The proliferation of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) has been of growing concern to the United States and other governments. The United States is pursuing a wide variety of activities internationally and domestically to address this threat. GAO was asked to assess efforts by (1) the State Department to control global proliferation of MANPADS, (2) the Department of Defense (DOD) to monitor end-use of U.S.-exported Stingers, and (3) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop technical countermeasures to minimize the threat of a MANPADS attack.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of State||Since multilateral forums lack mechanisms to monitor countries' implementation of their commitments to improve export controls over MANPADS, there are few means to assess the extent to which these commitments are helping to reduce worldwide MANPADS proliferation. Therefore, the Secretary of State should develop a strategy for working within these forums to establish mechanisms to monitor and report on (1) countries' implementation of their commitments and (2) the impact such implementation of commitments has on the flow of MANPADS to black and gray markets.|
|Department of Defense||Inadequate recordkeeping prevents DOD from knowing the disposition of its Stinger missile systems sold overseas. Therefore, the Secretary of Defense should establish standardized recordkeeping requirements for all U.S. organizations responsible for maintaining records on Stinger systems sold overseas.|
|Department of Defense||DOD's records on its Stinger missile system sales overseas are incomplete, unreliable, and difficult to find and retrieve. In addition, its records are divided among multiple organizations worldwide, and the quality and extent of the records varied widely among three security assistance organizations we visited. Therefore, the Secretary of Defense should establish a centralized electronic database to (1) consolidate the records of the U.S. Army, DSCA, and U.S. security assistance organizations in countries with Stinger missile systems to establish a baseline of the worldwide Stinger inventory and (2) track the inventory worldwide.|
|Department of Defense||Because DOD lacks Stinger inspection procedures, DOD officials overseas use inconsistent practices to perform Stinger inspections. Therefore, the Secretary of Defense should direct DSCA to issue standardized inventory and physical security inspection procedures for U.S. security assistance organization officials.|