As available funds decline, DSCA anticipates greater interagency cooperation – including DoD, State, and the White House – to continue meeting the funding needs of partner nations least able to find alternative financing to buy U.S. military equipment and services. Closer work with partner nations to determine their needs as far in advance as possible also is seen as a key to FMF allocations in the years to come. And because circumstances – both domestically and internationally – can change quickly, DSCA also is working to improve program flexibility and notifications to Congress of changed priorities between budget request submissions, appropriations, and allocations.
FMF furthers U.S. interests around the world by training and equipping coalition partners and friendly foreign governments that are working to achieve common security goals and shared burdens in joint missions.
As with FMS and other DSCA programs, decision-makers require as much information as possible about partner-nation requirements and plans as early as possible – including all details needed to validate all aspects of funds requested for countries. The FMF budget request process starts with the recommendations by the Security Cooperation Office (SCO) at the U.S. Embassy in the partner nation. These data are then vetted through the cognizant Geographic Combatant Command, the Joint Staff, DSCA, and the DoD regional policy offices to produce a consolidated DoD recommendation. The DoD recommendation is submitted to the State Department, which conducts its own multi-level review process, which is ultimately submitted to OMB for approval and submission in the president’s annual budget request.
- Once FMF is approved by Congress, the State Department makes allocations decisions and notifies those to Congress. Once the notification process is complete, the funds are apportioned to country accounts managed by DSCA. Use of these funds is often limited by congressional or executive policy restriction. The SCO must ensure foreign governments are aware of U.S. policies and restrictions on the use of FMF. Examples of commodities that are restricted from FMF funding include:
- petroleum, oil, lubricants, and fuel
- resupply of small-caliber ammunition (i.e., .50 cal and below), other than for formal Department of State-funded training events or initial acquisition with new weapons systems
- office supplies
- routine clothing/uniform items, other than those necessary for coalition or peacekeeping deployments
- gym equipment (except for rehabilitation purposes)
- care of animals
- construction and refurbishment projects that are not integral to the provision of a broader package of military articles
- headquarters support services, including janitorial services, academic research, personal computers, printers, and accessories; generic software and software maintenance
- support for non-U.S.-origin equipment and systems
- national budget support, including salaries
- lease of defense articles
“FMF furthers U.S. interests around the world by training and equipping coalition partners and friendly foreign governments that are working to achieve common security goals and shared burdens in joint missions,” according to the State Department’s December 2013 financial report to Congress.
“While the greatest proportion of FMF … was allocated to Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Pakistan, the remaining funds were allocated strategically within regions to support ongoing efforts to incorporate the most recent NATO members into the organization, support prospective NATO members and coalition partners and assist critical coalition partners in Afghanistan.”
Because the use of FMF money is identified in advance, it is vital to ensure a foreign partner’s request for funding reflects long-term goals.
“If you want to do maritime security with a portion of the funds, it will be apportioned specifically for that,” Manville said. “It can be reapportioned, but has to go back through Congress to do so.”
FMF helps partner nations to buy defense articles and services from the United States.
One principal means of ensuring America’s security is through the deterrence of potential aggressors who would threaten the United States or its allies. By offering financing, through grants or loans, for the acquisition of U.S. military articles, services, and training, FMF is a major tool in supporting U.S. regional stability goals by enabling partner nations to meet their own legitimate defense needs and cementing cooperative bilateral military relationships and enhanced interoperability with U.S. forces.
FMF helps partner nations to buy defense articles and services from the United States. This funding enhances their commitment to buy from the United States, whose defense systems generally are more trusted than any competitors, as well as making them both business and strategic partners with the United States.
For further information on FMF, contact the SCO at the U.S. Embassy, visit the DSCA website, send an email to LPA-Web@dsca.mil or call 01-703-601-1646. n