Security assistance is an expensive tool of statecraft, even if it is just one component of a total foreign aid allotment that represents only about one percent of the total U.S. budget. In FY 2015, the tab totaled an estimated $16.8 billion. Security assistance includes all grant assistance programs through which the United States provides defense articles, military training, and other defense-related services. The United States uses this assistance not only to build the capacity of allies and partners, but also to try to shape their behavior. Though this latter effort often fails, recipients rarely suffer the consequences.
Read the full op-ed in Lawfare.