Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on
U.S. training and assistance provided to foreign law enforcement
personnel, focusing on the: (1) legislative authority for providing
training and assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies and
personnel; (2) extent and cost of U.S. activities; and (3) opinions
of academic and legal experts on current U.S. assistance to foreign
police. GAO found that: (1) Congress enacted legislation in 1973
and 1974 that prohibited the use of foreign economic or military
assistance funds for police training and related programs in
foreign countries, but subsequently granted numerous exemptions to
permit assistance in some countries and in various aspects of
police force development, including material and weapons support,
force management, narcotics control, and counterterrorism tactics;
(3) the 1974 prohibition did not apply to the use of funds by other
such agencies as the Departments of Justice or Transportation to
train or assist foreign law enforcement personnel; and (4) although
some U.S. departments and agencies do not maintain data or
regularly report on the total extent or cost of assistance they
provide to foreign police, GAO identified 125 countries that
received U.S. training and assistance for their police forces at a
cost of at least $117 million. GAO also found that current and
former U.S. government officials and academic experts involved in
assisting foreign police forces stated that the U.S. government
lacks: (1) a clear policy on the role of U.S. assistance to police
forces in the new and emerging democracies; (2) clearly defined
program objectives; (3) a focal point for coordination and decision
making; and (4) a means for determining whether individual programs
and activities support U.S. policy.
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