As one of the largest military forces in the world, the United States has taken charge of training foreign forces. The New York Times reports that the U.S. spent nearly $600 million in 2001 to train approximately 61,200 foreign soldiers.
While the training of American service men and women is highly monitored, the Pentagon has collected updated information on only 1 percent of graduates from the International Military Education and Training program. According to Lora Lumpe, a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundation, foreign forces outfitted with U.S. military training should have efforts carefully monitored.
Lumpe believes that the professionalization of military and police forces requires tracking. By keeping training, skills and knowledge documents all in one place, military forces training foreign service men and women will have a better grasp of where gaps exist and training is most needed. The benefits of tracking training systematically go beyond cost savings alone. The information gained can enable readiness measurement.
When budgets of this size are involved, reporting outcomes or investments in training foreign forces is essential to justify the value of these activities to the American taxpayer.