Management of Security Assistance Programs Overseas Needs To Be Improved

ID-78-27: Published: Apr 21, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1978.

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Military Assistance Advisory Groups (MAAG) have operated in foreign countries for many years to provide operational and tactical advisory and training assistance to host-country armed forces and to administer the grant aid program. The International Security Assistance Act of 1977, P.L. 95-92, specified changes in the operations of the groups to improve the overall management of the programs.

P.L. 95-92 had little, if any, direct effect on the scope and type of MAAG operations or on the direction and supervision provided by the Chiefs of U.S. Diplomatic Missions. The staff levels of certain groups were reduced, but their duties were unchanged. The Departments of State and Defense have not defined the primary functions to be performed by MAAG under the act or the duties and tasks for each function. Many of the tasks being performed by MAAG are procedural in nature and could be assumed by the host country, performed by security assistance program managers in the United States, or performed by teams sent to the country for limited periods. P.L. 95-92 imposed a manpower ceiling on the number of military personnel that could be assigned overseas to security assistance functions. Two of the 15 MAAG achieved apparent compliance by merely transferring personnel to technical assistance field teams which are not subject to the ceiling.

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