Since the September 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. government (USG) has used security assistance programs with partner nations to advance its counterterrorism (CT) objectives. These programs serve two main purposes: first, to build the capacity of partners, who are best positioned to address local security and governance challenges; and second, to incentivize actions in these areas and others that advance U.S. counterterrorism interests. The rationale underpinning this approach is that partners are not only best positioned to address certain security challenges, but also that burden sharing is essential if the United States is to avoid the type of overreach that can dilute its political and military power. Thus, these programs, although expensive, are intended to defray costs away from the United States, which learned from the Iraq and Afghanistan experiences that a counterterrorism strategy centered on a heavy American footprint is costly and politically unsustainable.
Goldenberg, Ilan, Alice Hunt Friend, Stephen Tankel, and Nicholas A. Heras. 2016. "Remodeling Partner Capacity: Maximizing the Effectiveness of US Counterterrorism Security Assistance." Center for a New American Security (November). http://files.cnas.org.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/CNAS-Report-RemodelingPartnerCapacity-Final.pdf