Department of Defense

Agency Overview

The Department of Defense (DoD) undertakes a number of activities to encourage and enable international partners to work with the United States to achieve strategic objectives (see DoD Directive 5132.03). A small number of these activities are foreign assistance-related in approach, whereby Congress has authorized DoD to train, equip, and support foreign defense and security establishments under a discrete set of circumstances. These programs are listed below, but do not include Department of State (DOS)-owned and DoD-administered security assistance programs, which are referenced on DOS section of this website.

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Department of Defense Data

U.S. government agencies are adding data to ForeignAssistance.gov quarterly to comply with the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016. Each agency is required by law to report at FY2015 as the minimum base year.

Planned Funding By Fiscal Year | DoD

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Obligated Funding By Fiscal Year | DoD

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Spent Funding By Fiscal Year | DoD

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Transaction Data | DoD

Transaction data represents every individual financial record in an agency’s accounting system that has been processed in the given time period for program work with implementing partners and other administrative expenses. The data shown in the planned, obligated, and spent tabs represents the same financial data at a higher level of aggregation (by country and sector only), thus this data is called Aggregated data.

The transaction data shows the same financial data at a more granular level. Each data record - or financial transaction - contains qualitative data fields, including descriptive titles, vendor names, and location, along with the financial data. Thus, the transaction data is called Disaggregated data.

This data set will continue to be updated in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 12-01.

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Frequently Asked Questions | DoD

When was the Department of Defense created?

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the successor agency to the National Military Establishment created by the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401). It was established as an executive department of the Government by the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 with the Secretary of Defense as its head (5 U.S.C. 101). Since that time, many legislative and administrative changes have occurred, evolving the Department into the structure under which it currently operates.

What is the Mission of the Department of Defense?

The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The Department's headquarters is at the Pentagon.

The Department is also the largest employer in the world with more than 3.2 million servicemen and servicewomen, plus the civilians that support them.

Under the President, who is also Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department, which includes the separately organized military departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force.

What are Title 10 and Title 22 programs and what is the difference?

Currently, ForeignAssistance.gov includes preliminary data for Title 10 Security Sector Assistance (SSA) programs. Both Title 10 and Title 22 refer to sections of The Code of Laws of the United States of America, or United States Code (U.S.C.), which is the backbone of U.S. legislation, comprised of all general and permanent federal laws.

Title 10, titled “Armed Forces,” governs the form, function, duties, and responsibilities of all U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as the Reserves. Title 10 is organized into five subtitles and 1,805 chapters. Each subtitle includes provisions on force structure, personnel, training and education, and service, supply, and procurement. Title 22, titled “Foreign Relations and Intercourse,” governs how the U.S. conducts its foreign diplomatic relations and includes provisions on the Department of State, foreign assistance, and public diplomacy efforts.

What are the goals of Security Sector Assistance?

The principal goals of Security Sector Assistance (SSA) are to:

  • Help partner nations build sustainable capacity to address common security challenges, specifically to: disrupt and defeat transnational threats; sustain legitimate and effective public safety, security, and justice sector institutions; support legitimate self-defense; contribute to U.S. or partner military operations which may have urgent requirements; maintain control of their territory and jurisdictional waters including air, land and sea borders; help indigenous forces assume greater responsibility for operations where U.S. military forces are present.
  • Promote partner support for U.S. interests, through cooperation on national, regional and global priorities, including, but not limited to, such areas as: military access to airspace and basing rights; improved interoperability and training opportunities; and cooperation on law enforcement. Counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, combating organized crime and arms trafficking, countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, intelligence, peacekeeping, and humanitarian efforts.
  • Promote universal values, such as good governance, civilian oversight of security forces, rule of law, transparency, accountability, delivery of fair and effective justice, and respect for human rights.
  • Strengthen collective security and multinational defense arrangements and organizations, including by helping to build the capacity of troop-and-police-contributing nations to United Nations and other multilateral peacekeeping missions, as well as through regional exercises, expert exchanges, and coordination of regional intelligence and law enforcement information exchanges.

What is the Department of Defense’s role in foreign security assistance?

DoD is responsible for ensuring U.S. defense strategy and policy priorities are closely synchronized with Security Sector Assistance (SSA) efforts, especially where a key objective is to strengthen the capacity and willingness of foreign security forces to operate alongside of, in lieu of, or in support of U.S. forces. In these cases, DoD may provide assistance in coordination with the Department of State. DoD plays a critical role in strategic planning, assessment, program design, and implementing SSA programs, and supports SSA interagency processes by providing relevant expertise and information on U.S. national defense objectives.

How do all of DoD’s different programs and exercises tie back to the Department’s (and Administration’s) broader strategy?

At the highest level, planning for and prioritization of DoD activities are informed by national-level guidance like the national security strategy and various DoD regional and functional strategies. The State Department and other civilian agencies are deeply involved in setting these objectives so that DoD’s efforts are consistent with U.S. foreign policy goals and complementary of broader U.S. foreign assistance programs. Whether DoD is shaping the security environment in a region to prevent conflict, planning for a contingency, or conducting operations, partnerships play a critical role, which permeates all facets of our defense strategy.

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