Countering Overseas Threats
The U.S. National Security Strategy calls for a whole-of-government approach—including diplomacy and development as well as defense and intelligence capabilities—to counter overseas threats to the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests.
The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in efforts to counter overseas threats over the past decade. These efforts, led by the Departments of State and Defense and other agencies, have included providing assistance to enhance the capability of foreign partners to combat terrorist networks, counter violent extremism, and confront transnational criminal organizations. GAO has ongoing work and recently issued reports that examined and, where appropriate, made recommendations on the following:
- The use of security cooperation and security assistance, as well as development and other assistance, to counter terrorist and other transnational threats emanating from outside the United States;
- Oversight and accountability of billions of dollars in U.S. funds allocated for countering terrorist and other violent extremist groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Da’esh), Boko Haram, and al Qaeda and its affiliates al-Nusrah Front, al Shabaab, and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula;
- Vetting recipients of U.S. security assistance for human rights concerns and terrorist affiliations;
- Counternarcotics and other transnational security efforts in Central America and the Caribbean; and
- U.S. efforts to mitigate against terrorist and other threats to U.S. personnel overseas.
Key Terrorist Groups in Northwest Africa and Their Regions of Operation, 2009-2014
Examples of Military Systems Purchased by Egypt Using U.S. Security Assistance
Security Assistance Intended to Counter Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula That Was Never Shipped after Transfer to Yemeni Government
Source: Department of Defense. | GAO-15-685R
We have also issued restricted reports on a number of related subjects including the following:
- Syria: Results of U.S. Efforts to Vet Recruits to Form a New Syrian Force to Counter ISIS. GAO-16-277C. Published: March 31, 2016
- Security Assistance: U.S. Government Should Strengthen End-Use Monitoring and Human Rights Vetting for Egypt. GAO-16-244SU. Published: February 18, 2016
- Combating Terrorism: Steps Taken to Mitigate Threats to Locally Hired Staff, but State Department Could Improve Reporting on Terrorist Threats. GAO-15-458SU. Published: June 17, 2015
- Combating Terrorism: State Should Review How It Addresses Holds Placed During the Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Process. GAO-15-439SU. Published: April 21, 2015
- Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty: State Informs Congress of Russian Compliance through Reports and Briefings. GAO-15-318RSU. Published: February 25, 2015
Members of Congress, congressional staff, and federal government employees who have the appropriate clearances and an official need-to-know may request access to these reports at http://www.gao.gov/restricted/request-form. Members of the press or public should submit a Freedom of Information Act request.
GAO-16-368: Published: Apr 18, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 2016.
GAO-16-291: Published: Apr 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2016.
GAO-16-235: Published: Jan 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 2016.
GAO-16-223: Published: Jan 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 11, 2016.
GAO-15-684: Published: Jul 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2015.
GAO-15-685R: Published: Jul 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2015.
GAO-15-629: Published: Jun 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2015.
GAO-15-655T: Published: Jun 2, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2015.
GAO-15-493: Published: Apr 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2015.
GAO-15-259: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 2015.
GAO-15-279: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2015.
GAO-15-75: Published: Nov 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2014.
GAO-14-834: Published: Sep 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2014.
GAO-14-518: Published: Jun 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2014.
GAO-14-502: Published: Jun 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2014.
GAO-14-680T: Published: Jun 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2014.
GAO-14-448T: Published: Mar 13, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2014.
GAO-14-360: Published: Mar 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2014.
GAO-14-161: Published: Feb 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2014.
GAO-13-681: Published: Sep 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 2013.
GAO-13-771: Published: Sep 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 2013.