The Obama Administrations' FY 2016 Request for Security Assistance

The Obama Administration’s FY 2016 Request for Security Assistance

Global and Regional Trends and Highlights 

Based on several U.S. budget documents released from February to March 2015, the Obama Administration has provided some detailed information and data on its FY 2016 request to Congress for security assistance – aid providing training and equipment to foreign military and police forces – around the world. It is now possible to provide a more complete picture of the administration’s request for security assistance. Whereas analysis on U.S. security assistance is often focused on State Department-funded programs, this fact sheet combines the State and Defense’s request for security assistance for FY 2016 for a review of the major global and regional trends for the upcoming year. 

Global Highlights

Combining the State and Defense Department’s FY 2016 requests, the administration seeks to provide at least $18.7 billion in security assistance worldwide, a 5 percent increase from FY 2015 and a 13.2 percent increase from FY 2014 (see Figure 1). State Department security assistance will flow through five programs while the Defense Department will fund its security assistance through 19 programs.1

Source: Security Assistance Monitor’s Military and Police Aid Database (www.securityassistance.org/data)

Notes: The State Department data excludes INCLE funding going to the judiciary, demand reduction and alternative crop production. Using the most recent year for which data is publicly available, the Defense Department data includes a total of $543 million in estimates, $72 million for FY 14 and $235 million for both FY 2015 and FY 2016. 

Within the administration’s request for FY 2016, there are several global trends worth highlighting:

  • The Defense Department is requesting $2.1 billion for the relatively new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF), which is a 61 percent increase over the amount Congress approved for FY 2015 ($1.3 billion);2
  • Compared to FY 2015, the Defense Department is requesting a 8 percent decrease in its Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, moving from $4.1 billion in FY 2015 to $3.8 billion in FY 2016;3
  • The State Department seeks a 60 percent increase in the total amount of Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Program (NADR) funds from $604 million in FY 2015 to $997 million in FY 2016;4
  • $1.7 billion is requested for the Defense Department’s Coalition Support Funds, which is the same as the amount allocated for FY 2015;5
  • The Defense Department is asking Congress for $529 million for its counterdrug and interdiction programs, which is a 2 percent decline from FY 2015.6

Regional Highlights

Similar to the last three fiscal years, 66 percent ($5.49 billion) of the State Department’s total FY 2016 request for security assistance would go to Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries (see Figure 3). A total $499 million (6 percent) would go to Latin America and the Caribbean and a total $410 million (5 percent) would go to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for FY 2016. Compared to FY 2013, the State Department’s request includes a 24 percent drop in security assistance to South Asia and a 16 percent decline in security assistance to SSA, while security assistance to East Asia and the Pacific would increase 45 percent and assistance to Europe and Eurasia would increase 2 percent.

Source: Security Assistance Monitor’s Military and Police Aid Database (www.securityassistance.org/data)

Notes: The State Department data excludes INCLE funding going to the judiciary, demand reduction and production of alternative crops. 

Within the State Department’s request for FY 2016, there are several sub-regional or country trends worth highlighting:

  • The State Department is requesting a 160 percent increase in Foreign Military Financing to Tunisia from $25 million in FY 2015 to $65 million in FY 2016, which help pay for its purchase of U.S.-supplied Black Hawk helicopters;7
  • Through the Peacekeeping Operations program, the State Department seeks $65 million for Syria to “continue the provision of non-lethal support to vetted units of the armed moderate opposition;8
  • After dropping 33 percent from FY 2014 to FY 2015, the State Department’s security assistance to East Africa continues its decline by 8 percent, from $187 million in FY 2015 to $172 million FY 2016;9
  • Of the total request for security assistance to Europe and Eurasia in FY 2016 ($264 million), an estimated 36 percent ($95 million) would go to just three countries: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine; and,10
  • Excluding estimated aid for the judiciary, demand reduction and production of alternative crops, the State Department’s request includes a 240 percent increase in International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) program aid to Central America from $55 million in FY 2015 to $187 million in FY 2016.11

Although the Defense Department is less transparent than the State Department on where its security assistance is going, it is possible to obtain a picture of some major global trends in its security assistance. For FY 2016, the Defense Department is requesting to spend an estimated 22 percent ($2.28 billion) of its total $10.42 billion in MENA countries (see Figure 5), which represents a 20 percent share increase over total aid levels for FY 2013. This increase also excludes $262 million slated for the Maghreb and the Sahel countries through the Counterterrorism Partnership Fund as it is not possible to separate how much funding is going to North African countries.12 There is also a significant increase in Defense Department assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa, from $112 million (1 percent) in FY 2013 to $1.13 billion (11 percent) in FY 2016.

Source: Security Assistance Monitor’s Military and Police Aid Database (www.securityassistance.org/data)

Notes: The Defense Department data includes a total of $2.4 billion in estimates for FY 2013 and $2.8 billion in estimates for FY 2016. Estimates are derived using the most recent year for which data is publicly available. When the accurate number is known for the global total but not regionally, the Monitor uses the percentage for the most recent year known to determine the estimate.

Within the Defense Department’s request for FY 2016, there are several subregional or country trends worth highlighting:

  • Formerly funded under the Counterterrorism Partnership Fund (CTPF), the Defense Department is requesting $600 million to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels through a Syrian Train and Equip Fund, which is a 20 percent increase over the $500 million authorized for Syria in FY 2015;13
  • The Defense Department is asking Congress to approve $150 million for Jordan through the CTPF to purchase 12 to 16 Black Hawk helicopters to build a “Border Security Quick Reaction Force” to combat ISIS;
  • Through its counterdrug and interdiction programs, it is estimated that the Defense Department is seeking to provide about $129 million to Latin America and the Caribbean, which is a 2.2 percent decline from the estimated levels in FY 2015;14
  • As part of the CTPF, the Defense Department plans to spend $47 million on the White House’s Security Governance Initiative (SGI) for six North and West African countries, which is aimed at improving security force systems, processes and institutions. This request is on top of the State Department’s request for SGI of $16.9 million; and,
  • The Defense Department is likely seeking about $88 million in Coalition Support Funds for Europe and Eurasia countries to support U.S. counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond for FY 2016.15

Conclusion

This fact sheet is intended to provide an overview of some of the major global and regional trends as proposed in the Obama Administration’s request for security assistance for FY 2016. As the administration’s request is the start of the congressional appropriations process in which there could be many changes and amendments to the request for security assistance, this fact sheet will be updated as new information becomes available.

A Note About the Fact Sheet

This fact sheet was prepared by the Center for International Policy’s Security Assistance Monitor program, which tracks and analyzes U.S. foreign military and police aid, training and arms sales worldwide. All of the data used in the Security Assistance Monitor’s databases are directly sourced from official U.S. government reports. For questions or information, please contact us at sam@ciponline.org

Footnotes

  1. For a list of these State and Defense Department programs, please go to the Security Assistance Monitor’s Military and Police Aid Database or its Programs page at www.securityassistance.org. 
  2. Defense Department, “Counterterrorism Partnership Fund,” Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, March 2015, online at http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2016/FY2....
  3. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/program/military/Afghanistan/2013....
  4. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/program/military/country/2013/201....
  5. Defense Department, “Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Overview,” Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), Page 7-3, http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2016/FY2... _Book.pdf.
  6. Defense Department, “Operation and Maintenance Overview: Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Estimates,” Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), Page 56, online at http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2016/fy2....  
  7. Security Assistance Monitor, U.S. Security Assistance to Tunisia, country profile, April 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/publication/country-profile-us-securit....
  8. State Department, Congressional Budget Justification, Foreign Operations Annex: Regional Perspectives,” Fiscal Year 2016, Page 193, online at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/238222.pdf.
  9. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/country/military/country/2013/201....
  10. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/country/military/country/2013/201....
  11. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/country/military/country/2013/201... ica%20and%20the%20Caribbean. 
  12. Defense Department, “Counterterrorism Partnership Fund,” Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/program/military/country/2013/201... 0and%20the%20Caribbean.
  15. Security Assistance Monitor, Military and Police Aid Database, accessed on April 22, 2015, online at http://www.securityassistance.org/data/program/military/country/2013/201...