The US has established a program of Security Cooperation with foreign sovereign nations who share common interest and values to meet common defence goals. Island Consulting has learnt that the Security Programmes must be authorised by the US Foreign Assistance Act and, as amended, by the Arms Export Control Act to enable the Department of Defence, or commercial contractor, to provide defence services and articles in support of national policies and objectives.
The two key programs within the security cooperation brief are Foreign Military Sales and International Military Education and Training, (FMS & IMET). Business in Ukraine The FMF program is managed by the Department of Defence on a not for profit basis. The beneficial country in question has grant aid allocated which may be “spent” against the acquisition of US defence articles in support of security cooperation.
When required defence articles or services have been identified, in the end user country, the countries representative must provide a Letter of Request normally through the local US Embassy Office of Defence Cooperation representative.
The reply could be in the form of Price and Availability information or a Letter of Offer and Acceptance. If the requesting country accepts the LOA the US will then provide the material or services offered.
A wide range of articles may be requested through the FMF program including such things as; Electronic Defence Systems, Logistics systems, Support equipment, and training. Training in US military schools can also be available particularly where items being acquired are similar to those items being transferred through the FMF programme.
As a separate line of Defence Cooperation countries can be offered support for IMET International Military Education and Training, after making the appropriate request as for FMF.
US companies operating in the defence field can benefit their European business by taking advantage of these Cooperation programs and implementing IT and Defence systems supported by FMF.
It is interesting to see how the US Foreign Assistance is requested at the Congress level as this gives an idea of the priorities assigned to individual recipient nations.
If we limit our interest to Central and eastern Europe we can see that the mature Western nations are understandably not offered direct assistance, but the former Eastern European nations have accrued considerable benefit as they bring their Defence infrastructure and systems more in line with western standards. Typically Hungary, Poland and the Czech republic have been beneficial recipients but this has now moved in favour of countries such as Bulgaria, Romania the Ukraine and most recently Turkey.
By way of example Island Consulting understands that in 2005 Bulgaria received approval for $6.9m, Romania $29m and Ukraine $3m whilst Turkey received $33.7m.
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