The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)
directs, administers, and provides guidance to the DoD
Components and DoD representatives to U.S. missions, for the execution of
DoD SC programs for which DSCA has responsibility.
What is meant by Security Cooperation?
- The Department of Defense (DoD) broadly defines Security
Cooperation (SC) as those activities conducted with allies and friendly
Build relationships that promote specified U.S.
Build allied and friendly nation capabilities for
self-defense and coalition operations
Provide U.S. forces with peacetime and contingency
Who Manages the Security Assistance Details?
The U.S. Congress establishes the laws, authorizes
programs, appropriates funds, and has an oversight role in Security
principal legislated responsibilities fall to the Department of State (DoS)
and Department of Defense (DoD).
The Secretary of State provides continuous supervision nbsp;
and general direction for
Security Assistance, including determining whether what
Security Assistance programs a given country will have, as
well as their scope and content. The Secretary of Defense implements programs to transfer
defense articles and services on a government-to-government basis.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) is the
Department of Defense organization through which the Secretary
of Defense carries out
Security Assistance. Within
the Department of Defense, the Military Departments
and other implementing agencies manage individual country programs,
including the development of Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA),
and the delivery of defense articles and services under the
Letter of Offer and Acceptance.
Financial management of accepted
Letters of Offer and Acceptance is a responsibility of the Defense
Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
Usually a Security Assistance Organization (SAO), under
the direction of the chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission, conducts the
in-country management of each recipient nation's
Security Assistance programs.
Security Assistance Organization
provides this oversight in conjunction with its host nation
counterparts, the country team within the diplomatic mission, the
Regional Combatant Commander (COCOM) of the Unified Command, the Office
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), The Defense Security Cooperation
Agency, and the Military Departments.
How Does the Sale of Military items Operate?
Foreign Military Sales are managed and operated by
the Department of Defense on a no-profit and
no-loss basis. Countries and international organizations participating
in the program pay for defense articles and services at prices that
recoup the actual costs incurred by the United States. This includes a
fee (currently 3.8% of what the defense articles and/or services cost,
in most instances) to cover the cost of administering the program.
When defense articles and/or services are required, the requesting
country's representative provides a Letter of Request (LOR) to their
U.S. counterpart. Copies are sent to the Department of State Bureau of Politico-Military
Affairs and the
Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The original is furnished to the
Department of Defense Military
Department or other implementing Defense Agency that will prepare the
response in the form of a Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA).
What is Available Under the Security Assistance Programs?
Defense articles, including major defense systems,
subsystems, support equipment, repair parts, and publications are
available under Security Assistance.
Defense services, including training in U.S.
military schools or through mobile training teams, construction,
engineering, contract administration, program management, technical
support, and repair are also available. To encourage standardization and
interoperability among U.S. and Service Assistance countries, Foreign
Military Sales normally involves the
transfer of those articles that have been fielded by U.S. forces. While
sometimes available through Foreign Military Sales, nonstandard articles or services are
normally acquired commercially.
Under certain conditions, customers can elect to co-produce or
co-assemble defense articles in lieu of transfer. Also, defense articles
are occasionally leased to customers instead of sold.
What is the difference Between Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sale of U.S. Defense
Articles or Services?
In general, Letters of Assistance promote standardization (by providing customers with
defense articles identical to those used by U.S. forces), provide
contract administration services which may not be readily available
otherwise, and potentially help lower costs by consolidating Foreign
Military Sales buys
with U.S. purchases. Direct Commercial Sales allow the purchaser more direct interface
during contract negotiation (and likely more opportunity for firm-fixed
priced contracting), and acquire non-standard defense articles where
special requirements demand tailoring the articles to meet a particular