOD and State Have
Not Evaluated the
Effectiveness of
Human Rights
Training




                     Page 20                                                          GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Neither DOD nor State    Although officials at both agencies identified examples of past monitoring
Has Evaluated the        and evaluation (M&E)–related efforts for security assistance programs,
                         DOD and State officials acknowledged that they have not assessed the
Effectiveness of Human
                         effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces provided
Rights Training          as part of such programs. 22

                         DOD. DOD officials cited student surveys and after-action reports—which
                         are summaries of the training events, training outcomes, challenges
                         encountered, and further actions to be taken that are prepared by course
                         facilitators—as examples of M&E–related efforts:

                         •    At DIILS, course facilitators use surveys to solicit student feedback on
                              courses and on the relevance of the course materials. They also use
                              after-action reports, which, according to officials, provide continuity
                              and capture lessons learned from human rights training in partner
                              countries for DIILS facilitators who will be traveling to those countries
                              in the future.
                         •    At CCMR, according to CCMR officials, training facilitators prepare
                              after-action reports for each course that involves human rights
                              content. They also solicit input from the security cooperation officers
                              in the country where the training took place.
                         •    At the U.S. Africa Command, officials also said that they prepare
                              after-action reports on DIILS–provided mandated human rights
                              training, which they share with DIILS. Officials said these reports often
                              discuss improvements needed with regard to logistics planning for
                              human right training that DOD provides in African countries.
                         State. Examples of related M&E efforts that State has conducted include
                         a multi-year survey of IMET and evaluations of some security assistance
                         programs. For example, State and DOD funded a survey of IMET
                         graduates which DOD entities conducted and covered the period from
                         2007 through 2014. The multi-year survey measured, among other things,
                         if graduates reported an improved understanding of internationally
                         recognized human rights. 23


                         22
                           DOD calls its approach “assessment, monitoring, and evaluation.” In this report we use
                         the term “monitoring and evaluation” to include the baseline assessment that is part of
                         DOD’s approach.
                         23
                           The survey involved an online questionnaire of IMET graduates at U.S. military schools,
                         measuring their self-reported gain in knowledge related to IMET purposes. The survey did
                         not assess the effectiveness of the human rights training (or of IMET more broadly) in
                         terms of its impact on behavior, practices, or policies.




                         Page 21                                                   GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
DOD Is Developing an       According to DOD officials, DOD is beginning to develop a new M&E
Approach for Monitoring    approach for DOD’s security assistance programs. However, DOD has
                           not established a timeline for evaluating the effectiveness of human rights
and Evaluating Security
                           training for foreign security forces that is often included as part of such
Assistance Programs, but   assistance.
Has Not Established a
Timeline for Assessing     The 2017 NDAA, enacted in December 2016, requires DOD to conduct
Human Rights Training      assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of its security assistance
                           programs and activities. 24 The steps DOD is taking to implement the 2017
                           NDAA M&E requirements include:

                           •    Policy guidance: DOD issued Instruction 5132.14: Assessment,
                                Monitoring, and Evaluation Policy for the Security Cooperation
                                Enterprise in January 2017. The instruction states that M&E will foster
                                accurate and transparent reporting to key stakeholders on the
                                outcomes and sustainability of security cooperation and improve
                                returns on DOD security cooperation investments. The new M&E
                                requirements are intended to include centralized, independent, and
                                rigorous evaluations of significant security cooperation initiatives to
                                examine their relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability, among
                                other things. DOD officials said that they planned to develop
                                additional guidance to meet the mandated M&E requirements for
                                security assistance, which includes human rights training.
                           •    Security assistance guidelines: Based on new security assistance
                                guidelines, DOD developed templates for documents that combatant
                                commands are required to complete when planning security
                                assistance activities. These templates for initial assessment and
                                initiative design documents (including for rule of law and human rights
                                training) incorporate M&E into design and planning of security
                                assistance programs and activities. Geographic combatant
                                commands are required to submit these documents to DSCA for
                                projects that are developed in fiscal year 2019 and will be
                                implemented beginning in fiscal year 2020.
                           •    Draft evaluation agenda: In 2018, DOD prepared a draft evaluation
                                agenda which outlines notional timeframes for evaluations. However,
                                DOD officials could not specify when they plan to finalize the agenda,
                                and as of April 2019 could not tell us when DOD planned to begin

                           24
                             Pub. L. No. 114-328, § 1241(m) codified at 10 U.S.C. § 383. In addition, the 2019 NDAA
                           required DOD to dedicate at least $6 million a year to M&E. See Pub. L. No. 115-232,
                           § 1211(a).




                           Page 22                                                  GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
     monitoring and evaluating human rights training for foreign security
     forces because they have not developed a timeline for doing so.
According to DOD officials, DOD is in the initial phase of developing its
overall approach to monitoring and evaluating security assistance, of
which human rights training is a small part. The 2019 NDAA, enacted in
2018, requires, as a condition for expending 50 percent of DOD
operations and maintenance funds made available for Section 333
assistance, that DOD establish a written plan describing, among other
things, evaluation activities planned for security assistance programs for
fiscal year 2019. 25 In addition, according to the Office of Management and
Budget’s monitoring and evaluation guidelines for the federal government
entities providing foreign assistance, agencies should establish annual
monitoring and evaluation objectives and timetables to plan and manage
the process of monitoring, evaluating, analyzing progress, and applying
learning toward achieving results. 26 Developing a timeline for
implementing its activities to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of
human rights training, which could be done as part of DOD’s monitoring
and evaluation of its broader security assistance efforts, would provide
greater assurance that DOD will complete M&E requirements.




25
 Pub. L. No. 115-232, § 1211(b).
26
  Office of Management and Budget, OMB Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines for
Federal Departments and Agencies that Administer United States Foreign Assistance,
OMB Memorandum M-18-04, Jan. 11, 2018. OMB promulgated these guidelines in
response to a mandate contained in the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act
of 2016 (Pub. L. No. 114-191). See GAO, Foreign Assistance: Federal Monitoring and
Evaluation Guidelines Incorporate Most but Not All Leading Practices, GAO-19-466
(Washington, D.C.: Jul. 31, 2019).




Page 23                                                 GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
State Does Not Have a      According to State officials, they have not established a plan, with a clear
Plan with a Timeline for   timeline, for evaluating the effectiveness of human rights training provided
                           as part of IMET. Officials from State’s Bureau of Political–Military Affairs
Evaluating Human Rights
                           (PM) acknowledged that State’s responsibilities for IMET include M&E of
Training Provided under    the program. According to these officials, PM is in the initial phase of
IMET                       developing M&E of its security assistance programs, including IMET. 27
                           They stated that for this reason PM is not currently planning to evaluate
                           human rights training provided under IMET. 28 Although DOD implements
                           IMET, PM has overall responsibility for the program. 29

                           According to State’s January 2018 Guidance for the Design, Monitoring
                           and Evaluation Policy at the Department of State, it is essential that
                           bureaus and independent offices have comprehensive plans for
                           monitoring and evaluating all their programs and projects, and the plans
                           should include, among other things, an implementation schedule. An
                           M&E plan with a clear timeline for human rights training provided under

                           27
                             In prior work we recommended that State and DOD should take several steps to
                           emphasize human rights training and improve evaluations for the IMET program; see
                           GAO, International Military Education and Training: Agencies Should Emphasize Human
                           Rights Training and Improve Evaluations, GAO-12-123 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 27, 2011).
                           In response, DOD and State added a series of questions to the annual Combined
                           Education and Training Programs Plan to emphasize human rights training; these plans
                           are completed each year by security cooperation training officers for IMET recipient
                           countries. The additional questions address whether specific countries have received poor
                           marks on human rights from internationally recognized organizations, such as Freedom
                           House, and, if yes, to what degree the military is part of the rationale for the poor marks.
                           There is also a question on how IMET training for countries that receive poor marks can
                           address human rights. Additionally, DOD and State have taken steps to more
                           systematically collect performance information and monitor IMET graduates. According to
                           DOD, this effort has provided DOD and State with a more systematic collection of program
                           performance information over time.
                           28
                             In this discussion we refer to IMET as a program. It is a State program that is jointly
                           managed by DSCA and State PM, with PM having overall responsibility for the program.
                           Congress appropriates IMET funds each year to the President as part of the
                           appropriations acts funding foreign operations, and country allocations are justified and
                           documented in the Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations. According
                           to DSCA, based on congressional guidance and State–approved country allocations,
                           DSCA manages and issues the IMET funds to the military departments, which further
                           disburse the funds to support specific country programs or courses. DSCA provides IMET
                           program implementation policy to the combatant commands, military departments, and
                           security cooperation officers.
                           29
                              According to DOD officials, IMET falls outside the scope of its emerging M&E approach
                           for security assistance and DOD does not plan to evaluate IMET, including its human
                           rights training component. DOD Instruction 5132.14 does not apply to programs
                           implemented but not funded by DOD.




                           Page 24                                                    GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                        IMET will better position State and DOD to determine the effectiveness of
                        a significant component of U.S. human rights training for foreign militaries
                        and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, an evaluation of the
                        effectiveness of the human rights training would provide other important
                        stakeholders, including Congress, with evidence to better inform
                        decisions about U.S.–funded human rights training provided under IMET.
                        Such an evaluation could be done as part of State’s broader effort to
                        evaluate IMET.


                        According to DOD and State officials and outside experts we interviewed,
DOD and State           there are several challenges to achieving human rights objectives—such
Officials and Experts   as a decrease in human rights violations or promoting greater respect for
                        human rights—through training alone. Such challenges include tailoring
Identified Challenges   training to the partner nation, integrating it into operational training, and a
to Achieving Human      lack of capabilities and accountability systems on the part of partner
                        nations.
Rights Objectives
through Training        Agency officials and outside experts we spoke with stated that it can be
                        challenging to tailor human rights training to the partner nation, the unit
                        receiving assistance, and, when appropriate, the type of equipment being
                        provided. DIILS has developed a three–tiered training model to meet the
                        requirements of Section 333, as discussed above, and DIILS officials
                        stated that they work to tailor trainings to the extent possible, including by
                        selecting trainers with experience relevant to the equipment that the U.S.
                        government provides and adding additional training when needed.
                        However, agency officials and experts stated that DIILS, as a small entity,
                        has limited capacity to tailor human rights trainings for specific situations,
                        especially since DIILS must cover certain material to meet the Section
                        333 requirements.

                        In addition, DIILS’ ability to tailor training is limited because, according to
                        agency officials, mandated human rights training—typically a classroom
                        course—is generally added to a security assistance package for a partner
                        nation once the planning process has been completed. Since the human
                        rights training is not integrated when the security assistance is planned, it
                        is not generally feasible to adjust the training after the fact to address a
                        specific situation in a given partner country, according to DOD officials.
                        DSCA officials acknowledged that most human rights training is not
                        sufficiently tailored to the needs of the recipient countries and that they
                        have not yet fully incorporated human rights training considerations into
                        security assistance planning. These officials said more work remains to
                        be done to ensure that assistance under the Section 333 authority include


                        Page 25                                            GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
              comprehensive human rights training designed to meet specific partner
              nation needs.

              Agency officials and outside experts we interviewed stated that it can be
              challenging to achieve human rights objectives through human rights
              training as currently delivered because mandated human rights training is
              typically delivered as a stand–alone course in a classroom setting, rather
              than integrated into operational training. Agency officials stated that
              integrated training can be more effective because it would expose
              participants to practical skills that could help them comply with human
              rights concepts and avoid human rights violations during military or law
              enforcement operations. For example, State officials said that operational
              training on how to run a checkpoint while respecting human rights
              principles is likely to be more effective than training slides that outline
              international treaties on human rights.

              Agency officials and outside experts also stated that partner nations may
              lack capabilities and accountability systems. A military justice system
              might not hold responsible soldiers who commit human rights violations.
              A partner nation may lack equipment, experienced personnel, and
              planning for precision targeting to avoid civilian casualties. Further,
              partner nations may lack the political will to focus on human rights, and
              poorly–resourced security forces might see human rights as a low priority.
              Agency officials and outside experts said that without defense institution
              building that would address some of these broader systemic issues,
              human rights training may be less likely to have an effect in some
              countries. Finally, agency officials noted that in some instances,
              competing priorities necessitate prioritizing U.S. national security interests
              when providing security assistance, with human rights receiving less
              emphasis.


              Instilling respect for human rights in our foreign partners is important to
Conclusions   achieving U.S. foreign policy goals. Human rights training that DOD and
              State provide is one means to do so, but DOD and State are unable to
              provide a comprehensive accounting of the full array of human rights
              training they support. With the demand for human rights training
              increasing as a result of Section 333, a process to ensure training
              information is systematically tracked would provide DOD greater
              assurance that it is complying with the statutory requirement to provide
              human rights training as a component of Section 333 assistance.
              Furthermore, DOD and State are not able to provide stakeholders,
              including Congress, with an evaluation of the effectiveness of human


              Page 26                                           GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
                      rights training the agencies support. Without monitoring and evaluation,
                      decision–makers may be unable to identify whether human rights training
                      provided through Section 333, IMET, and other authorities is achieving
                      objectives and whether it could be adjusted for greater effectiveness.


                      We are making a total of three recommendations, including two to DOD
Recommendations for   and one to State. Specifically:
Executive Action
                      The Secretary of Defense should direct the Director of the Defense
                      Security Cooperation Agency to establish processes to ensure that
                      information on the provision of Section 333 mandated human rights
                      training is systematically and accurately entered into its tracking systems.
                      (Recommendation 1)

                      The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense
                      for Policy to develop a timeline for implementing its activities to monitor
                      and evaluate the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign
                      security forces. (Recommendation 2)

                      The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense,
                      should develop a plan with a clear timeline for monitoring and evaluating
                      the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces
                      provided under IMET. (Recommendation 3)


                      We provided a draft of this report for review and comment to DOD and
Agency Comments       State. DOD concurred with the two recommendations directed to the
and Our Evaluation    Secretary of Defense and identified actions it plans to take to address
                      them. Regarding the recommendation to monitor and evaluate human
                      rights training, DOD stated that it would do so as part of monitoring and
                      evaluating its broader security assistance efforts. DOD’s written
                      comments are reproduced in appendix II. State disagreed with the
                      recommendation directed to the Secretary of State. State’s written
                      comments are reproduced in appendix III.

                      In its comments, State acknowledged that human rights training is a vital
                      element of IMET programs and agreed with the need to monitor and
                      evaluate the effectiveness of training—including human rights training—
                      delivered through IMET. However, the department stated that it did not
                      agree to separately conduct monitoring and evaluation of human rights
                      training for IMET participants. Our recommendation for State to develop a
                      plan with a timeline to evaluate the effectiveness of human rights training


                      Page 27                                           GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
provided under IMET does not call for a separate evaluation. State could
meet the intent of our recommendation through evaluating the
effectiveness of human rights training as part of its broader efforts to
monitor and evaluate IMET. We added a statement to the report to that
effect.


We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
committees, the Secretaries of Defense and State, and other interested
parties. In addition, the report is available at no charge on the GAO
website at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have questions about this report, please contact
Jennifer Grover at 202-512-7141 or groverj@gao.gov. Contact points for
our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found
on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to
this report are listed in appendix II.




Jennifer A. Grover
Director, International Affairs and Trade




Page 28                                        GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
List of Committees

The Honorable James M. Inhofe
Chairman
The Honorable Jack Reed
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable James E. Risch
Chairman
The Honorable Robert Menendez
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate

The Honorable Richard C. Shelby
Chairman
The Honorable Dick Durbin
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Department of Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Lindsey Graham
Chairman
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations,
 and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Adam Smith
Chairman
The Honorable Mac Thornberry
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
House of Representatives




Page 29                                      GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
The Honorable Eliot L. Engel
Chairman
The Honorable Michael T. McCaul
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives

The Honorable Peter Visclosky
Chairman
The Honorable Ken Calvert
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

The Honorable Nita Lowey
Chairwoman
The Honorable Hal Rogers
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations,
 and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives




Page 30                                      GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Methodology



Methodology

              This report (1) describes the entities through which the Department of
              Defense (DOD) and the Department of State (State) provide training for
              foreign security forces on human rights and international humanitarian
              law; (2) assesses the extent to which DOD and State track the provision
              of and funding for the training; and (3) examines the extent to which DOD
              and State have evaluated the effectiveness of the training; and
              (4) provides DOD, State, and outside expert views on human rights
              training.

              To address these objectives, we reviewed laws, guidance, budget
              documents, course catalogs, and agency data. We also interviewed
              agency officials in Washington, D.C., and at DOD geographic combatant
              commands. In addition, we conducted site visits at three facilities that
              provide human rights training: the Center for Civil–Military Relations
              (CCMR) in Monterey, California; the Defense Institute of International
              Legal Studies (DIILS) in Newport, Rhode Island; and the Western
              Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in Fort
              Benning, Georgia.

              To address the structures through which DOD and State provide training
              for foreign security forces on human rights and international humanitarian
              law, we also reviewed course catalogs and interviewed DOD officials from
              several DOD entities, including the Defense Security Cooperation
              Agency; the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; U.S.
              Africa Command; U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and CCMR, DIILS, and
              WHINSEC. At State, we interviewed officials from the Bureaus of
              Political–Military Affairs; Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; and
              International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; and the Office of
              Foreign Assistance Resources.

              To address what is known about tracking and funding for the training,
              including whether and how DOD comprehensively tracks human rights
              training, we reviewed DOD guidance and interviewed DOD officials and
              training providers. With the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act
              (NDAA) consolidating authorities—codified at 10 U.S.C. § 333—and the
              resulting increase in demand for the human rights training DIILS provides
              under that authority, we then focused on the ways in which that training
              and its funding is tracked in DOD systems. We reviewed agency
              documents, including congressional notifications and quarterly monitoring
              reports, to review how the training data are reported. We also reviewed




              Page 31                                         GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




federal internal control standards to determine what responsibilities
agencies have related to information collection and communication. 1

To assess the extent to which DOD and State have evaluated the
effectiveness of the training, we reviewed monitoring and evaluation
(M&E) policy and guidance documents and other relevant documents. We
interviewed DOD and State officials about their current and planned
actions to monitor and evaluate human rights training as well as
examples of M&E-related efforts for security assistance programs that
include human rights training. We also reviewed legislation, including the
2017 and 2019 NDAAs, which outline M&E requirements for DOD’s
security assistance. In addition, we reviewed State’s January 2018
Guidance for the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Policy at the
Department of State to determine M&E requirements for State.

To collect information on DOD, State, and outside expert perspectives of
human rights training provided to foreign security forces, we conducted
individual semistructured interviews with selected stakeholders, including
agency officials and outside experts, who consisted of former government
officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations and think
tanks. To identify outside experts, we asked stakeholders, including
current government officials, to recommend other stakeholders we should
speak with (i.e., snowball sampling). In our interviews, we collected
information on perspectives of factors that could potentially enhance the
effectiveness of human rights training and challenges to achieving human
rights objectives through such training. The information we obtained from
these stakeholders cannot be generalized across all stakeholders.

We conducted this performance audit from February 2018 to August 2019
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




1
GAO-14-704G.




Page 32                                         GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             of Defense



of Defense




             Page 33                                     GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 34                                     GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix III: Comments from the
              Appendix III: Comments from the Department
              of State



Department of State




              Page 35                                      GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix III: Comments from the Department
of State




Page 36                                      GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff
                  Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Jennifer A. Grover, 202-512-7141 or groverj@gao.gov.
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contacts named above, Juan Gobel, Christina Werth,
Staff             Emily Desai, Sada Aksartova, James McCully, David Payne, Neil
Acknowledgments   Doherty, John Hussey, Mark Dowling, and Rachel Stoiko contributed to
                  this report.




(103106)
                  Page 37                                       GAO-19-554 Security Assistance
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