Marsh, Nicholas (2020) Exporting Coercive Power: Regulations and best practices for Security Force Assistance, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Globally, the provision of military training and equipment via Security Force Assistance (SFA) programmes is worth billions of dollars each year and is often motivated by a desire to address security challenges such as violent extremism, migration, and organized crime. There are however risks involved in assisting the development of another state’s coercive power, especially if its security forces are fighting in a conflict. This policy brief examines how the US, UK and UN attempt to prevent their SFA from being used by parties that commit war crimes or other serious human rights violations. It concludes with targeted recommendations for small states that lack specific laws and guidelines for the provision of SFA.