Strategy, and Policy
MANY STATES INCREASINGLY rely on the United States for either the actual provision of security or the training and equipment necessary to perform security functions. While militaries historically have cooperated against a common adversary, the decline of interstate war and the rise of transnational threats have made the prospect of exporting security more compelling.1 Paul Collier argues that the role for advanced militaries of the world is “to supply the global public good of peace in territories that otherwise have the potential for nightmare.”2 Militaries conducting security assistance activities are rooted in the lessons of the Cold War, which taught that by providing for other countries' security, the United States could advance its trade agenda and prevent the emergence of military competitors. Likewise, countries protected by American security guarantees could focus on their own political and economic development while allowing the United States to solve their countries' security dilemmas. While world political systems did not quite “reach the end of history” in 1989, no peer competitors have emerged to challenge Western-oriented democratic–capitalist systems.3 However, weak countries are still threatened by internal instability and transnational forces, so the United States and its allies provide these countries the tools to improve regime security. Today, the United States provides security assistance to about 150 countries (see table 2.1).
Although the focus on providing for allies' security has been common since World War II, after the Cold War ended, the military's prominence in international affairs has greatly increased. Far from giving way to a peace dividend, transnational forces have produced less security. Weak states provide sanctuary for terrorists, pirates, drug traffickers, and criminal gangs who challenge state authority in many countries. Consequently, U.S. strategy has shifted from containment to engagement and has generated greater demand for the U.S. military to train other militaries to either supplement its force or serve as peacekeeping surrogates. As former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright put it, what was “the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't