This is a professional, instructive treatment of a complex subject which is often only discussed polemically. Recognizing that military assistance programs for foreign countries are very much a political phenomenon, the authors place the American experience in the proper context: first, the relationship between major international developments over the past 35 years and changes in the security assistance programs during that period; second, the perspectives in the Congress, media and interest groups. The study, sponsored by the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, notes that the U.S. government has always seen military assistance as an instrument of foreign policy, but observes that its constituency is small and the public views on it are more divergent than ever. This is an important analysis, one of whose authors, Lt. General Ernest Graves, USA, retired, was director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency from 1978 to 1981.
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