United States GeneraI Accounting Office .. Briefing Report to Congressional Requesters June 1990 SECURITY ISTANCE Observations on the International Military Education and Training Program --, .:: - * _’ ,,, __I .&l(II -.. .; .,ap ... ..-. , ,- GAO/NSIAD-90-215BR . Requests for copies of GAO reports should be sent to: U.S. General Accounting Office Post Office Box 6015 Gaithersburg, Maryland ‘20877 Telephone 202-275-6241 The first five copies of each report are free. Additional copies are $2.00 each. There is a 25% discount on orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a single address. Orders must be prepaid by cash or by check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents. United States GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 National Security and International AtTairs Division B-237984 June 14, 1990 The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy Chairman, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations Committee on Appropriations United States Senate The Honorable Bob Graham United States Senate As you requested, we reviewed the International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program in selected countries. Specifically, we determined whether the Departments of State and Defense had (1) complied with program policies and procedures and (2) met the U.S. foreign policy objective of exposing IMET trainees to U.S. values, including human rights. We also obtained U.S. and foreign officials' views on the program's benefits and the desirability and feasibility of expanding nation-building training in the program, for example, in the fields of medicine, engineering, and logistics. We obtained information on training programs in Austria, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, South Korea, and Spain; the U.S. Unified Commands; and the Departments of Defense and State. This report summarizes the information we provided to your offices in a briefing on May 23, 1990. RESULTS IN BRIEF The Department of Defense has generally administered the programs in accordance with its established policies and procedures during the planning and development phases of the program. Defense, however, lacks (1) procedures for reviewing training requirements that are added after training programs are reviewed and approved by U.S. officials and (2) specific guidelines for monitoring the use of IMET graduates. Furthermore, neither Defense nor State has a system for evaluating the success of the program. Thus, it is difficult to ensure the most effective use of IMET funds. B-237984 In accordance with the IMET Program's policy objectives, students are being exposed to U.S. values and concern for human rights through formal training and cultural events in the United States. U.S. and foreign officials believe that the program provides numerous other benefits. They also believe that nation-building training should be considered on a country-by-country basis as part of the IMET Program. BACKGROUND The IMET Program provides instruction and training in military skills and U.S. military doctrine to foreign military and related civilian personnel on a grant basis. The U.S. military departments offer over 2,000 courses in the United States and abroad, including professional military education at the war colleges, management training, technical and maintenance training, and flight training. Under the IMET Program, the Defense Department annually spends about $47 million to train about 5,000 foreign personnel from nearly 100 countries. Program management is divided between the Departments of State and Defense. The Secretary of State is responsible for the program's general direction. He recommends funding levels for congressional approval and allocates approved funds to each country. The Secretary of Defense, through the Defense Security Assistance Agency, is responsible for planning and implementing the program, including administration and monitoring, within established funding levels. Officials in the Security Assistance Organization develop and manage individual country programs with input from key embassy officials. Officials from the military departments and other organizations review each country's training program at annual training workshops that the Unified Commands host. A Unified Command is composed of two or more military services under a single commander and is responsible for conducting security assistance programs within its region. IMET PROGRAMSCOMPLY WITH POLICY, BUT OVERSIGHT COULD BE IMPROVED The Departments of State and Defense have established a formal process for reviewing each country's proposed training programs to ensure that they comply with management policies and procedures, complement U.S. foreign policy objectives, and are consistent with IMET objectives. The process has three major components: 2 B-237984 -- Preparing State's Annual Integrated Assessment of Security Assistance, which describes specific U.S. economic, political, and military objectives for each country and includes the Security Assistance Organization's proposed funding levels for training programs. -- Preparing a 2-year training plan that includes current and future U.S. training objectives and other information supporting the proposed training program. -- Reviewing countries' training programs at annual U.S. Unified Command training workshops to ensure that the programs complement program objectives, meet a legitimate need of the countries, and comply with Defense Department policies and regulations. Of the six countries we visited, three did not have written training plans to support their training programs. However, we determined from our observations of four Unified Commands' training workshops for 28 countries, including five of the six countries we reviewed, that most programs were supported by written 2-year plans. The plans included training that U.S. officials believed supported both U.S. foreign policy and IMET Program objectives based on their reviews of individual training courses included in the programs. Of the eight countries that did not have written training plans required by Defense policy, seven were under the Southern Command's area of responsibility. Officials said that the Command did not ensure that training officials prepared written plans as part of the training workshop. Training Officials Frequently Made Changes to Approved Training Proqrams In the countries we visited, training officials had frequently changed approved programs for a variety of reasons. For example, funds were not available, when needed, to send students to training; the military departments made changes; and the countries changed their training priorities. These changes resulted in the addition of 133 new courses and 155 students that were not in the approved programs for fiscal years 1988 and 1989. In several instances these changes were made even though U.S. officials recognized that there was no documented need for the training, and it could not be effectively used. 3 B-237984 According to the Defense Security Assistance Agency's policy, training officials should not make frequent changes to approved programs, and new training requirements should be carefully considered. No System for Monitoring Use of IMET Graduates According to Defense Security Assistance Agency policy, the Unified Commands are to supervise the Security Assistance Organizations to ensure that they place IMET graduates in positions in which they can use their training for 2 to 3 years immediately following their training. The policy's purpose is to ensure that participating countries are using u. s. funds in the most efficient and effective manner. The policy states that a report from the participating country will provide a basis for this assurance. Unified Commands have not issued specific instructions on how the Organizations can ensure that graduates are using their training. As a result, each Organization has acted on its own to comply with the policy. The Organizations in Austria, South Korea, and Spain received a report from the country's military providing the names and positions of IMET graduates. However, the Organizations in Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru had no system for tracking how IMET graduates were used after being trained. No System for Evaluating IMET Proaram Effectiveness Neither Defense nor State has a system for periodically evaluating the success of IMET training in meeting program objectives. Currently, the Defense Security Assistance Agency's only methods of evaluating success are to report on the number of graduates who have achieved positions of prominence and to review the results of the Unified Command inspections that determine whether Security Assistance Organizations have complied with various program administrative requirements. The lack of a system to periodically evaluate program success could result in the continuation of programs from year to year without considering changes in the military, economic, or political relationships between the United States and the countries. For example, (1) Austria has been allocated more funds than it can effectively use, (2) Peru's IMET Program is based on objectives that are inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy, 4 B-237984 and (3) Spain's economic ability to pay for its training has changed. OTHER ISSUES From our review, we determined that the IMET Program has been designed to expose foreign students to U.S. values, including concern for human rights. For example, lesson plans for some of the courses included studies on the Geneva Convention, the Law of Land Warfare, the My Lai incident in Vietnam, U.S. rules of evidence, and the three branches of the U.S. government. The training facilities have established internal evaluation systems to ensure the quality of the courses. Also, extracurricular activities include presentations, travel, and interaction with U.S. citizens. U.S. and foreign military officials agreed that the IMET Program is valuable and should be continued because it (1) enhances the military-to-military relationship needed to address U.S. foreign policy objectives, (2) provides reciprocal training to U.S. personnel, (3) promotes democratization, (4) provides weapon system sales for U.S. industry, (5) improves the overall professionalism of the recipient nation's military, and (6) enhances understanding of U.S. military doctrine and technology. Many officials also believe that the IMET Program should include more nation-building training to enhance military skills in such areas as engineering, medicine, and logistics but that this training should be carefully considered on a country-by-country basis. U.S. officials stated that training to enhance nation-building skills would not be effective if equipment were not available to perform these skills. Equipment is currently not provided under IMET. Other military and civilian training programs, such as foreign military sales, were available in the countries we reviewed. While the military programs generally have objectives similar to those of IMET, they do not appear to duplicate the program. U.S. officials stated that such programs cannot be substituted for the IMET Program. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Most training officials plan and develop IMET programs that comply with policies and procedures because of the review process established by the State and Defense Departments. 5 B-237984 However, the lack of (1) procedures for reviewing new training requirements that are added after programs are approved at the training workshops, (2) a system for evaluating the success of the program, and (3) guidelines for monitoring the use of IMET graduates contribute to the Departments' inability to ensure that IMET funds are efficiently and effectively used. To further improve the management of the IMET Program, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense consider requiring the Director, Defense Security Assistance Agency, to develop procedures for reviewing and approving training requirements that are added after programs have been approved at the annual workshops and (2) coordinate with Unified Commands in developing guidelines that specify how Security Assistance Organizations should monitor the use of IMET graduates. These guidelines should, at a minimum, require the Organizations to periodically verify how countries use IMET graduates, Furthermore, we recommend thatthe Secretaries of Defense and State coordinate in designing a system that will enable them to periodically evaluate the success of the IMET Program., /: SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY We reviewed the IMET Program at the Departments of State and Defense, Washington, D.C.: the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, Homestead Air Force Base, Florida; and the U.S. Army School of the Americas and the Infantry Officer School, Fort Benning, Georgia. We also conducted our work at the u. s. European Command, Stuttgart, West Germany: the U.S. Pacific Command, Honolulu, Hawaii; the U.S. Central Command, Tampa, Florida; and the U.S. Forces Caribbean, Key West, Florida. We obtained detailed information from officials in the Southern Command and in the six countries that you suggested we visit (Austria, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, South Korea, and Spain). We reviewed the program from September 1989 through May 1990 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. As you requested, we did not obtain written agency comments on this report. We did discuss our observations with U.S officials in each country we visited and with Defense and State Department officials, who generally agreed with the facts presented in this report. 6 B-237984 As agreed with your offices, we plan no further distribution of this report until 10 days after its issue date. At that time we will send copies to appropriate congressional committees, the Secretaries of Defense and State, and interested parties on request. Staff members who made major contributions to this report are listed in appendix IV. If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this report, please call me on 275-4128. Joseph E. Kelley Director, Security and International Relations Issues CONTENTS Paa e LETTER 1 APPENDIX I MANAGEMENTOF THE IMET PROGRAM 9 Background 9 Overview of the Planning and Development Process 10 Policies Generally Followed During Program 12 Planning and Development Numerous Changes Made to Approved Programs 13 Monitoring of IMET Graduates' Assignments Varies 16 No System for Evaluating IMET Program 18 Effectiveness Conclusions and Recommendations 20 II OTHER ISSUES 22 Students Exposed to U.S. Values, Including 22 Human Rights Views Indicate that the Program Provides 23 Numerous Advantages Views Indicate That Nation-Building Training 25 Should Be Carefully Considered Other Programs Provide Military Training 28 Civilian Programs Provide Training 30 III OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY 31 IV MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT 33 TABLES I.1 u. s. Cost of the IMET Program 10 I.2 Additions to Approved Programs 14 ABBREVIATIONS DOD Department of Defense DSAA Defense Security Assistance Agency GAO General Accounting Office IMET International Military Education and Training SAO Security Assistance Organization APPENDIX I APPENDIX I MANAGEMENTOF THE IMET PROGRAM BACKGROUND The International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program is a grant training program authorized by section 541 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Prior to 1976, grant training was provided under the Military Assistance Program, which was heavily oriented towards training foreign military personnel in skills related to equipment provided to their countries by the United States. The IMET Program was implemented to create skills needed for effective operation and maintenance of equipment provided by the United States: assist foreign countries in developing expertise and systems needed for effective management of their defense establishments; foster foreign countries' development of their training capabilities: provide an alternative to Soviet military training: promote military rapport between the United States and foreign countries; and promote better understanding of the United States, including its people, political system, and other institutions and how they reflect the U.S. commitment to human rights. The U.S. military departments offer more than 2,000 courses at over 150 military schools throughout the United States and abroad. Training includes professional military education at the war colleges and the command and general staff schools and management, technical, maintenance, and flight training. Students attending a military course in the United States can also participate in the Department of Defense Informational Program, which is designed to assist students in acquiring an understanding of the United States and its commitment to human rights. The Department of Defense (DOD) annually spends about $47 million to train 5,000 foreign personnel from nearly 100 countries through the IMET Program. Although a relatively small program in terms of funding levels, the program is large in terms of the number of foreign students trained. As shown in table 1.1, DOD trained 902 military and civilian personnel at an approximate cost of $9.13 million in fiscal years 1988 and 1989 in the six countries we visited. 9 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I Table 1.1: U.S. Cost of the IMET Program (Fiscal years 1988 and 1989) Number of Country Students Amount (mmns) Austria 10 $ .045 Guatemala 169 .891 Haiti 9 100 Peru 45 1435 South Korea 398 3.140 Spain 271 4.523 Total The Departments of State and Defense share responsibilities for IMET. The Department of State determines whether an IMET Program is necessary to achieve U.S. political and national security interests in a foreign country, recommends funding levels for the program to the Congress, and allocates funds to each country. DOD's Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) manages the IMET Program within the allocated funding levels. Each of the military departments, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, reviews and approves each participating country's IMET Program to ensure that the courses are effectively sequenced and scheduled to provide the maximum benefit to the country. Each Unified Command reviews funding requests and hosts an annual training workshop for countries under its area of responsibility. The Security Assistance Organization (SAO) in each country is responsible for planning, managing, implementing, and monitoring the country's IMET Program under the direction and supervision of the U.S. Ambassador. OVERVIEW OF THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS The IMET planning and development process involves U.S. officials in the Departments of State and Defense in each country as well as foreign military officials. The Departments of State and Defense have established a formal system to ensure that each country's IMET Program is planned and developed consistent with u. s. foreign policy objectives and within funding levels allocated by State and consistent with DOD program policies and regulations. The process includes three important components: (1) the Annual Integrated Assessment for Security Assistance, (2) 2-year training plans, and (3) Unified Command workshops. 10 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I Annual Integrated Assessment for Security Assistance Annual program development begins when the State Department requires each SAO to prepare an Annual Integrated Assessment for Security Assistance, the primary document for supporting funding requests to the Congress. Each assessment, which is prepared by the SAO in coordination with U.S. embassy officials and approved by the Ambassador, describes U.S. foreign policy objectives, provides perceptions of external and internal threats, describes the country's military structure and capabilities, presents information related to equipment purchases, and proposes funding levels. According to U.S. officials, numerous officials throughout the Departments of State and Defense extensively review each assessment to ensure that it complies with U.S. foreign policy objectives, regional military objectives, and IMET Program objectives. Two-Year Training Plans Each SAO is required to prepare a 2-year written training plan and a detailed list of training courses to support the plan within its established funding level. The plan contains a variety of information, including the country's training capabilities, primary suppliers of equipment and training, current and future training objectives, significant accomplishments toward meeting the training objectives, and funding allocations by training categories (i.e., professional military education; management, postgraduate, flight, technical, and overseas training; training teams; and other support). Unified Command Workshops Each Unified Command hosts an annual training workshop to review each IMET course for consistency with U.S. foreign policy and IMET Program objectives, funding levels, and DOD policies and regulations. Officials from the Unified Commands, the military departments, various training schools, and other organizations-- such as the U.S. Coast Guard and each SAO within the responsibility of the Unified Command--attend these workshops. Funding the Program After receiving congressional authorization for the IMET Program, State allocates funding for each country. If allocations differ from the levels used in developing the training programs or in prior allocations, training officials consult with foreign military officials and make changes to the approved program. 11 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I State may reallocate funds toward the middle and end of the fiscal year, if necessary. POLICIES GENERALLY FOLLOWED DURING PROGRAM PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT The IMET Program is generally well managed during the program planning and development phases. At the most recent annual Unified Command training workshops, we observed the reviews of IMET programs for 28 countries (the European Command, 8 countries: the Southern Command, 11 countries; the Pacific Command, 2 countries: and the Central Command, 7 countries) and found that officials reviewed each course to determine whether it was consistent with DOD's policies and procedures. These officials screened the courses to ensure that they were properly sequenced to provide optimum training benefits. In some cases, courses were deleted because the country did not need them or they would not make the most effective use of IMET funds. All countries had 2-year written training plans to support their detailed training programs except for seven countries under the Southern Command's responsibility and one country under the European Command's. In these eight countries, training officials did not comply with the DSAA policy that requires written a-year plans. Officials from DSAA and the Southern Command said that they were taking action to ensure that SAOs provide written 2-year training plans to support their training programs at the annual workshops. Program planning and development in the six countries we reviewed closely paralleled what we observed at the annual workshops. Training officials in Austria, South Korea, and Spain prepared 2-year, written plans to support their fiscal year 1988 and 1989 programs. These plans clearly stated specific U.S. foreign policy and IMET Program objectives, and the training appeared to support these objectives. Conversely, officials in Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru did not prepare any plans to support their programs. While the training officer in Haiti developed a program to address a primary U.S. objective of countering the narcotics trade, training officials in Guatemala and Peru addressed their countries' military training objectives rather than U.S. foreign policy and IMET Program objectives. Although U.S. officials in Guatemala and Peru maintained that the training program supported U.S. foreign policy and IMET objectives, the lack of any written plan made it difficult for us to confirm the 12 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I extent to which the training programs related to these objectives. Both DSAA and Southern Command Officials stated that they were taking action to ensure that SAOs provide written 2-year training plans to support their training programs at the annual workshops. NUMEROUSCHANGES MADE TO APPROVED PROGRAMS While DSAA policy generally discourages making numerous changes to approved programs, training officials in the six countries we visited had frequently changed their programs. These changes frequently included new training requirements that were never formally reviewed for approval by DSAA or the military departments. In several countries, training was added, even though officials recognized that such training was not an effective use of resources. According to training officials, these changes were made for a number of valid reasons that were beyond their control. For example: -- The military departments canceled, substituted, or rescheduled some courses. As a result, the training officials had to delete or add training requirements. -- The Congress did not approve fiscal year 1988 appropriations for the IMET Program until after the fiscal year started. As a result, the State Department could not allocate funds until much later than expected. This situation forced changes in the training program; for example, training that was planned for the first quarter of the fiscal year had to be rescheduled. -- The host governments changed training priorities because their military services received fewer funds from their governments than originally anticipated; new leaders had different ideas about priorities: or the country's economic, political, or security interests changed after the program was planned and developed. -- In Peru, sanctions that previously restricted funding were temporarily lifted. Sanctions were imposed under the Brooke- Alexander amendment (P.L. loo-202 and P.L. loo-461 for fiscal years 1988 and 1989, respectively), which suspends assistance to a foreign country that has defaulted on loan payments to 13 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I the United States.1 If the host country makes scheduled payments, the sanctions are lifted until the country misses another payment. -- Legislation placed restrictions on funding for wealthy countries in fiscal year 1989. The Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1989 (P.L. 100-461) prohibited the provision of IMET funds appropriated by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, to any country with a per capita gross national product greater than $2,349 unless that country agreed to fund the transportation and living allowance costs for its students. As a result of the amendment, during fiscal year 1989, Austria and Spain reprogrammed some IMET courses. New training requirements were frequently added to approved programs. As shown in table 1.2, training officials in the six countries we visited added 133 courses and 155 students to the fiscal year 1988 and 1989 programs after they had been approved at the annual workshops. Table 1.2: Additions to Approved Programs Fiscal year 1988 1988 1989 1989 Country Courses Students Courses Students Austria 0 0 2 2 Guatemala 19 11 13 10 Haiti 0 0 7 4 Peru 14 32 3 1 South Korea 12 3 19 15 Spain 15 -17 -29 -60 Total Included in these additions were six courses that, according to policy, required the SAO's written justification and DSAA's approval before they could be offered. None of these six courses, which included high-cost, civic action or postgraduate 1The fiscal year 1990 Brooke-Alexander amendment (P.L. 101-167) does not apply to funding for activities related to counter- narcotics in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. One of the principal U.S. training objectives for Peru in fiscal year 1990 is to address counter-narcotics activities. 14 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I training, had written justifications. Not included in table I.2 are four mobile training teams that were subsequently added to approved programs. The mobile training team additions included one each to Guatemala, Peru, and South Korea in fiscal year 1988 and one to Guatemala in fiscal year 1989. As the following examples demonstrate, some officials added new training requirements to approved programs, even though they could not document how these additions would be used by the recipient country. -- A training official in Guatemala stated that, at the request of Guatemala's military, the Southern Command added an intelligence mobile training team to the fiscal year 1989 program after it was approved, at a cost of $8,000, to establish Guatemala's capability to train its personnel in intelligence. The official said that he could not provide any documentation to support how such training would be used by Guatemala. As a result of this requirement, Guatemala's program exceeded its allocation and the training officer requested and received additional funding. -- In fiscal year 1989, the State Department allocated $100,000 to train Haiti's naval personnel in skills related to the counter-narcotics missions of its armed forces. U.S. officials initially identified a requirement to train five navy enlisted personnel in six courses at a cost of about $35,700. Since this requirement did not use the full $100,000, the training officer added four additional navy students to the program. However, U.S. officials familiar with Haiti's navy and the assets devoted to counter- narcotics missions stated that the additional students could probably not be effectively used in the mission. According to one U.S. officer, only two of the nine could probably be used. -- In fiscal years 1988 and 1989, the training officer in Peru added 18 students to a psychological operations course that included only 2 students in the approved program and 5 students whose training Peru had originally agreed to pay for in cash. The training officer stated that Peru had been under sanctions and had been unable to use any of the allocated funds. Because Peru had made a loan payment, the sanctions were temporarily lifted. He added the students to take advantage of the opportunity to train them. While he knew that Peru probably could not make effective use of this training, he wanted to send as many students as possible to available courses to expose them to U.S. values. 15 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I -- During fiscal year 1989, U.S. training officials in Spain added 19 students to a course on explosive ordnance disposal at a cost of about $112,172. This course was not in the approved program, and training officials could not document the need for this training. When we discussed these examples with DSAA officials, they agreed that many of these course additions indicated an ineffective use of IMET funds, particularly those in Haiti and Peru. MONITORING OF IMET GRADUATES' ASSIGNMENTS VARIES DSAA policy states that SAOs, under the direction and supervision of the Unified Commands, are responsible for ensuring that personnel trained under the IMET Program are being properly and effectively used when they return from training. DSAA defines proper use as the prompt employment of individuals in the skill for which trained, generally for 2 to 3 years immediately following their training. The policy's purpose is to ensure that participating countries are using U.S. funds in the most efficient and effective manner. The policy also states that periodic reports by appropriate foreign authorities can normally be used to follow up on the use of trainees. Although Unified Commands issued broad guidelines stating that SAOs should monitor the use of IMET graduates, they did not issue specific instructions on how SAOs should implement these guidelines. According to U.S. officials, it is difficult to establish guidelines for monitoring graduates because the political relationships between the United States and foreign countries vary, and some countries may be more receptive than others to providing a report on how graduates are used or having U.S. officials verify how graduates are used. Since these instructions do not provide specific guidance on how SAOs should obtain information regarding the use of IMET graduates, each SAO may or may not monitor IMET graduates. Consequently, some SAOs have more information than others and are in a better position to ensure that graduates are being properly and effectively used when they return to their homes. For example: -- The military services of each country provided U.S. officials in Austria, South Korea, and Spain reports containing the names and positions of recent IMET graduates. U.S. officials used information from these reports during visits to military installations to randomly verify that students were in these 16 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I positions. Although these officials did not maintain results of these visits in their files, they said that they knew of no instance in which the countries would not make use of their training, especially since they had paid all of the travel and living allowances related to training in the United States. -- U.S. officials in Guatemala had no data on how IMET graduates were used when they returned from training. These officials stated that they relied on observations of how some graduates were used at various military installations. We noted during our review, however, that IMET graduates might not have been effectively used by the military. For example, the U.S. Air Force representative stated that the Guatemalan Air Force had experienced a 20-percent turnover in helicopter personnel over the past 12 to 18 months: however, he did not know whether any of this turnover included IMET graduates. U.S. officials said that as a result of a recent Inspector General review by the Southern Command, they planned to request that the Guatemalan military send them a formal report on the use of recent graduates. According to the training officer, SAO personnel will use this report during their field visits to randomly verify how graduates are used. -- The U.S. training officer in Haiti had no assurance that prior graduates were effectively used and had no formal method for tracking them. U.S. officials stated that Haitian military officials were probably not using these personnel effectively because they have routinely transferred military personnel from one service to another to fill different positions after they have completed training programs. According to SAO officials, this practice is necessary because Haiti lacks the resources to fill all of its critical manpower requirements. -- The U.S. training officer in Peru had established a catalogue of the names of IMET graduates that he said he used during periodic visits to Peru's military units to determine how graduates were being used. Our review showed, however, that the file did not include information regarding use of the trainees. The training officer stated that he did not have sufficient knowledge on how IMET graduates from the fiscal years 1988 and 1989 programs were being used. Thus, he could not be assured that the training funds were warranted. NO SYSTEM FOR EVALUATING IMET PROGRAY EFFECTIVENESS Neither Defense nor State has a system for periodically evaluating IMET training to determine its success in meeting 17 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I program objectives. Currently DSAA's only methods of evaluating success are to report on the number of graduates who have achieved positions of prominence and to review the results of the Unified Command inspections that determine whether SAOs have complied with various program administrative requirements. The lack of a system to periodically evaluate program success could result in the continuation of programs from year to year without considering the changes in the military, economic, or political relationships between the United States and the countries. Methods Currently Used to Describe Program Effectiveness State has no system for evaluating program effectiveness. However, DSAA currently has two methods for measuring program success and effectiveness: (1) reporting on the numbers of IMET graduates who have achieved positions of prominence and (2) documenting inspections conducted by Unified Commands. Neither of these provides a comprehensive assessment of program success. A key goal of the IMET Program is to emphasize the training of individuals who are likely to reach prominent positions in their countries. DSAA prepares a report every 5 years that provides information on the numbers of IMET graduates who have reached such positions. According to DSAA, the identification of a prominent position varies from country to country and could include any military position ranging from the chief of staff of the army to a battalion commander or a key civilian position. In their February 1990 report to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, DSAA and State reported that 1,067 IMET graduates were in prominent positions. U.S. officials stated that such a report is of limited usefulness for evaluating program effectiveness because it is not measuring the progress made in addressing any of the six program objectives. Several U.S. officials also stated that many of these individuals would have achieved prominent positions regardless of whether they attended training in the United States because they were among the most highly qualified personnel in their military organizations. Unified Command inspectors general conduct periodic management evaluations of SAOs in countries under their areas of responsibility. These inspections are primarily concerned with the daily administration of security assistance programs and emphasize compliance with various DOD and service regulations. According to U.S. officials, these inspections are not designed to compare the progress made in meeting stated objectives as a means of measuring program effectiveness. 18 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I Lack of Evaluation System Hinders Assessments of Proaram Effectiveness A formal assessment system would assist responsible officials in the SAOs and the Unified Commands in periodically and systematically evaluating the effectiveness of training programs and in realistically determining the advisability of continuing the IMET Program at established funding levels within each country or military service. Furthermore, such a system could aid decisionmakers in identifying training priorities within the countries. Programs have continued from year to year even though the military, economic, or political relationships between the United States and the host country had changed. For example: -- In fiscal years 1988 and 1989, State allocated $80,000 for IMET training in Austria. Austria used approximately $45,725 for 10 personnel to provide air traffic control training and professional military education. The training official stated that Austrian military officials could not use the amount allocated because they did not have a need for more training than they used and that they could not afford to pay the additional travel and living allowances even if more training were needed. -- Peru's IMET Program for fiscal years 1988 and 1989 was based primarily on host-country objectives rather than on U.S. objectives. The primary training objectives were to protect Peruvian territory and sovereignty against external aggression or incursion, combat insurgency and terrorism, and produce a multi-role navy. Only the second objective (combatting insurgency and terrorism) was identified by the Ambassador as a U.S. objective in Peru. -- U.S. officials in Spain stated that high-cost pilot training is included in the IMET Program even though Spain can afford to pay for its own pilot training. Approximately 70 percent, or $1.5 million, of the fiscal year 1989 IMET Program in Spain was used to train pilots in the Spanish military services. A significant portion of this training was based on a commitment made by U.S. military officials during the early 1980s when Spain was not capable of paying for this training. Because of political and economic changes in the last few years, including Spain's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Community, Spain no longer needs 19 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I u. s. funds for this training. According to U.S. officials in Spain, IMET funding for Spain could gradually be reduced because Spain has the capability and the willingness to fund its own pilot training, as demonstrated by Spain's purchase of $4.8 million in high-cost pilot training under the Foreign Military Sales Program in fiscal year 1989. A State Department official told us that beginning in fiscal year 1991, funding levels for Austria and Spain will be reduced from their fiscal year 1988 and 1989 levels. According to current plans, Austria will be allocated $15,000 and Spain will be allocated $1.5 million. We previously reported on the importance of establishing an evaluation system for grant training.2 As we found, the military assistance training program was difficult to assess because of the lack of established measurable criteria. As a result, DOD had no assurance that the purposes of the program were being fully achieved. We concluded that, in the interest of good management, an evaluation system would be useful as a management tool. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The Departments of State and Defense generally comply with the policies and regulations of the IMET Program during the planning and development phases. However, the lack of procedures for reviewing new training requirements that are added after programs are approved at the training workshops, guidelines for monitoring the use of IMET graduates upon their return from training, and a system to evaluate the effectiveness of the IMET Program contribute to the Departments' inability to ensure that IMET funds are used efficiently and effectively. To further improve program management, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense consider requiring the Director of DSAA to develop procedures for reviewing additions to approved programs and to work with the Unified Commands in developing guidelines that specify how U.S. officials should monitor the use of IMET graduates. These guidelines should, at a minimum, require SAOs to periodically verify how countries use IMET graduates. Furthermore, because it is difficult to assess the success of the 2Problems in Administration of the Military Assistance Training Program (B-163582, Feb. 16, 1971). 20 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I program, we also recommend that the Departments of State and Defense jointly develop a system to evaluate the effectiveness of the IMET Program. This system should identify changes in U.S. objectives or training needs and prioritize training requirements. 21 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II OTHER ISSUES STUDENTS EXPOSED TO U.S. VALUES, INCLUDING HUMAN RIGHTS A key objective of the IMET Program is to expose participants to U.S. values, citizens, institutions, and commitment to human rights. The training installations address this objective through both the formal training process and planned extracurricular activities. Lesson plans for various formal training courses included topics such as the Geneva Convention, the Law of Land Warfare, the My Lai incident in Vietnam, and aspects of the U.S. system of government. Lesson plans included lectures, visual presentations, and small group discussions in which some of these topics were frequently discussed in more detail, often using the experiences of the students. For example, a psychological operations course curriculum included discussions on selected aspects of international law, descriptions of the Law of War as presented in the Geneva Convention, the International Human Rights Standards, and the U.S. position with respect to torture. A course on counter-narcotics included U.S. rules of evidence as part of its curriculum. Professional military education courses, which are higher-level courses for officer development such as those offered at the War College or the Command and Staff schools, included in their lesson plans topics on the relationship between the military and the civilian governments, the three branches of government, and U.S. stances on human rights. Each training installation has various methods for evaluating the quality of instruction and the content of the courses. Instructions on U.S. values and human rights were included in these evaluations. For example: -- At all three installations, students complete standard critique forms that include their views on the quality of information provided in the course. -- A Curriculum Review Committee reviews current and proposed courses at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy. -- An Evaluation and Standardization Directorate at the School of the Americas evaluates both instructors and courses by obtaining students' views, interviewing instructors, and by attending portions of courses. 22 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II -- After-Action Review Working Groups at the School of the Americas meet to resolve problems in instruction or course content that are identified. In addition, the IMET Program includes planned extracurricular activities in the United States. Known as the Informational Program, these activities include presentations on U.S. customs and culture and the historical development of the U.S. government: travel to various places, including those of historical interest, local city and state government institutions, museums, and Washington, D.C. t and interaction with local U.S. citizens through a volunteer sponsorship program. While U.S. officials said that the Informational Program is intended to expose foreign personnel to U.S. people, institutions, and values, it is not designed to change their behavior. VIEWS INDICATE THAT THE PROGRAM PROVIDES NUMEROUSADVANTAGES A recent DSAA study includes substantial testimonial evidence to support the premise that the IMET Program is one of the most cost-effective programs for pursuing U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives. Our interviews with U.S. and foreign military officials and former students indicate unanimous agreement that the program provides numerous advantages to both the United States and the participating countries. The following examples illustrate joint and country-specific benefits that U.S. officials stated were provided by the IMET Program: we U.S. officials in Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru stated that IMET graduates were helpful in addressing U.S. counter-narcotics efforts-- an important U.S. objective in each country. For example, a high-ranking embassy official in Peru stated that the ability of Peruvian officers to speak English, to understand U.S. policies and objectives, and to have a positive point of view of the United States contributed to the counter-narcotics agreement between the United States and Peru. U.S. officials in Guatemala also stated that officers who trained under the IMET Program had contributed towards U.S. counter-narcotics goals. -- U.S. officials in Austria mentioned two specific benefits received from the IMET Program. First, IMET graduates are instrumental in resolving operational issues pertaining to 23 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II U.S. forces. For example, the United States receives permission for about 1,500 military overflights a year. Permission for each overflight is obtained on a case-by-case basis from an Austrian officer who is an IMET graduate. Second, Austria has provided the United States with free annual mountaineering and alpine helicopter training for about 50 U.S. military personnel. U.S. officials stated that IMET has contributed to the key U.S. objective of ensuring the continued democratization of the Guatemalan government. U.S. officials stated that the IMET Program contributed to the changes that were being made in the Guatemalan military to support democratization. For example, the Defense Minister acted to subordinate the military's role to civilian leadership and depoliticize the military, human rights violations were reduced, a public relations section was created to improve the military's image with the population, and an Inspector General position was created to address abuses within the military system. According to the U.S. Ambassador, the IMET Program is one of the most valuable programs he has to accomplish U.S. foreign policy goals in Guatemala. -- U.S. officials said that the IMET Program encourages the purchase of U.S. equipment by exposing foreign personnel to U.S. doctrine and equipment. U.S. officials partially attributed the planned sale of 24 new howitzers to Austria to the familiarity with U.S. equipment that Austrians received through the IMET Program. U.S. officials in Spain also partially attributed to the IMET Program the successful sale of several billion dollars worth of U.S. equipment. -- U.S. officials in Spain said that one particular IMET graduate is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the new defense cooperation treaty between the United States and Spain. According to U.S. officials, this official is familiar with U.S. procedures, requirements, and limitations and is able to informally resolve potential problems between the United States and Spain regarding the treaty's implementation. Foreign military officials and IMET Program graduates commented as follows on the advantages of the IMET Program: -- Officials in Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru said that the IMET Program contributed to professionalizing their armed forces and emphasized that this was important if democracy was to continue flourishing. For example, the Commander-in-Chief of 24 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II the Haitian military said that one of the most important aspects of the IMET Program is the exposure of its military officials to the professionalism of the U.S. armed forces and to U.S. values. -- Officials in each country said that the IMET Program gave their personnel an opportunity to observe U.S. culture and institutions, giving them a better understanding of U.S. policies and values and a basis for establishing military- to-military rapport. -- Military officials in each country stated that the IMET Program provides exposure to updated U.S. doctrine and technology. For example, officials from South Korea said that the IMET Program increased the interoperability between South Korean and U.S. forces. -- IMET graduates in four countries stated that training in the United States has enhanced their careers and sometimes resulted in promotions. -- Military officials in Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru said that the program provides access to U.S. doctrine and teaching aids that are not otherwise available. VIEWS INDICATE THAT NATION-BUILDING TRAINING SHOULD BE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED Nation-building can be applied to any military endeavor that is part of the development of a country's infrastructure. The concept of using the military in a nation-building role is not new, having been part of security assistance legislation and various programs since their inception following World War II. Since the concept generally applies to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, the Near East, and Latin America, military assistance cannot be thought of only in military terms: it must be thought of in economic and political terms as well. While the military plays almost no role in nation-building activities in Austria, South Korea, and Spain, the potential military role is much larger in Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru. U.S. and foreign officials we interviewed indicated that training the military in nation-building skills should be considered on a country-by-country basis. Furthermore, these officials said that IMET already provides the types of training that could be used by the military but that specific policies may have to be changed. U.S. officials also said that if nation-building training were 25 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II provided, it should be additional to and not in place of existing education and training. Desirability of Using the Military in Nation-Building U.S. officials generally considered using the military to develop nation-building skills desirable in Haiti and Peru but undesirable in Guatemala because of a tenuous civil-military relationship. Officials with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Information Service in Guatemala and Peru indicated that nation-building should be considered a civilian sector role and that their agencies should provide nation-building training. -- Both U.S. officials and high-ranking Guatemalan military officials stated that the military should not become extensively involved in the nation-building needed to improve the country's infrastructure. They stated that nation- building should be the role of the civilian government. However, these officials stated that the military could build roads and provide medical assistance in those areas where there was a guerrilla insurgency. According to these officials, this type of involvement would be based more on a counter-insurgent strategy than a nation-building strategy. A high-ranking U.S. military official said that because the Guatemalan military has very few military personnel and very little equipment in engineering and medical units, it is highly unlikely that the Guatemalan military would place a high priority on such training. Rather, the military will continue to place priority on training along current lines, that is, professional military education. -- U.S. officials and Haitian military officials agreed that it would be desirable for the military to attain the nation- building skills needed to improve the country's infrastructure. According to an Agency for International Development official, the civilian government's ability to fulfill its nation-building mission is limited to the capital city of Port-au-Prince. According to other officials, the military faces no external threats but does face internal opposition. These officials believed that the military could become a positive force in the country and its image would improve if it were used in nation-building. U.S. officials stated that while it may be desirable to use IMET to train the military in areas like engineering and medicine, this training would be wasted unless related equipment was also provided. They also pointed out that it might take a substantial amount 26 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II of aid to improve the military because Haiti is an extremely poor nation. -- U.S. officials in Peru said that while it might be desirable for the military to become involved in nation-building, it would be impossible because of current internal threats and economic conditions. Peru is being threatened by two violent groups intent on overthrowing the government and by drug traffickers. In addition, as one of the poorest countries in South America, Peru faces severe economic problems that affect the resources allocated to the military. U.S. officials said that Peru has previously trained personnel in skills that could be used in nation-building support. However, this training is currently being used to combat the insurgents. Feasibility of Usinq the IMET Program The IMET Program is not primarily designed to develop nation- building skills. However, components of nation-building skills have been offered through the IMET Program, including training in communications, electronics, maintenance, health care, logistics, and management. U.S. officials stated that if the IMET Program were to be redesigned to emphasize nation-building, several changes to existing policy would have to be made. Current policy emphasizes professional military education in the United States for officers who might reach positions of influence or prominence, particularly senior-level officers. Further, the current policy discourages the use of mobile training teams to train foreign military personnel in their own country because such training does not expose these personnel to the United States. According to training officials, if the program were to be refocused, more junior officer and enlisted personnel would have to be trained in technical fields such as engineering and medicine, and the use of mobile training teams would have to be increased because they could train greater numbers of personnel within a given time frame. U.S. officials stated that they would like to retain the current structure but expand it to accommodate the nation-building role. They also said that they did not want to see the current IMET programs reduced to focus on a nation-building mission. U.S. officials also indicated that other programs might complement the IMET Program in providing nation-building training. For example, training for U.S. National Guard units in 27 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II Guatemala during engineering and medical readiness exercises, commonly referred to as Title 10, might complement nation- building IMET. U.S. and foreign officials pointed out that nation-building training in poor countries is ineffective unless the country has resources to accompany it. For example, training in road building is not effective if the country has no bulldozers. Currently, the IMET Program does not provide equipment with training. OTHER PROGRAMSPROVIDE MILITARY TRAINING In the six countries we reviewed, a number of training programs have been provided to foreign military officials. For example: Be The Foreign Military Sales Program was used to train officials in Guatemala, Peru, South Korea, and Spain in courses that were also provided under IMET. The program's training objectives and goals are similar to those of IMET, except that the country pays for its own training. For example, Spain spent $4.8 million in fiscal year 1989 for training from the United States, mostly for pilot training. Also, Guatemala spent $23,477 in fiscal year 1988 for the training of an officer at the Army War College. me The United States sponsors a variety of exchange programs with other countries, mostly to establish military-to- military relationships, foster a mutual appreciation and understanding of policies and doctrines of the participating count ri es, and provide training for U.S. and foreign personnel. For example, the Personnel Exchange Program--a l-year or longer reciprocal exchange program--was used in Peru and Spain. At the time of our review, Peru exchanged four Army personnel in the infantry, armor, and field artillery units and the signal corps. Other positions were available for the Navy and Air Force. In addition, the Subject Matter Expert Exchange Program, which involves short-term exchanges of experts, was used in Guatemala and Peru. In Guatemala, two U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General officers were exchanged with two Guatemalan officers when Guatemala was beginning to establish its own Judge Advocate General corps. -- Reciprocal unit exchange programs are similar to the personnel exchange programs. The intent is to provide host- nation personnel with experiences in the United States and to provide U.S. personnel with experiences in foreign nations. Guatemala, Peru, and Spain have reciprocal unit exchange programs with the United States. For example, a special 28 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY The objectives of our review were to (1) describe how IMET programs in selected countries were planned and determine the extent to which they complied with established policies and procedures during planning, (2) determine how program implementation compared with approved plans and programs and verify that any changes complied with established policies and procedures, (3) describe how the State and Defense Departments evaluated the program's success in meeting program objectives, and (4) determine whether SAO officials monitored the use of IMET graduates. We performed our review at the following locations: -- Departments of State and Defense, including DSAA, Army, Air Force, and Navy, Washington, D.C.; -- Inter-American Air Forces Academy, Homestead Air Force Base, Miami, Florida; -- U.S. Army School of the Americas and the Infantry Officer School, Fort Benning, Georgia: -- U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, West Germany; -- U.S. Pacific Command, Honolulu, Hawaii: -- U.S. Forces, Caribbean, Key West, Florida; and -- U.S. Central Command, Tampa, Florida. In addition, we interviewed officials from the Southern Command. We also obtained detailed information on the IMET Program and other military and civilian training programs in six countries: Austria, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, South Korea, and Spain. In Washington, we obtained information on U.S. foreign policy and IMET Program objectives and training courses provided. We also analyzed IMET policies and regulations, studies, and information on the number of students and funding levels for the six countries we visited. At the European and Pacific Commands, we interviewed officials to determine the Commands' roles and responsibilities in IMET management and analyzed policies and procedures, studies, and other information related to program management. At four Unified Commands, we attended the fiscal year 1991 Command training workshops to observe how training programs for 28 countries were reviewed and approved. 31 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III In each country, we interviewed officials from the U.S. embassy and SAO and military officials in the country's Ministry of Defense to obtain information about program management. We also discussed with these officials and IMET graduates their views on the program's benefits and shortcomings. We analyzed planning documents, training files and correspondence, detailed training lists, Inspector General reports, and other documents to determine how the training programs were managed during fiscal years 1988 and 1989. In Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru, we obtained the views of U.S. and country officials on the desirability and feasibility of emphasizing nation-building training in the program. At each of the schools, we interviewed instructors, students, and other officials to determine how IMET participants were exposed to U.S. values, including human rights. We also analyzed lesson plans for courses that were taken by IMET students. We performed our work between September 1989 and May 1990 in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. 32 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II forces unit from Peru trained with a U.S. special forces unit at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Peruvian unit received training in small unit tactics and patrolling. -- The Latin American Cooperation Program is a short-term training program in which military personnel from Latin American countries are sent to the United States for a 2- or 3-week period. The program, funded through the military departments, is designed to enhance military-to-military relationships. Guatemala and Peru both received program funds to send personnel to various types of training. For example, Guatemalan officers were sent to a U.S. training facility for a series of seminars that focused on logistics management concepts and practices. The goal of the seminars was to promote sound logistics practices and familiarize participants with U.S. logistics systems. we The United States participates in a variety of joint or U.S.- sponsored exercises. For example, the United States annually participates in large joint exercises with South Korea that are designed to promote interoperability by practicing wartime skills and developing operational planning skills. A U.S. exercise program, called Deployment for Training, gives U.S. troops an opportunity to train on foreign soil. Training can last from 15 to 45 days. Other examples are a special forces light infantry training exercise that occurred in February and March 1989 and a training exercise, funded through Title 10, for U.S. National Guard and reserve units in medical and engineering readiness, both in Guatemala. As a side benefit, host-country forces received on-the-job or observer training. -- The Inter-American Geodetic Survey, which is part of the Defense Mapping Agency, provided U.S.-funded training to Guatemala and Peru. The Defense Mapping Agency relocated its school from Panama to the continental United States in 1989. Training, which is given in Spanish, is related to map-making, a skill used by the host country for both military and nation- building purposes. Seven Guatemalan students were trained in four mapping courses in 1989. U.S. officials stated that these programs are used to complement U.S. objectives in one or more of the countries we reviewed. They also said that these programs are not designed to be alternatives to the IMET Program. 29 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II CIVILIAN PROGRAMSPROVIDE TRAINING The U.S. Information Service and the Agency for International Development provide a variety of training programs. Although military personnel can participate in some of them, the primary focus is on training civilians. Training programs offered by the U.S. Information Service include the Fulbright Scholarship Program, which provides funding for students to obtain masters' degrees at U.S. universities, and the International Visitors Program, through which foreign personnel are brought to the United States for training or exposure to a specific activity or event. For example, during fiscal years 1988 and 1989, seven Haitians were brought to the United States under the Fulbright Scholarship Program to obtain graduate degrees in engineering, water conservation, and other nation- building skills. The U.S. Agency for International Development training programs include the Central American and Andean Peace Scholarships, which allow poor individuals from the Central American and Andean ridge countries to be trained in a specific skill in the United States and to be exposed to U.S. values. Nearly 1,300 Guatemalans were brought to the United States during fiscal year 1989 for training under the Central American Peace Scholarship Program. Training areas included primary health care and nutrition, business management, improvement of rural teaching methods, nontraditional exports, agricultural science, computer science, and engineering. Officials from the U.S. Information Service and the Agency for International Development stated that their programs were designed for civilian rather than military training. They said that their programs therefore could not replace the IMET Program. 30 APPENDIX IV APPENDIX IV MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION. WASHINGTON, D.C. Charles A. Schuler, Assistant Director Ronald D. Hughes, Evaluator-in-Charge Robert E. Sanchez, Evaluator EUROPEAN OFFICE Jeffrey K. Harris, Site Senior Patrick E. Gallagher, Evaluator FAR EAST OFFICE Peter Konjevich, Regional Assignment Manager Richard W. Meeks, Site Senior Judith A. McCloskey, Evaluator (465293) 33
Security Assistance: Observations on the International Military Education and Training Program
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-06-14.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)