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.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretaries of State and Defense should: (1) define the tasks to be performed for each primary function under the act; (2) make manpower surveys to determine optimal staffing and to identify tasks that must be performed incountry by MAAG personnel; (3) transfer all tasks which do not have to be performed incountry by MAAG personnel to host-country personnel or state-side program managers; (4) submit plans for eliminating tasks performed incountry by MAAG personnel to Congress for its approval; (5) reemphasize to host countries the necessity for establishing procurement offices in the United States; and (6) study the feasibility of using contractors or U.S. civilian personnel to perform advisory and training tasks requiring more than 2 years to complete.


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