2007 Foreign Military Training Report shows significant increase in training recipients

Latin America and the Caribbean

Over the weekend, the State Department uploaded the long-overdue Foreign Military Training and DoD Engagement Activities of Interest for FY 2007 and 2008 report to its website. This document was supposedly released in January 2008, but it took a year and a half and a lot of pestering to get it posted to the website. This Foreign Military Training Report is a joint report by the Department of Defense and the Department of State and is required by two laws: the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161). The first volume, which is submitted in an unclassified format, "provides the operational benefits to U.S. forces for these training and education programs and engagement activities; a description of each type of activity; a summary of all training provided along with the foreign policy justification for each country; country activity training lists; and explanations of the purpose for each training activity." Volume I of the Foreign Military Training Report is very useful to our project. We use the information presented in these reports to track the total number of United States training recipients in the region via different assistance programs. The report also provides us with the information necessary to keep track of courses, training locations, recipient units, and how much money the United States spent on each training program/course. As of now, the Just the Facts training database only reflects the number of training recipients for 2007, however we will soon have the rest of the details up-to-date. When it is, you can find it in the Training section of the Just the Facts database. The information we have gathered from the 2007 Foreign Military Training Report indicates a substantial increase in the number of U.S. training recipients from the previous years. In 2007, the United States trained 25,836 students from Latin America and the Caribbean, in comparison to 13,426 students according to the 2006 report (see our database for a country-by-country breakdown of training). This increase in training recipients can be seen throughout the region, however Colombia, Peru, and Brazil represent the most substantial increases in trainees between 2006 and 2007, with 6,731, 2,069, and 1,111 additional students, respectively. Of all of the programs that provide training in the region, the Section 1004 Counter-Drug Assistance program represented the most significant increase in 2007, with 14,803 students (12,603 of whom are from Colombia). Perhaps because of a change in reporting of students, the report registers a large increase in attendance at the Defense Department's Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, which offers courses to both civilians and military personnel from the region. Below are two trend graphs, showing the total numbers of trainees from 1999-2007. The first shows this trend by country, and the second by program, in order to give an idea of which countries receive the most training and which programs provide that training.