Understanding the linkage between U.S. security policy and human rights policy is a complex and difficult challenge, but critical to ensuring that U.S. national interests in promoting stability and peace are properly served. While protection of human rights is integrated in U.S. security policy through such mechanisms as the Leahy Law and international military education and training, large gaps exist in both policy and practice. As a new Congress convenes and the Obama administration prepares to pass the baton to a new administration, the time is ripe to examine the effectiveness of the tools at hand and how they can be strengthened.
On Monday, December 12, the Project on International Order and Strategy at Brookings hosted a discussion on the complex issue of understanding how U.S. assistance to foreign security forces is linked to U.S. human rights objectives, with particular attention to cases like Afghanistan, Colombia, and Mexico. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski offered opening remarks, followed by a discussion with Brookings Senior Fellows Daniel Byman and Ted Piccone.