CRS Report for Congress
Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) and
Human Rights: Background and Issues for
January 26, 1999
William C. Story, Jr.
National Defense Fellow
Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 allows U.S. special
operations forces (SOF) to train under the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET)
program in foreign countries, and does not prohibit training in nations where human rights
violations have been reported. Such training includes instructing host government military
units in lethal and nonlethal skills. Controversy has erupted over JCET missions in countries
whose militaries are suspected or known to have committed human rights abuses. This report
describes relevant legislation, SOF, JCET, alleged human rights abuses, and recent
congressional initiatives and discusses further options and issues. Other CRS reports dealing
with U.S. SOF or human rights include CRS report 93-72 S, Roles and Functions of U.S.
Combat Forces; CRS report 98-677F, Indonesia: U.S. Relations With the Indonesian Military;
and CRS report 98-152F, Columbia: The Problem of Illegal Narcotics and U.S. - Colombian
Relations. This report may be updated as events warrant.

Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) and
Human Rights: Background and Issues for Congress
Recent press articles describe U.S. special operations forces (SOF) training
under the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) program in countries where
human rights abuses have allegedly or actually taken place. Joint Combined Exchange
Training is carried out under provisions in 10 USC 2011. The law allows the
regional commanders and the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command
to pay for deploying and training U.S. SOF teams as long as the primary purpose of
the activity is to train the U.S. special operations forces. One of the primary
unconventional warfare / foreign internal defense missions of U.S. SOF is to train
other militaries. SOF uses JCET deployments to practice training foreign militaries.
10 USC 2011 requires the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) to submit an annual report
to Congress covering various JCET details.
The press and Members of Congress have expressed concern because of the
apparent contradiction between declared U.S. policy not to train foreign military
forces implicated in human rights violations -- supported by actions of Congress to
curtail military aid to such countries -- and the continued use of JCET deployments
to those countries to train U.S. SOF. Under JCET, SOF teams have trained foreign
units that subsequently were accused of being involved in human rights abuses. Three
countries of particular concern are Indonesia, Colombia, and Rwanda. As long as the
SOF received the primary benefit, the training was legal. Unlike other forms of
foreign aid, military assistance, and military training, the funding for JCET comes
from the Defense Department budget because JCET is a DOD training activity.
In addition, press reports and Members have complained about the perceived
lack of civilian oversight in planning, approving, and monitoring these training
operations. The Department of State, Department of Defense, U.S. ambassadors,
Congress, and host nation governments are involved in JCET oversight. Whether
existing (pre-FY99) mechanisms provided adequate oversight is in question.
Congress has taken steps to enact legislation to bring JCET more into alignment
with policies and establish more stringent oversight. The Leahy Amendment to the
Department of Defense FY1999 Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-262) prohibits the U.S.
military from training with human rights abusers (unless waived by the Secretary of
Defense). Two other bills in the 105 Congress, the Security Assistance Act of 1998th
(S.2463) and the International Military Training and Accountability Act (H.R.3802),
would have banned all forms of U.S. military training to countries ineligible for the
international military education and training (IMET) program. One other bill, the
International Military Training Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R.4874),
would specifically ban JCETs for countries under IMET restrictions.
Several alternative courses of action and additional issues remain. Balancing
national security issues and human rights policies may require difficult choices and
uncertain trade-offs.

Introduction ................................................... 1
Background .................................................... 2
Special Operations Forces.....................................2
Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET)........................4
Authority .................................................. 4
Benefits ................................................... 6
Disadvantages .............................................. 7
Other U.S. Military Assistance Programs..........................7
Approval Process and Civilian Oversight..........................8
Congressional Concerns..........................................11
Specific JCET and Human Rights Issues in Selected Nations..........12
Indonesia ............................................. 12
Colombia ............................................. 14
Rwanda .............................................. 16
Other Nations.........................................17
Policy Conflicts............................................18
Recent Legislative Initiatives......................................19
Leahy Amendment..........................................19
Security Assistance Act of 1998 (S.2463)........................20
International Military Training and Accountability Act (H.R.3802)......20
International Military Training Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R.4874)
.................................................... 20
Further Options................................................21
Issues ....................................................... 22

Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET)
and Human Rights:
Background and Issues for Congress
Congress is concerned over special operations forces (SOF) training in countries
with alleged human rights violations. One program, Joint Combined Exchange
Training (JCET), has been the subject of particular scrutiny. Press reports allege U.S.
SOF teams trained foreign units under the JCET program that either previously, or
after receiving JCET training, committed human rights violations within their own
borders or in neighboring countries.
Recent press articles focus on JCET intent and oversight. Some Members of
Congress question the value of JCET deployments to the U.S. military, suggesting the
actual benefits are somewhat “vague and evasive.” One issue is whether or not the1
SOF units receive enough training to justify the expenditures. A related issue centers
on the real intent of the JCET exercise deployments: are they for the benefit of U.S.
special operations forces or actual training for the host military?
Some Members believe the DOD is disregarding Congress’s intent, and that the
State Department should be more actively involved. To those Members, it appears
that JCET functions as a military assistance program without proper foreign policy
coordination, with little U.S. benefit, and with major foreign policy impact.2
Allegations have surfaced that there is little effective oversight by the U.S. or host
nation governments in the JCET planning and execution process. Furthermore, it is3
charged that the JCET program is not monitored well enough by senior foreign policy
officials. Clearly there is confusion about JCET, its intent, and scope.4
This report examines JCET background, reviews congressional concerns,
addresses recent legislative and DOD initiatives to refine and realign JCET approval
and reporting, and notes additional options and issues for congressional consideration.

Dana Priest, “Special Forces Training Review Sought,” Washington Post, July 15, 1998, p.1
Security Assistance Act of 1998, Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate Report S.R. 105-2

333, p. 9.

Peter Hakim, “US-Latin Military Exchanges: Don’t Forget Civilian Control,” Christian3
Science Monitor, July 23, 1998, p. 11.
Priest, Washington Post, July 15, 1998, p. A25.4

Special Operations Forces
U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are structured and organized as a unified
command, the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), headquartered at
MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Each theater commander in chief (CINC) has his
own special operations command (SOC) for planning, scheduling, and coordinating
special operations within his theater. Usually, the SOC has operational control of
theater SOF. Executive oversight of SOF policy and resources is vested in an
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict
Special operations forces include forces from the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Although the Marine Corps possesses units tasked and capable of performing special
operations, no Marine units are dedicated solely to 10 USC 2011 activities and5
therefore do not conduct any training under JCET guidelines. SOF tasks demand a
spectrum of qualifications, ranging from rigorous physical conditioning and combat
skills to language proficiency and instructor abilities. SOF teams often work in small
groups, behind enemy lines, or in the midst of a foreign population, requiring language
proficiency. They tend to be self sufficient and flexible in countries where indigenous
groups may have a hostile reaction to a large visible U.S. conventional presence, or
in nations in which a larger presence might create controversy back home in the
United States.6
Special operations forces are designated by the Secretary of Defense and
specifically organized, trained and equipped to conduct and support special
operations. Characteristically, SOF operations are low-cost and low-visibility, with7
potentially high-payoff returns. SOFs apply their unique skills to attain political,
economic, military, or psychological objectives in peace or war. Special operations8
are designed to “achieve military, political, economic, or informational objectives by
unconventional military means in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas. These
operations are conducted across the full range of military operations, independently
or in coordination with operations of conventional, non-special operations forces.
Political-military considerations frequently shape special operations, requiring
clandestine, covert, or low visibility techniques and oversight at the national level.
Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and
political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from
friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous

USSOCOM Public Affairs Plans and Operations.5
Dana Priest, "Free of Oversight, US Military Trains Foreign Troops," Washington Post, July6

12, 1998, p.A01.

Joint Pub 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 237
March 1994, as amended through 10 June 1998, p.404.
John Collins, “Roles and Functions of US Combat Forces: Past, Present, and Prospects,"8
CRS Report 93-72 S, January 21, 1993, p. 45.

assets.” Their work with indigenous forces is a unique hallmark of SOF; if they can9
successfully organize and train indigenous forces to fight a common enemy, SOF
effectively open a second front and reduce or preclude use of U.S. conventional
The SOF principal missions and collateral activities listed below demonstrate the
wide range of skills needed by SOF and the requirement for diverse training
conditions. Practice and proficiency in these numerous missions place a premium10
on realistic training opportunities. JCETs can provide opportunities to train in
different skills including practice teaching among indigenous, foreign forces.
SOF principal missions:
! Counter-proliferation
!Combating terrorism
!Foreign internal defense (training host nation to counter insurgency,
lawlessness, and subversion)
!Strategic reconnaissance (assessing capability, intent, geography, and battle
!Direct action (including hostage rescue)
!Psychological operations
!Civil affairs
!Unconventional warfare
!Information operations
SOF collateral activities include:
!Coalition support
!Combat search and rescue
!Counterdrug activities
!Humanitarian demining activities
!Humanitarian assistance
!Peace operations
!Security assistance11

!Special activities (as directed by higher authority)
Joint Pub 1-02, p.404.9
Previously, SOF mission statements included "nation building" to preclude U.S.10
involvement. That term is no longer used, but the intent to preclude U.S. involvement is
inherent in the overall SOF mission. The current African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI)
is one example. (Source: USSOCOM Public Affairs) By teaching local militaries and agencies
to deal with problems and crises, the U.S. hopes to avoid a larger commitment of personnel
and resources.
United States Special Operations Forces Posture Statement 1998, pp. 3-4. See also Annual11
Report to the President and the Congress, William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense, 1998,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Chapter 4.

Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET)
Joint U.S. exercises provide limited opportunity for SOF teams to obtain the
training they need. Exercise scenarios, participants and environments do not
adequately simulate an undeveloped host nation, its government, military, or
infrastructure. The Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) program was
specifically designed to meet U.S. special operations forces training needs. The JCET
program enables U.S. SOF to practice one of their essential missions: training other
militaries to conduct operations. SOF teams train foreign units in both military and
non-military skills, commensurate with the list of missions delineated above. But
conditions vary widely from country to country, with only the barest resources in
some countries, or a poorly organized military in another. These variations mean the
SOF teams need to have practice adapting their methods of instruction in less than
ideal situations and environments. They are training themselves to train other units
in a variety of conditions.
The primary reason JCET exists is to train our own forces to be better
instructors; it also provides them opportunities to practice their foreign language skills
and become familiar with cultural differences between the United States and the
participating countries. Although JCETs are not a designated intelligence collection
operation, the SOF teams do gather information and learn the local terrain, climate,
and unique geography while building a regional perspective and orientation. More
importantly, SOF teams learn the way specific foreign militaries organize and operate.
They learn who the leadership is and how to work with that military's command and
control structure.12
U.S. SOF teams conduct JCET missions in over 100 countries. They are an
important part of the U.S. post-Cold War policy of engagement. According to DOD,
JCETs help advance national interests by fostering respect for human rights and by
preparing U.S. forces to perform emergency evacuations. For example, after the May
1997 coup and military takeover of Sierra Leone, the successful evacuation of 2,500
civilians was assisted by SOF that previously conducted JCETs there and in the
region. They were familiar with unique problems and challenges on the ground.13
The authority for JCET exercises derives from U.S. Code, Title 10. Section
2011 gives the commander of USSOCOM and the regional CINCs the authority to
spend money and send SOF teams overseas to train with foreign military units if the
primary purpose of the deployment is to train U.S. SOF. The law also allows for some
defrayment of expenses for the host nation government.
Pertinent Senate committee discussion recognized the need for SOF to practice
training, because training other militaries encompasses so much of what they do.

M2 Presswire-16 July 1998-U.S. DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M212
Communications Ltd. RDATE:140798 2:10 PM.

SOF practice training in internal defense and unconventional warfare in countries
where they may have to fight or train local units again in a contingency. The
provision recognized JCET training would benefit the local militaries, and that
consequence was labeled "indirect" and "unavoidable." The primary purpose of14
using USSOCOM and other combatant commands' operations and maintenance funds
for JCET training was to ensure U.S. SOF received this type of training.
When Congress mandated the JCET program, it exempted participating special
operations forces training overseas from restraints imposed on conventional military
forces that exercised with foreign militaries. Funding for JCET comes from DOD15
accounts, and therefore is not subjected to legislative restrictions imposed by foreign
aid appropriations acts. Prior to FY1999, JCETs were not legally subject to the
human rights restrictions placed on other U.S. programs. JCET teams trained in
countries denied other U.S. military exchanges. From the annual Report on16
Training of Special Operations Forces, April 1, 1997, for the Period Ending
September 30, 1997, it appears that most JCET deployments complied with
congressional intent, did not contradict other U.S. policies, and served to benefit U.S.
special operation forces. Other JCETs reportedly have exceeded U.S. SOF training
requirements, by focusing on the recipient host nation military needs, training them
in areas such as counternarcotics and counterinsurgency techniques, in exchange for
access to top foreign officials and to boost U.S. influence in that nation and region.1718
The total cost for JCET in FY1997 was $15.2 million. This funding was
approved as part of the USSOCOM operations and maintenance budget. Unlike
IMET or other programs that are approved as line items individually by country,
JCET funding is taken out of the larger USSOCOM budget as required. Without
congressional approval of funding for JCETs on a line item or country basis, some
critics see a lack of civilian oversight. Journalists' reports suggest training
arrangements are made between U.S. SOF and foreign militaries, without host nation
governments or ambassadors input into the JCET event. As a result, reports further19
allege, under JCET, SOF teams have trained in countries with human rights problems
or that are engaged in active conflicts, such as Indonesia and Colombia.20
Consequently, JCET has been characterized by some as "not well monitored" and as
"out of step with the broader foreign policy" of support for human rights.21

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 Report (S.1507),14
Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, S.R. 102-113, p. 297.
Hakim, CSM, July 23, 1998, p. 11.15
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.17
Hakim, CSM, 23 Jul, 1998 p. 11.18
Priest, Washington Post, July 15, 1998, p. A2520

In addition to practicing teaching skills, SOF teams accrue other benefits from
JCET deployments. The military asserts it gains familiarity with nations in which SOF
teams may have to evacuate U.S. citizens and embassy personnel, give emergency
humanitarian assistance, or engage in combat. These forces pass on their human
rights values, respect for civilian leadership, and their professionalism--all key
ingredients to engaging militaries abroad.
According to DOD, JCET opportunities are critical to U.S. SOF. ASD SO/LIC
is the primary Department of Defense point of contact for counter terrorism.22
Important benefits claimed include language practice; exposure to diverse cultures,
topography, and weather; and host military organization, readiness and capability.
Also, for operations such as counter terrorism, it is important to have established
contacts; known map accuracy; and routes in and out of contentious areas. JCETs
forge abilities to work harmoniously with foreign groups that give special operations
forces a marked edge over conventional forces when circumstances demand "regional
orientation and political and cultural sensitivity. "We consider JCET an important23
program because it allows us to train in different areas of the world and to learn how
other militaries operate," said Pentagon spokesman Kenneth H. Bacon. Forces learn,
teach, and practice important skills. One of those skills is hostage rescue.24
Secretary of Defense William Cohen has also stressed JCET importance: "JCETs
are the backbone of training for Special Operations Forces, preparing them to operate
throughout the world... In those areas where our forces conduct JCETs, they
encourage democratic values and regional stability. In the future, we can expect our
forces to confront threats posed by an increasingly diverse set of actors, placing a
premium on the skills or forces developed in JCETS."25
DOD maintains that JCETs benefit U.S. SOF in another way. Some units are
stationed in countries where they cannot train in some missions. Certain types of
training that are too sensitive in one country can, as a JCET, be moved to another
country. Parachuting may be moved from Japan to Thailand due to restricted airspace
and noise sensitive areas, controversial urban warfare exercises may be moved from
the United States to Singapore, Lithuania, or India. SOFs have the opportunity for
jungle tracking in Malaysia; and noisy night low altitude flying is moved from England
to mountainous and sparsely populated Morocco. By planning them as a JCET to26

John M. Collins, Special Operations Forces: An Assessment, Washington D. C., National22
Defense University Press, April 1994, p. 27.
Annual Report to the President and the Congress, William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense,23

1998, U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 51.

"Colombia - Troops Receive Training From US," Periscope Daily Defense News Capsules,24
May 26, 1998.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.25

train the local forces in some skill, the U.S. SOF teams appear to gain access to
training areas that they otherwise would not have.
JCET builds contacts with foreign military leaders and encourages respect for
human rights by host militaries; but a SOF team has no control over the foreign unit’s
behavior after it leaves. JCET training doesn't necessarily change a host military’s
behavior. Therefore, Members of Congress have raised questions about the benefits27
claimed by U.S. SOF, especially when compared to the abuses ascribed to some of the
foreign militaries that have received JCETs.28
Another disadvantage is that JCETs sometimes appear to be part of a larger
policy framework for the countries in which they are conducted. This appearance can
confuse and cast doubt that the primary JCET purpose is to train U.S. SOF.
Advocates of JCET have clouded the issue further, raising congressional concerns.
H. Allen Holmes, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low
Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC), called SOF a "force multiplier and a diplomacy
multiplier." Senior U.S. military officers have been cited as referring to JCETs as:29
a way to shape the environment for CINCs as well as train U.S. troops; a "political
card;" "a direct instrument of U.S. foreign policy;" "the most direct and most
involved, tangible, physical part of U.S. foreign policy in certain countries;" and a
"leading force" exerting U.S. influence overseas. While these statements may have30
been intended to emphasize how JCETs support U.S. policy, such statements have
been interpreted to mean that the benefits of SOF presence transcend training and
represent an independent tool of policy making. These statements make it appear that
JCETs are not clearly defined or the military is in fact forging policy. "For this
reason, the [Senate Committee on Foreign Relations] has included the requirement
for a one-time report by the Secretary of State detailing the steps taken to ensure that
all U.S. foreign military education and training activities are being conducted in
accordance with the foreign policy objectives of the United States."31
Other U.S. Military Assistance Programs
The House International Relations and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees
authorize many overseas programs and activities. The committees authorize funding
for foreign aid, arms sales, deployment of mobile training teams, and training of

Lynne Duke, "Africans Use Training in Unexpected Ways," Washington Post, July 14,27

1998, p. A01.

Priest, Washington Post, July 15, 1998, p. A25. For example, Rep. Christopher H. Smith,28
Chairman, House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, reportedly
said the benefits of JCET to the U.S. military were vague and evasive enough "as to be
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p.A01.29
Senate Report 105-333, [to accompany S.2463], 105 Congress, 2d Sess., p. 9.31th

foreign military officers in the U.S. The committees monitor the conduct of foreign
policy and restrict or relax aid to countries, including military cooperation, economic
sanctions for human rights abuses, support of terrorism, or proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction (WMD).32
The most familiar U.S. military assistance programs are the international military
education and training (IMET) program, foreign internal defense (FID), and foreign33
military sales (FMS). IMET consists of funding for instruction to foreign military
students, units, or forces as a non-reimbursable grant by the U.S. armed services or
its contractors. IMET content may include correspondence courses, technical or
educational publications, and other media. Expanded IMET (E-IMET), consists
largely of classroom training for civilian officials and senior military leaders on
controlling budgets and running a defense establishment. FID focuses on the civilian
and military agencies of a government. FID helps train these agencies and assists
them in establishing programs that are designed to free and protect the society from
subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency. IMET and FID are paid for by the United
States. FMS, on the other hand, is part of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as
amended, and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as amended. FMS requires the
recipients to reimburse the United States for all defense supplies and training they
receive. In all three programs--IMET, FID, and FMS--the receiving nation's needs are
important factors in determining the content of the program.
Three differences set JCET apart from the U.S. military assistance programs
above. In contrast to IMET, E-IMET, FID, or FMS, the JCET program: 1) primarily
concerns U.S. SOF; 2) uses a different funding source controlled by DOD; and 3) is
intended primarily to train and benefit U.S. SOF not the foreign military forces. Of
note, elements of FID are in high demand as JCET training. This may be a cause of
concern because FID supports domestic agendas of host governments, and normally
implies some level of internal threat or active insurgency. An active34
counterinsurgency program would require congressional approval to train and
Approval Process and Civilian Oversight
JCETs begin with a request by a SOF unit (to meet a mission essential task list
training requirement), a combatant CINC, or a host nation military or government.
A U.S. ambassador may also request a JCET. USSOCOM and the theater CINCs
determine feasibility, SOF unit availability, and the need for the specific proposed or
requested training. The theater special operations commands obtain concurrence
from the appropriate embassies and request from them any known human rights abuse

Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.32
Foreign internal defense is not a specific program and does not have a budget unless it has33
been identified for a particular nation. FID is a SOF mission. FID is normally executed as
part of a larger security assistance program whose purpose is foreign internal defense.
Source: Assistant for Foreign Internal Defense Policy, within the Office of ASD SO/LIC, 8
Jan 98.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.34

information regarding the participating foreign units before the JCET request is
forwarded to USSOCOM. USSOCOM conducts an annual JCET planning
conference for programming and budget purposes, and also tracks the monthly JCET
review process. USSOCOM collates and passes all of the theater commanders’
requests to the Pentagon Joint Staff for SecDef approval. All JCET requests are
required to have a human rights review prior to submission to the Joint Staff. The
Joint Staff passes the JCET request to ASD SO/LIC for regional and legal
coordination. Prior to the SecDef signature, the Deputy ASD SO/LIC, the Assistant
SecDef for Strategy and Threat Reduction, the Assistant SecDef for International
Security Affairs, and the DOD General Counsel all review the JCET list. ASD
SO/LIC sends a memo to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy USD(P), who
reviews and sends the request back to the Joint Staff J-3 Operations Directorate,
Special Operations Division. The request is forwarded to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs
of Staff (CJCS), and then to SecDef or his deputy for signature. Secretary of35
Defense Cohen or Deputy Secretary of Defense Hamre perform senior civilian
oversight, and they are the only two people who can approve and sign the monthly36
JCET list.
When USD(P) Slocum forwards the request to J-3, ASD SO/LIC faxes a copy
to the Deputy Secretary of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Robert
Beecroft. The Pol-Mil Bureau gets the fax at least 15 days before the first JCET on
the request is scheduled to begin. The embassies have already completed a human
rights review. The fax includes the attachment summaries for the month coming up,
including DOD verification from the embassies. State also receives an information
copy of the JCET acknowledgment message from the Joint Staff to USSOCOM.
DOD references the message in its fax to the Pol-Mil Bureau. This provides another
chance for State to examine human rights.37
DOD sees the focus of human rights at the State Department, as the State
Department has a bureau that monitors human rights and DOD does not. DOD
assumes State and the embassies coordinate and exchange information on human
rights violations.38
Allegations that JCETs take place without civilian knowledge are not completely
accurate. DOD and Department of State officials agree that JCETs are in fact
planned with the U.S. Ambassador and the embassy staff country team’s knowledge.39
All JCET missions must be approved by the local Ambassador or his representative.
In addition, the USSOCOM CINC, the theater CINC, and now the Secretary of
Defense are responsible for reviewing and approving JCETs. DOD’s approval
process compliments the State Department's human rights message guidelines in

Director for Special Operations (Policy), within ASD SO/LIC, 8 January 1999.35
H.R. 3616, Section 1062, P.L. 105-261. Signed by the President 17 October 1998.36
Director for Special Operations (Policy), 8 January 1999.37
M2 Presswire-16 July 1998-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M239
Communications Ltd. RDATE:140798 2:10 PM.

designing JCET events, selecting units to participate, and determining the
curriculum. In addition, the JCET SOF team is briefed when it arrives in country,40
and it debriefs the ambassador or his representative before it departs the country.
Recently, the Secretary of Defense added ASD SO/LIC to the review process to
establish a knowledgeable point of contact in Washington, D.C. SecDef conducts a
monthly review of all JCETs for the next month. DOD's intent is to adhere to
legislation concerning human rights and JCET activities, and also to ensure SOF
maintain mission readiness. DOD and State have implemented interim procedures to
comply with the FY99 appropriations act. Further guidance is forthcoming in both
Civilian oversight occurs at the ambassador level, SecDef, and at the
congressional level. As required by 10 USC 2011, all JCET activities are reported to
Congress every year not later than 1 April. The annual report by the Secretary of
Defense is required under public law. DOD implementation of 10 USC 201141
requires ASD SO/LIC to collect and collate JCET and foreign military training
information from the regional commands. ASD SO/LIC files this report each year on
behalf of the Secretary of Defense. The report is submitted to the Armed Services
and Foreign Relations Committees of the Senate and the Armed Services (National
Security) and International Relations Committees of the House of Representatives.42
According to DOD, there is nothing secret about the JCET program; it is "very
public." 43
There seem to be conflicting ways of accounting for JCET training. Not all SOF
training in a given country may be classified as JCET, that is, for the SOF units'
primary benefit. Operations and maintenance money is set aside to train SOF, but not
all O&M money will be used as 10 USC 2011 funds. Newspaper articles have
suggested the O&M money, training objectives, and units are not consistently44
accounted for in the annual report. The inconsistencies appear to support claims
that the JCET objectives are changed to suit the decision makers as to what is or is
not called a JCET exercise. It appears that some of the JCET accounting45
inconsistencies arise from the fact that several one or two person trips have been
classified as JCETs. These trips may have been for embassy staff training or planning

Message, from Secretary of State to all Diplomatic and Consular Posts, O P 100202Z Nov40
98, Subject: New Legislation Regarding Human Rights Review of DOD-Funded Military
Training Activities, 98 State 209156. See also Undersecretary of Defense, Policy,
Memorandum for Director, Joint Staff, Subject: Amended Version: Joint Combined Exchange
Training (JCET) Advance Approval Requirement and Human Rights Verification for DoD-
funded Training Programs--Action Memorandum, Nov 13, 1998.
P.L. 102-190, Sec. 1052; and 10 USC 2011(e).41
Memorandum, Office of the Comptroller of the Department of Defense to the Director of the42
Joint Staff, May 7, 1993; attachment, p. 5.
M2 Presswire-27 May 1998-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M243
Communications Ltd. RDATE:260598.
"Colombia - Troops Receive Training From US," Periscope Daily Defense News Capsules,44
May 26, 1998.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.45

and site surveys. Also, several JCET conferences have been reported as JCET46
exercises, because SOF units funded the trips under JCET authority, but they were
not actual JCET missions.47
Though Congress receives an after-the-fact annual report under 2011,
congressional oversight is generally absent in the planning and execution phases of
JCET. While JCET and SOF training ultimately fall under the House and Senate
defense committees, they operate without the same restrictions the foreign affairs
committees place on other programs. JCETs are subject to different appropriations
and authorizations channels. Hence, in the past, military commanders and
ambassadors had a wide degree of latitude and discretion in directing and approving
SOF training even in countries under sanctions.48
Congressional Concerns
Human rights are a major U.S. policy concern. Human rights issues are reflected
in JCET oversight, vetting of foreign units, and more pointedly, what units the SOF
teams train and what actions those units and personnel are involved in after the JCET.
Some Members of Congress consider SOF a leading force of U.S. influence49
abroad. As such, JCET instructors should be conducting training and not
establishing policy in foreign nations. The biggest problem may not be the actual
JCET training, but rather the appearance that it is being carried out without reference
to any larger policy framework. JCETs may be viewed by some as directly50
undermining U.S. efforts to promote democracy, demilitarization, and respect for
human rights.
Foreign units that have participated in JCETs have been implicated in human
rights abuses either before or after they were trained. Questions have been raised on
procedures and responsibilities for vetting--the process of identifying units and
individuals accused of human rights abuses and denying them U.S. training. DOD has
been accused of not properly vetting units for human rights abusers. Journalists have
labeled the “training to train” justification for JCET in some countries as a “nifty bit

Report on Training of Special Operations Forces, April 1, 1997, for the Period Ending46
September 30, 1997, and Director for Special Operations (Policy), within ASD SO/LIC, 8
January 1999.
The General Accounting Office has been tasked by the House International Relations and47
the Senate Armed Services Committees to audit JCET. The report is scheduled to be released
in Summer 1999.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.48
Senate Report 105-333, [to accompany S.2463], 105 Congress, 2d Sess., p. 9.49th
Douglas Farah, “A Tutor to Every Army in Latin America, U.S. Expands Latin American50
Training Role," Washington Post, July 13, 1998, p. A01.

of circular reasoning.” The implication is that DOD is willing to knowingly train51
human rights abusers. However, ambassadors have a say--and the power to veto or
deny country clearance-- in the approval process, and likely are attuned to both the
U.S. policies and the problem units in the host nation. Pentagon spokesman Kenneth
Bacon asserts that Ambassador approval " a degree of diplomatic oversight
and monitoring that the State Department takes very seriously and we [in DOD] take
very seriously as well. We have not carried out proposed missions in cases where the
State Department has raised objections. One example that occurred recently was
Nigeria, where the State Department raised objections to a planned mission and it did
not take place." Countries that raised cause for concern after JCET exercises took52
place are Indonesia, Colombia, and Rwanda.
Specific JCET and Human Rights Issues in Selected Nations
Recent press accounts have highlighted JCET deployments in Indonesia,
Colombia, and Rwanda. Training in these countries has been controversial and
contentious due to their human rights records and involvement of their armed forces
in suppressing opposition.
Indonesia. Congress terminated IMET money for Indonesia to punish the
Suharto government after the 1991 massacre of 270 protesters by Indonesian troops53
in East Timor. This 1992 congressional training ban prevented Indonesian military
officers from receiving further training until 1996, when expanded IMET was5455
granted. The E-IMET reportedly focused on human rights training and classroom
instruction. 56
After the 1992 IMET ban, DOD continued training SOF in Indonesia under
JCET. For example, Army special forces "Green Berets" instructed the Kopassus, an
elite Indonesian unit, in skills that included urban warfare, advanced sniper
techniques, air drop operations, close-quarters combat, and psychological
operations. Some Kopassus units were linked to massacres of civilians in East57

"Training Abusive Militaries," New York Times, August 31,1998, p. 18.51
M2 Presswire-16 July 1998-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M252
Communications Ltd. RDATE:140798 2:10 PM.
Jim Mann, "National Perspective: US Risking Ties to Indonesian Military," Los Angeles53
Times, April 1, 1998, p .5.
H.R. 5368, Section 599H, P.L. 102-391. Signed by the President 6 October 1992.54
Section 541 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by H.R. 1868, Title III,55
International Military Education and Training, P.L. 104-107, signed by the President 12
February 1996.
"Lowey Bill Would Restrict Military Training," Defense Week, April 13, 1998. See also56
H.R. 3802, May 6, 1998.
Mann, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 1998, p.5.57

Timor. Other Kopassus units were linked to abductions, disappearances, and torture58
of antigovernment activists. Still, the avowed intent of each JCET was to benefit59
U.S. SOF through practice training of other militaries. The Ambassador or his
representative had to approve each JCET.
JCET SOF training in Indonesia appeared to many to be in conflict with U.S.
human rights policy. In April 1998, Rep. Lane Evans and several other Members
voiced concern in a letter to Defense Secretary Cohen. Evans stressed the 1992
IMET ban was “meant to send a strong signal to the Suharto regime that the United
States would not tolerate human rights violations” and that he and the other Members
were “deeply concerned” that “our military has continued training Indonesian forces
under a different program,” and they viewed the training as “an effort to circumvent60
congressional intent.” Unlike E-IMET, some JCETs taught lethal tactics. The
recipient for most JCETs was the Kopassus.
The JCET training Indonesia received was designed to repel a potential external
enemy. The training will also prove useful if Indonesian forces participate in an
international peacekeeping effort. Relevant to the human rights issue, the JCETs did
not specifically teach Indonesian forces to fight or suppress their own people.
According to U.S. embassy personnel in Indonesia, none of the urban warfare61
curriculum taught crowd control. Furthermore, the exercises fit E-IMET guidelines.
Prior to the JCET suspension on May 8, 1998, all JCETs in Indonesia were62
approved by the ambassador or his country team. As the Indonesian crisis unfolded63
earlier this year, Members of Congress spoke out harshly against DOD's use of JCETs
in that country to train SOF. Rep. Evans reportedly termed JCETs "another way the
Pentagon can assist...Suharto and his soldiers in suppressing their opposition." Rep.64
Evans acknowledged JCETs were legal and the congressional ban applied only to65
IMET. Press reports cited Rep. Christopher Smith, chairman of the House
International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights,
calling JCETs an "end run" around rules Congress "carefully prescribed" for military

"Training Abusive Militaries," New York Times, August 31,1998, p. 18.58
Allen Nairn, Indonesia's Disappeared, The Nation, June 8, 1998, 59
Vol 266, No 21, p.4.
Letter, Rep. Evans (et. al.) to Secretary Cohen, April 16, 1998.60
Allen Nairn, Indonesia's Killers, The Nation, March 30, 1998, Vol 266, No 11, p. 6.61
DOD made an internal decision to suspend the JCETs in Indonesia. See also "USA Orders62
Review of Military Activity with Indonesia," in Jane's Defence Weekly, May 20, 1998, Vol

29, No 20, p. 3.

Source: Office of International Security and Peacekeeping Operations, Bureau of Political-63
Military Affairs, Department of State; and Office of ASD SO/LIC.
Mann, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 1998, p.5.64

education and training. In his view, JCETs sent a "dubious message" to Suharto and66
the opposition about the U.S. position. Frustrated by lack of vetting records, he
declared, "It is very important to know whether or not they have received U.S.
military training...Our joint training exercises and training of military units that have
been charged over and over again with the gravest kinds of crimes against humanity,
including torture and murder, cry out for an explanation...How could we not have
known who these people were?" The ASD for International Security Affairs,67
Franklin Kramer, said his office did not have a list of Indonesian soldiers trained under
JCET, but that as matter of policy, DOD refuses to train with known human rights
abusers. Finally, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, ranking minority member of the House68
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, which funds other
military training and exchange programs in foreign countries, was reported to be
appalled that DOD would act with "complete disregard for Congress's intent" in
Indonesia. 69
To many, JCETs appeared to lend legitimacy to a government and military in
Indonesia that violated human rights. Some dissidents believed the U.S. actually70
was helping Suharto keep control. Megawati Sukarnoputri, a main opposition leader,
said, "The U.S. military is providing training in lethal methods of social control at a
time when the Indonesian people are trying to build a more democratic system." She
believed the JCET undermined the democracy movement. An Indonesian political71
scientist, Salim Said, doesn't believe JCETs hindered democracy, but instead actually
exposed Indonesian officers to American democratic values and culture.72
Colombia. U.S. foreign policy interests in Colombia include counter-narcotics
and human rights. The Colombian government's priorities may not necessarily be the
same, as it is fighting leftist guerrillas as well as drug traffickers. The issues for U.S.
policy-makers are 1) whether and to what extent to support a military guilty of human
rights abuses, and 2) how to support the Colombian military without getting involved
in a counterinsurgency. The Colombian military does not have the resources it needs
to adequately deal with both the guerillas and the drug rings. The military is also
getting pressure from the Colombian government concerning human rights abuses.
Due to human rights abuses by the Colombian military, Congress passed
legislation in 1995 to limit training in Colombia to counter-narcotics. It placed a ban
on military equipment transfers and training due to military involvement in drug

"Aiding the Wrong Side in Indonesia," Boston Globe, March 30, 1998, p. A10.66
"US Lawmakers Ask for Names of Army Suspects," Jakarta Post, July 26, 1998.67
Priest, Washington Post, July 15, 1998, p. A25.69
DefenseLINK News: DOD News Briefing, Tuesday, 26 May 1998.70
In response, ASD Public Affairs reiterated the intent of JCET was not training for the71
Indonesians, but the SOF. M2 Presswire-27 March 1998-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C)

1994-98 M2 Communications Ltd. RDATE:260398.

Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.72

related corruption and a record of killing civilians, human rights activists, and
politicians in areas controlled by guerillas. Limited counterdrug training was
approved for Colombian military units evaluated for human rights abuses. The units73
could not include human rights abusers, and the training could only take place in areas
where guerillas were known to work with drug traffickers. Journalists reported JCET
exercises were circumventing these restrictions. SOF continued to legally train
Colombian troops in combat tactics even after Colombia was limited to counter-
narcotics training. SOF teams taught "shoot and maneuver" techniques, counter7475
terrorism, and intelligence gathering without vetting the Colombian units.
Again, the JCET operations and training appeared at odds with U.S. policy.
Some Columbian forces were guilty of human rights abuses. U.S. policy is not to76
train or arm those forces. However, Colombian units received intelligence and
counter terrorism training, after Congress stopped conventional training and restricted
other military aid to counternarcotics training. Jane's reported U.S. SOF “heavily77
involved” in Columbia.78
The nature of the counternarcotic war in Columbia is a source of confusion and
concern. A U.S. military official in Colombia reportedly said, “We can call anything
counter-drugs. If you’re going to take out a target, it doesn’t make much difference
if you call it a drug lab or a guerilla camp. There’s not much difference between
counter-drug and counterinsurgency. We just don’t use the [insurgency] word
anymore because it is politically too sensitive.” Because the guerillas protect the79
drug labs, the counternarcotic effort takes on all of the appearances of a
counterinsurgency initiative. To fight the drugs, the Colombian military has to fight
the guerillas as well. JCETs are separate from the counternarcotics program in
Colombia. In 1998, there have been 6 JCETs, with 32 people total. The
counternarcotics training provided by the U.S. has consisted of 18 deployments and80

252 people. The JCETs provided counter terrorism and hostage rescue training.

Consistent with its practice in other nations, the JCET team doesn't vet the units
it is coming to train. The embassy has a staff and country team to accomplish vetting;
SOF commanders do not. In Colombia, there is an informal agreement for the
Colombian military to self-monitor. A Pentagon spokesman remarked, "In81
Colombia, all the troops are supposed to be vetted as I understand it. In other

Farah, Washington Post, July 13, 1998, p. A01.75
Hakim, CSM, July 23, 1998, p. 11.76
"Training Abusive Militaries," New York Times, August 31,1998, p. 18.77
Tom Hunter, “US Operations in Latin America,” Janes, Sept 1998, p.15.78
Farah, Washington Post, July 13, 1998, p. A01.79
M2 Presswire-27 May 1998-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M280
Communications Ltd. RDATE:260598.
Farah, Washington Post, July 13, 1998, p. A01.81

countries we rely on the embassy to do that work. We rely on the Ambassador to
raise concerns if he or she has any. We work very closely with the local
Ambassadors." The spokesman added that there is a "fairly rigorous" multistep
process to decide whether or not to hold JCET missions in any country, with ample82
foreign policy and military inputs and review. All JCET missions are still approved
by the Ambassador and OSD. Also, the Colombians don't want to break up their
combat units, but instead, they want to train as a team.83
Congress is concerned U.S. operations in Colombia are shifting from counter-
narcotics to counterinsurgency, something the Administration must request from
Congress. The appearance is that JCETs are supporting counterinsurgency training,
bypassing congressional intent to limit training to counternarcotics. Questions remain84
on vetting. And, U.S. troops are training near Colombian combat operations.
Rwanda. In its relations with Rwanda, the U.S. emphasizes human rights. But
the U.S. also trains SOF with JCET deployments there. U.S. efforts to promote
human rights recently have been overshadowed by questions on whether or not U.S.
forces trained Rwandan units that committed atrocities during the war in Zaire. The
UN charges some Rwandan units with abuses that "constitute crimes against
humanity," including a massacre of civilians and refugees.
Rep. Smith questioned if the DOD had investigated whether SOF trained any of
the suspected units under JCET. The Pentagon had not investigated any of the units,
because it was not required to under 10 USC 2011. Defense officials are attempting85
to provide names and unit information to Rep. Smith. The Pentagon maintains that
it is not feasible to vet Rwandan units due to large numbers and high turnover of
Human rights investigators from Boston-based Physicians for Human Rights
presented a report on events in the Congo to the House International Relations
Committee in 1997. Rwandan forces fought in the successful rebellion against Zaire.
U.S. SOF provided JCET training to some elements of the Rwandan forces. The
JCET training included "respect for human rights, the laws of war and the role of the
military in a democratic society" according to a DOD official cited in a Washington
Post article.86

M2 Presswire-16 July 1998-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M282
Communications Ltd. RDATE:140798 2:10 PM.
Farah, Washington Post, July 13, 1998, p. A01.83
Todd Robberson, "US Launches Covert Program to Aid Colombia," Dallas Morning News,84
August 19, 1998, p.1.
Duke, Washington Post, July 14, 1998, p. A01.85
Thomas W Lippman, "Rwanda Army Blamed for Acts in Congo, Rights Group Faults US86
Training Effort," Washington Post, July 16, 1997, p.A15.

JCETs continued in Rwanda during the fighting in Zaire. The JCETs focused
on land-mine removal, civil affairs, and public information. Most of the programs87
reported were conducive to observing human rights. A specific concern regards SOF
training of 30 Rwandan soldiers who later deployed to Zaire. The JCET, conducted
by a Fort Bragg SOF team, taught small-unit leader training, rifle marksmanship, first
aid, land navigation and patrolling. Some of the 30 Rwandan soldiers may have88
been involved in the rapes, murders, genocide, robberies, and other widespread
atrocities reported by the media. It may be that the Rwandan military is observing89
human rights in peace, but not in war. As a result, U.S. human rights training is
completely eclipsed by later abuses of these units. Even so, the shear scope and
magnitude of the abuses and atrocities attributed to the Rwandan Patriotic Army
suggests 30 soldiers cannot be solely responsible.90
Revenge killings in Zaire may have continued anyway. Field investigator Kathi91
Austin (a visiting scholar at the Center for African Studies at Stanford University, and
a consultant to the International Crisis Group in Brussels and other human rights
organizations) stated that the U.S. is losing human rights credibility without a
denunciation from the State Department or White House. According to some
activists, State Department arguments that say SOF training moderates Rwandan
behavior and teaches the law of war are no good without tangible results.92
Other Nations. The U.S. has conducted JCETs with over 100 countries
worldwide. Most of them have not been contentious;the U.S. has even used JCETs
to train with formal allies. For example, SOF conducted at least one JCET with the
British in Africa. A Navy SEAL team used a JCET in Turkey to learn the local93
terrain, meet host counterparts, practice language skills, operate with the host unit,
and experience the environment. Generally, JCETs are not as important with allies94
as with other nations, because U.S. forces have greater access and exercise experience
with allies. Access is usually not an issue with allies.95

Duke, Washington Post, July 14, 1998, p. A01.87
Lynne Duke, "US Military Role in Rwanda Greater Than Disclosed," Washington Post, Aug88

16,1997, p.A01.

Duke, Washington Post, July 14, 1998, p. A01.89
See, for example, U.S. Department of State Rwanda Country Report on Human Rights90
Practices for 1997, released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January

30, 1998.

Duke, Washington Post, July 14, 1998, p. A01.91
Lippman, Washington Post, July 16, 1997, p. A15.92
M2 Presswire-1 August 1997-US DOD: DOD news briefing (C) 1994-98 M293
Communications Ltd.
DefenseLINK News: DOD News Briefing, Tuesday July 28, 1998, Capt Mike Doubleday,94
Source: AF/XOOS.95

JCETs are reportedly being used as "ice breakers" or "first dates" with former
communist countries such as Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan, and former Warsaw Pact
nations. And with nations like Laos, Cambodia, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe,96
that seem hostile or aloof, JCETs are used to open the door to warmer relations, train
our troops, and teach relatively benign subjects such as mine removal without being
exposed to risk.97
Special operations forces have used JCETs to train in Kuwait despite that
government's reportedly harsh treatment of Palestinians and other nationals suspected
of cooperating with Iraq during the 1990-1991 occupation. The U.S. has placed the98
need to train in Kuwait ahead of human rights issues, as Kuwait has a more immediate
threat to its national survival from Iraq. The U.S. apparently used an almost
continuous JCET as part of an exercise named "Iris Gold" to expand forces in Kuwait
without drawing the attention of other nations in the region (i.e., Iran) earlier this
year. 99
The Pakistan JCET program was put on hold after its nuclear weapons tests.
SOF have been using JCETs in Pakistan since 1993 despite sanctions to punish the
government for its nuclear program. There has been no recent IMET with100
Pakistan, but there was at least one JCET since the 1993 sanctions. According to101
some sources, military exercises and the resumption of military ties are being used as
“deliverables” if Islamabad complies with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
(CTBT). An August 1998 JCET in Pakistan was canceled after DOD was accused102
of side stepping sanctions.103
Policy Conflicts
Some JCETs allowed by 10 USC 2011 appear to be at odds with U.S. foreign
policy goals of strengthening democracy and advocating human rights. Some foreign
units that U.S. SOF trained with JCET deployments are accused of human rights
violations and undermining democracy and reforms. While special operations forces
may convey professional, democratic attitudes, the message some foreign units

Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.96
U.S. Department of State, Kuwait Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997, Bureau of98
Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998, p.1.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01. Exercises are listed as Iris Gold 97-1, 97-99

2, and 97-3 in the annual JCET summary report.

DefenseLINK News: DOD News Briefing, Thursday, May 28, 1998.101
Barbara Opall-Rome, “US Civil, Military Officials Spar Over Pakistan,” Defense News,102
August 10-16, 1998, p.3.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.103

understand is that they are "special friends" of the U.S. government and have a status
different from their sanctioned nation and military. 104
When Congress cut IMET to Indonesia, not only did the JCET program
continue, but foreign military sales (FMS) continued as well. Congress chose to leave
this large program in place. Other policy conflicts include training alleged human
rights abusers without vetting; training without a broader strategy of strengthening
governments or defining roles of the military; and working more military to military
ties than civilian to civilian ties. Recent legislative initiatives have attempted to
resolve some of these issues.
Recent Legislative Initiatives
The Senate Armed Services and the House International Relations Committees
have requested the General Accounting Office (GAO) to audit DOD's JCET program
to verify that regional CINCs are complying with the intent of 10 USC 2011. The
GAO report is due in Summer, 1999. A State Department message planned for
release reaffirms the ambassador as the key in each country for human rights and
reporting. State Department officials say that Secretary of State Madeleine105
Albright will require ambassadors to ensure all host units are vetted for human rights
abuses before they participate in training with the U.S. military. The ambassadors will
make sure JCETs are not training units when there is credible information or evidence
of gross violations. The Defense Department reportedly has voiced concern that this
process could "hobble" the JCET program.106
Leahy Amendment
Congress attached an amendment (the Leahy Amendment) to the Department
of Defense FY1999 Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-262). Due to reports that training
was provided under JCET to Colombian troops despite previous restrictions,
Congress elected to prohibit any funds from being used to allow U.S. SOFs to train
foreign units if the State Department has credible information that a member of the
unit had committed a gross violation of human rights. An exception could be made107
if “corrective steps” were taken to prevent further abuses. The amendment does
not specify those steps. One interpretation is that the aid restriction means military
units must be vetted of troops with adverse human rights records before those units
can receive training or equipment. Another interpretation is that the perpetrators
must be brought to justice. Sen Leahy said, "...our Special Forces have trained
foreign troops without regard for who they are or whether they turn around and

"Training Abusive Militaries," New York Times, August 31,1998, p. 18.104
Source: Office of International Security and Peacekeeping Operations, Bureau of Political-105
Military Affairs, Department of State.
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.106
H.R. 4103, Section 8130, P.L. 105-262. Signed by the President 17 October 1998..107

torture and shoot pro-democracy students." DOD and State have issued108
instructions to bring their departments into compliance.109
Security Assistance Act of 1998 (S.2463)
The Security Assistance Act of 1998 (S.2463) included a provision for no U.S.
military training whatsoever if a country is ineligible for IMET, unless: there is
congressional notification; the country is a NATO or major ally; the country has been
designated ineligible for IMET due to the strength of its economy; the training is for
an operation to save lives and property of U.S. citizens; or the training is for
intelligence operations. These provisions would apply to JCET and prevent110
deployments in countries where Congress imposes sanctions against the military. The
bill required a one-time OSD report detailing steps taken to ensure all education and
training programs are conducted in accordance with the foreign policy objectives of
the United States. S.2463 was not acted on by the 105 Congress, but may beth
addressed early on by the 106
International Military Training and Accountability Act (H.R.3802)
Rep. Nita Lowey sponsored the International Military Training and
Accountability Act (H.R.3802), a bill to ban JCET in countries barred from receiving111
IMET assistance. "The Department of Defense has been sidestepping congressional
intent by providing military training to Indonesia and other nations," Lowey wrote in
a 'Dear Colleague' letter. "My legislation says very simply that if Congress prohibits
a nation from participating in the IMET program, the Department of Defense must112
stop all military training to that country..." Provisions in the bill would have banned
military training for countries barred from receiving IMET, and strictly limited training
to countries eligible to receive only expanded IMET. The bill remained in the113
House International Relations Committee at the close of the 105
International Military Training Transparency and Accountability
Act (H.R.4874)
The International Military Training Transparency and Accountability Act
(H.R.4874), introduced by Rep. Smith, would prohibit military training under the
Arms Export Control Act or any other Act to foreign countries that are prohibited

"Colombia - Troops Receive Training From US," Periscope Daily Defense News Capsules,108
May 26, 1998.
DOS message O P 100202Z Nov 98; and USD(P) Action Memo, Nov 13, 1998. See109
footnote 40.
Senate Report 105-333, [to accompany S.2463], 105 Congress, 2d Sess., p.8.110th
Farhan Haq, "Indonesia: Killings of Students Adds Pressure on Suharto," Inter Press111
Service, May 14, 1998.
"Lowey Bill Would Restrict Military Training," Defense Week, April 13, 1998.112

from receiving IMET or other military assistance. The language in this bill114
specifically prohibits JCETs for countries under restrictions. The wording closes any
loopholes for JCETs in countries sanctioned by Congress, and it establishes guidelines
for DOD. The bill was not acted on by the 105
Further Options
Steps are being taken by DOD and the Department of State on their own
initiatives. Besides the initiatives discussed above, several other options exist for
realigning JCET with U.S. policy should Congress choose to do so.
One way to revise oversight is to amend public law to specify which committee
gets the annual report containing JCET deployment information. DOD comptroller
instructions already specify which committees OSD is to send the report to, but it is
not in 10 USC 2011. The committees could hold hearings after delivery of the annual
reports. Alternately, the new SASC subcommittee for emerging threats and115
capabilities (including WMD, SOF, and terrorism) could do the same. Another
approach would be to set manpower, monetary or country thresholds that would flag
when a JCET is being conducted in an area of potential embarrassment. Congress
could make the State Department, through policies executed at the embassies, be
responsible for approving and disapproving JCETs based on these new guidelines.
Thresholds might include the size of the JCET force (which is usually small, 40 people
or less), or the amount of money (again, small at $15.2 million in FY1997).
Alternately, Congress could determine a set of criteria for the type of training allowed
for a recipient country, restricting JCETs there to non-combat skills.
Congress could review DOD instructions and guidance. DOD has already begun
revising these. Under new guidelines, SecDef will approve JCETs on a monthly basis.
ASD SO/LIC, DOD General Counsel, USD(P) and several other senior civilians
within DOD are now part of the approval and oversight process. Embassies and
CINCs will share, review, and document human rights information on foreign units
trained under JCET. State receives DOD's JCET list before the JCETs are executed.
In its implementation of P.L. 105-262, Section 8130, DOD must take into account
human rights information provided by State and the embassies. Special Operations
Commands document vetting by the State Department, the country team, or the
ambassador. DOD prefers to leave human rights determinations to the Department
of State; however, DOD may be able to track units and personnel it trains under
JCET. However, host countries may not be forthcoming with information. DOD sees
a need and value to train with full units. Human rights considerations could eliminate
JCET deployments in some countries.116
Finally, there are inconsistencies between DOD and the State Department
concerning JCET. DOD might clarify JCET definitions and standardize reporting and

U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, Press Release, January 14, 1999.115
Priest, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A01.116

accounting. DOD and DOS need to give clear and consistent guidance to their people
in the field. Inconsistencies may embarrass the United States, as, for example, when
a military official decries a lack of knowledge on the part of its ambassadors as to
JCET content and type of training--training that the ambassadors or their staffs117
SOF gets less than 2 percent of DOD's budget, yet does things no other
component can. SOF deployments are projected to increase in years ahead.118
Special operations forces have unique missions that require special skills. Countering
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) became USSOCOM's top priority mission for
1998. The mission includes "finding, securing, classifying, defusing, destroying in
place or transporting" to a safe location a whole range of chemical, biological, or
nuclear weapons. A major challenge SOFs face is the lack of human intelligence119
on some smaller nations in which they may have to operate someday. SOF teams120
arguably need realistic training; and conventional exercises provide little help in this
regard. SOF units rarely get into action in war games. The margin for error in121
recovering a WMD, conducting a counter terrorist operation, or a hostage rescue is
extremely small. JCETs provide skills and information that may prove vital to the
success of a future operation somewhere in the world.
Whatever actions Congress takes to correct or fine tune the JCET approval and
oversight process, other issues remain. A key issue is what restraints are appropriate,
and at what cost, in dealing with third world militaries when training U.S. forces to
face enemies that are often more elusive and dangerous than those typically faced in
the past. In problem countries in which IMET is suspended, with the possibility of
needed SOF action to evacuate U.S. citizens in the future, should allowances be made
for JCET? What should be the criteria? When considering the genocide in Rwanda,
is any benefit SOF receive worth the damage to the nation’s credibility? This issue
is not just a JCET issue. Similar questions have been asked regarding CIA
recruitment policies in Guatemala and training and attendance at the U.S. Army122
School of the Americas. Does the U.S. want a formally articulated policy or an ad
hoc arrangement? Can the U.S. develop a broad policy, or is it forced into an ad hoc
arrangement by the nature of its security interests? Do national security needs ever

Farah, Washington Post, July 13, 1998, p. A01.117
Bryan Bender, "Special Operations Missions Expected to Rise," Defense Daily, Vol 194,118
p. 257, Feb 19, 1997.
Vago Muradian, “USSOCOM Modernization on Track, but Budget Remains Tight,”119
Defense Daily, Vol 194, Feb 11, 97, p.216.
"What About Special Ops?" Defense Daily, Vol 193, no 38, Nov 25, 1996, p. 311.121
See Richard Grimmett and Mark P. Sullivan, CRS Report for Congress, 97-726 F, "U.S.122
Army School of the Americas: Background and Congressional Concerns," Updated March 17,


overshadow human rights concerns? How can JCET and SOF training needs be
accommodated within the broader policy framework? In some countries, do JCET
missions provide important access and knowledge that cannot be obtained by other