Military and Police Training

May 19, 2017

U.S. Training of Foreign Police and Soldiers

One of the purported benefits of this training is that it instills respect for human rights and democratic institutions. Yet the vast majority of U.S.-administered training courses do not include specific instruction in the human rights or humanitarian law obligations that soldiers must obey. Unfortunately, many of the government forces the U.S. has trained have poor human rights records.

  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: It is vital that the U.S. military mainstream human rights and humanitarian law into all foreign military and police training. Such instruction should be mandatory for all U.S. and foreign trainees attending courses, and it should be reinforced through operational exercises.
  • The Training Schools: The United States trains at least 100,000 foreign soldiers and police from more than 150 countries each year at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. Tens of thousands study in the United States at the approximately 275 known military schools and installations that provide training; the United States trains many more in their own nations through a variety of programs.
  • The U.S. Military: Who, Where and What Are They Teaching? It’s hard to know what kinds of skills and tactics are being conveyed to which foreign soldiers at the hundreds of military training schools within the United States, but it’s practically impossible to monitor U.S. military training activities abroad. An estimated half of all U.S. training of foreign troops takes place overseas, with U.S. soldiers training foreign troops from at least 150 countries annually.