Over the past few years, the Pentagon's role as a direct provider of foreign assistance has surged. The Department of Defense (DOD) has assumed an expanding role in counterterrorism, capacity building, post-conflict operations, and humanitarian assistance-beyond implementing traditional military-to-military programs supported by State Department funds. The CSIS Task Force on Nontraditional Security Assistance was constituted to identify the main drivers behind these trends; to assess Pentagon performance in several nontraditional areas; to examine what is happening in the diplomatic and development spheres; to evaluate the implications of DOD's enlarged role for U.S. national security, foreign policy, and development objectives; and to offer concrete recommendations to foster a balanced and sustainable division of responsibilities between the Pentagon and U.S. civilian agencies. The task force also examined the newly launched U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) as a case study for the coordination of military activities with those of the diplomatic and development communities.
Representative Robert Andrews (D-NJ) serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) serves on the House Appropriations Committee.