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This volume is an important resource for those interested in gaining an informed understanding of security cooperation, an umbrella term that refers to the variety of activities that the United States undertakes to strengthen its military partners and partnerships. Specific goals depend on the partner nation. The U.S. Department of Defense conducts about 3,000 to 4,000 security cooperation events each year in more than 130 countries. Other U.S. agencies and departments, including the U.S. Department of State, conduct related activities. Total U.S. assistance to foreign militaries and police forces runs from $15 billion to $20 billion per year. A consistent concern is how to maximize U.S. returns on this complex and substantial portfolio of investments.

In the past, the RAND Corporation has studied many aspects of security cooperation, such as authorities and planning; and activities aimed at building partner capacity, security force assistance, and defense institution building. RAND research has shown that security cooperation investments can pay off — under certain favorable conditions.

RAND Arroyo Center initiated a series of volumes that synthesizes decades of RAND Corporation research and analysis on topics that represent perennial and evolving challenges to our nation's security. Each of the analyses was conducted at the request of a senior leader, uniformed or civilian, who faced a major decision and required high-quality, objective research to help inform it. As a result, each analysis was designed to be not only rigorous and reliable but also responsive, relevant, and immediately useful. This is the third of the four volumes.

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