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WEEKLY MONITOR


October 28, 2019

Security Assistance in Focus: Tunisia's Tier 1 Counterterrorism Company 

Security Assistance Monitor, November 2019


SAM is happy to present its latest installment of the Security Assistance in Focus Series, profiling the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Section 333 Building Partner Capacity support to Tunisia’s Tier 1 Counterterrorism Company. 

Since the 2010 Tunisian revolution, the U.S. has invested heavily in military aid to the small North African country. Considered one of the bright spots of the Arab Spring, U.S. security assistance has sought to minimize the impact of growing regional instability and conflict spillover from neighboring Libya on Tunisia's young democracy. 

Between FY2011 and FY2019, Tunisia was the 6th largest non-regional recipient of the Department of Defense's consolidated train and equip authority, an especially surprising placement given the country's small 14M population. The $4,640,000 profiled in this series is only a portion of the entire package provided to Tunisia through Section 333 in FY2019, which amounted to $15,470,000.   

The package in this series covers portions of the defense equipment, maintenance, and training provided to the Tier 1 Counterterrorism Company. For a closer look, check out the factsheet and our website.

In addition, check out our data fact below for more info on U.S. security assistance to Tunisia. 
 

SAM in the News

 

Putin Just Took a Victory Lap in the Middle East. Now He's Turning to Africa 

CNN, October 25, 2019

SAM's data is cited in this article discussing the Russia's growing influence in Africa after they have signed military-technical cooperation agreements with more than 30 countries on the continent. 
 

Security Assistance News & Research Roundup


News & Blog Posts

 

U.S. House Advances Bill Imposing Sanctions on Turkey Over Syria 

Al Jazeera, October 30, 2019

In response to Turkey’s military operations against the Kurds in northeastern Syria, the House of Representatives has approved a bill prohibiting arms transfers to Ankara if the weapons could be used in Syria and imposing sanctions on other nations selling weapons to Turkey. 
 

Turkey Contemplates Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets, but Issues Abound

Ahval, October 28, 2019

Turkey is contemplating buying Russian fighter jets after Ankara’s removal from the US’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program over its purchase of Russian defense missiles. The Russians might give Turkey a new loan that could cover up to about 50-60 percent of the aircraft’s cost. 


A Major Potential Scandal Just Hit the UK Government Involving it Arms Sales to Turkey

The Canary, October 28, 2019

As Turkey faces accusations that it used white phosphorus against civilians in its attack on northern Syria, the UK government is involved in a potential scandal that claims past arms sales between the two included numerous licenses for phosphorus products.
 

Taiwan's Parliament Approves US$8.2bn Funding to Buy 66 US F-16V Warplanes

South China Morning Post, October 29, 2019

Taiwan’s parliament has approved a budget of $8.2 billion for 66 F-16V Fighting Falcon jet fighters from the United States. The vote comes as the U.S. House of Representatives foreign relations committee prepares to vote on a bill aimed at helping Taipei resist diplomatic pressure from Beijing.


Trump Administration Puts Indefinite Hold on Lebanon Aid

CNN, November 2, 2019

The Trump administration has indefinitely suspended military aid to support Lebanese Armed Forces, a source with knowledge told CNN.
 

 

 

Research, Analysis, and Opinion


 

Arms Sales are About Profit and Politics, Not Ethics 

OpenDemocracy, October 31, 2019

In this op-ed, Ramy Abdu argues that U.S. arms sales are about profit and politics, pure and simple, leading to a vacuum of ethics. He calls for the public to explore how tax dollars are being spent to enterprises that profit from selling dangerous munitions. 


Impeachment Backstory: The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, October 29, 2019

As the Trump impeachment inquiry has drawn attention to the nearly $400M in military aid withheld to Ukraine, Mariana Budjeryn sheds light on the nuclear dimension of U.S. security assistance to the region.


The U.S. Uses Aid to Lean on Foreign States — But Not Always With the Same Intentions or Results

Washington Post, November 2, 2019

This analysis looks at foreign financial assistance, such as military funding or trade benefits, and looks at 3 case studies to show there often doesn’t seem to be a consistent carrot or stick guiding the foreign policy decisions to withhold or deliver aid.

Data Fact of the Week:

Security Assistance to Tunisia Between FY2000 and FY2019


The data fact above illustrates the growth of U.S security assistance to Tunisia between FY2000 and FY2019.

The graphic clearly shows a substantial rise in assistance beginning in FY2011, jumping from the low millions to a peak of $141M in FY2017. 

To learn more about security assistance to Tunisia, check out our database as well as our latest factsheet on aid to Tunisia's Tier 1 Counterterrorism Company. 
 

From the U.S. Government

Defense Department: 


Major Arms Sale: Croatia - UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters

October 30, 2019

Estimated cost $115 million. 


Major Arms Sale: Japan - F-15J Aircraft

October 29, 2019

Estimated cost 4.5 billion.

 

Government Accountability Office

U.S. Assistance to Central America: Department of State Should Establish a Comprehensive Plan to Assess Progress toward Prosperity, Governance, and Security

October 28, 2019

GAO reviews $2.4 billion for 370 projects for northern triangle countries between 2013 to 2018, reporting mixed results for projects and little information on overall progress, and recommending the development of a more comprehensive plan.'
 

Congressional Notifications: 


S.2755 - A bill to require a report on the plan to secure the enduring defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

October 30, 2019

Introduced in the Senate. Read the first time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under Read the first time.


H.R.4862 - United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act

October 28, 2019

Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Upcoming Hearings


No relevant hearings at this time.

Upcoming Events


11/5: Building a Peace Regime on the Korean Peninsula, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies
11/7: Contesting the Indo-Pacific: Military Technology and the Shifting Offense-Defense Balance, hosted by the Stimson Center
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