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FY 2003 Security Assistance Budget 

The recently unveiled security assistance portion of the 2003 Federal Budget proposal confirmed that the struggle to preserve restrictions on military assistance, under siege since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, will be a long one.  Of greatest concern are the Bush Administration's requests for additional funding for the contentious Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) and significant increases in Foreign Military Financing.

Andean Counterdrug Initiative

The Bush Administration is requesting $731 million in aid, including military aid, to continue the ACI despite its failure to stem the flow of drugs into the United States and the Colombian government's failure to end the collusion between the Colombian armed forces and the paramilitaries, whose members are responsible for the majority of human rights abuses occurring in Colombia.  The aid would be used to fund, among other projects, a second, mobile Counter-Narcotics brigade. Announced only days after human rights advocates declared that the Colombian government had once again failed to satisfy human rights conditions placed on the distribution of security assistance, the request underscores the Administration's willingness to set aside human rights concerns to achieve other foreign policy objectives.

Equally as disturbing, the administration is requesting an additional $98 million in Foreign Military Financing to equip and train Colombian soldiers to protect the Cano-Limon pipeline.  Rebel attacks on the pipeline rendered it inoperable for most of last year and resulted in the spillage of 200,000 barrels of oil.  While the economic and ecological damage resulting from the attacks is deplorable, underwriting the formation of a brigade to protect the pipeline would be a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the prohibition against counterinsurgency assistance, and would open the door for deeper U.S. involvement in the civil war.

Foreign Military Financing and Military Training

The Presidential budget also signifies the continuation of the administration's expedient but short-sighted post-September 11th policy of trading weapons for support for U.S. anti-terrorism activities.  Since the Bush Administration declared its "War on terrorism," it has lifted restrictions on military aid and arms transfers to India, Pakistan and Azerbaijan, all of which are involved in ongoing, and potentially destabilizing and bloody, disputes with neighbors; removed Tajikistan from the list of countries ineligible to receive U.S. military aid and offered military assistance to regimes in Kenya and Turkey repeatedly criticized for committing or abetting human rights abuses. 

The 2003 budget would provide key "frontline states" in the "War against Terrorism " (India, Pakistan, Oman and Jordan) with significant increases in military aid.   Jordan would receive $198 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF), an increase of $123 million over last year.  The administration has requested $50 million each for India and Pakistan to purchase items that have the potential to strengthen their offensive capabilities, such as radars and spare parts for aircraft, despite the fact that tension between the historic adversaries threatens to boil over into open conflict.

In total, Foreign Military Financing increased by $457 million over last year, a whopping 12.5% jump.  Also out of step with past spending is the proposed funding for International Military Education and Training, which would increase substantially for yet another year in a row.  Should the Bush Administration get its way, in FY 2003 IMET funding will have risen by a full 27.5% since FY 2001.  So dramatic a rise in IMET funding, which had stayed at or below $50 million for years, suggests that the Administration is using military training as a carrot to secure the cooperation of key states in the "War against Terrorism".

Finally, the Administration requested $121 million for counterterrorism training and equipment for foreign governments.  Included in that request is a $52 million down payment on a Center for Anti-terrorism and Security Training (CAST) which would, when completed, train an estimated 7,500 American and foreign law enforcement personnel in "advanced anti-terrorism and security measures" annually.


Department of State Security Assistance Programs

(In millions of dollars)


FY 2001



FY 2002

FY 2003

Andean Counterdrug Initiative




Economic Support Fund




Foreign Military Financing




Peacekeeping Operations




Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining (NADR)




International Military Education and Training (IMET)




Int'l Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement




                                                                                                            Source: State Department

Details on Security Assistance Budget Request

  • Executive Office Budget Request for Security Assistance FY2003 February 4, 2002.
  • State Department International Affairs (Function 150) FY2003 Budget Request. Summary & Highlights: