Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the management and oversight of the U.S. Special Operations Forces' overseas deployments to train with the armed forces and other security forces of friendly foreign countries, focusing on: (1) whether the Department of Defense (DOD) has implemented the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) program in accordance with legislation; (2) whether DOD and the Department of State are providing civilian oversight to ensure that JCET activities are consistent with U.S. foreign policy objectives in countries that GAO included in its review; and (3) how DOD is implementing recent legislation that restricts it from training with foreign forces involved in human rights abuses.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. To improve annual reporting to Congress on JCETs, the Secretary of Defense should issue guidance that provides criteria to use in determining whether JCETs are related to counterterrorism or counternarcotics and therefore need to be reported as such.|
|Department of Defense||2. To improve financial management and the accuracy of the reporting of JCET costs, the Secretary of Defense should issue guidance: (1) articulating the criteria for selecting the proper appropriation to charge for each JCET expense; (2) specifying that any such selection must be documented; and (3) clarifying that the selection must be consistently applied throughout the applicable fiscal year.|
|Department of Defense||3. The Secretary of Defense should set a milestone for the issuance of final guidance on these issues.|