US Military: Law Barring Aid to Rights Violators Hurts ‘Training’ Efforts

Law Getting in the Way of Aiding Rights Violators

The 1997 Leahy Amendment forbids the US from providing direct aid to foreign security forces that are known violators of human rights. With US foreign policy increasingly aligned with rights violators, that’s becoming problematic.

Socom commander Admiral William McRaven is leading the complaints about the law, along with commanders of the US forces in Africa and Latin America, places absolutely teeming with rights violators that the US would really like to “train.”

The Pentagon of course has a long, grim history of aiding some of the worst human rights violators on the planet. The problem with doing it in other countries is that pesky law which makes it explicitly illegal.

AFRICOM deputy Vice Admiral Charles Leidig made the issue starkly clear, noting that “nations whose militaries have had human rights violations perhaps are the ones that need US engagement the most.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of