Gov’t Report: State Dept. Antiterrorism Program Needs Improvement


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

by Jim Kouri

The Department of State’s (State) Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program’s objectives are to provide partner nations with counterterrorism training and equipment, improve bilateral ties, and increase respect for human rights.

State’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) provides policy guidance and its Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Office of Antiterrorism Assistance, (DS/T/ATA) manages program operations.

S/CT provides minimal guidance to help prioritize ATA program recipients, and S/CT and DS/T/ATA do not systematically align ATA assistance with U.S. assessments of foreign partner counterterrorism needs. S/CT provides policy guidance to DS/T/ATA through quarterly meetings and a tiered list of priority countries, but the list does not provide guidance on country counterterrorism related program goals, objectives, or training priorities.

S/CT and DS/T/ATA also did not consistently use country-specific needs assessments and program reviews to plan assistance. S/CT has established mechanisms to coordinate the ATA program with other U.S. international efforts to combat terrorism. S/CT holds interagency meetings with representatives from the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Treasury and other agencies as well as ambassador-level regional strategic coordinating meetings.

Upon inspection, the Government Accountability Office did not find any significant duplication or overlap among the various U.S. international counterterrorism efforts. State has made progress in establishing goals and intended outcomes for the ATA program, but S/CT and DS/T/ATA do not systematically assess the outcomes and, as a result, cannot determine the effectiveness of program assistance.

For example, although sustainability is a principal focus, S/CT and DS/T/ATA have not set clear measures of sustainability or integrated sustainability into program planning. State reporting on U.S. counterterrorism assistance abroad has been incomplete and inaccurate. S/CT has not provided a congressionally mandated annual report to Congress on U.S. government-wide assistance related to combating international terrorism since 1996. After 1996, S/CT has only submitted to Congress annual reports on the ATA program.

However, these reports contained inaccurate program information, such as the number of students trained and courses offered. Additionally, the reports lacked comprehensive information on the results of program assistance that would be useful to Congress.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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