Training provided at Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, Fort Benning, Georgia, Entire Region, 1999-2006
Trainees at Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation by Country, Entire Region, 1999-2006
|Antigua and Barbuda||5||1||6|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||1||1||2||4|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1||1|
Trainees at Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation by Program, Entire Region, 1999-2006
|International Military Education and Training||268||217||461||371||452||468||400||358||2,995|
|International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement||52||37||123||59||213||228||130||130||972|
|Section 1004 Counter-Drug Assistance||12||24||38||55||78||106||12||153||478|
|Non-Security Assistance-Unified Command||153||153|
|Foreign Military Financing||16||1||83||1||2||3||1||24||131|
|Misc Dept of State / Dept of Defense Non-Security Assistance||87||87|
|Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program||3||13||22||14||52|
|Professional Military Exchanges||28||28|
|Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capabilities||3||10||13|
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation:
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), located at Fort
Benning in Columbus, Georgia, is the Defense Department's principal Spanish-language
training facility for Latin American military and law-enforcement personnel (though
some civilians attend as well). It is the successor to the School of the Americas
(SOA), a facility established in 1946 and legally closed in 2001. The WHINSEC
is located in the same building, and offers many of the same courses, as the school
it replaces. Along with the U.S. Air Force's Inter-American Air Forces Academy
(IAAFA), WHINSEC attracts the largest number of Latin
American military students.
Army�s operations and maintenance account pays the institute�s fixed costs. Student
tuition costs are covered mainly by grants through the International Military
Education and Training (IMET) and International Narcotics
Control (INC) programs, or purchases of training through
the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
2003, the WHINSEC began adding English-language courses to its curriculum, beginning
with its Non-Commissioned Officer Development and Instructor Training courses.
As a result, the school began to host a contingent of students from the English-speaking
School of the Americas had been questioned for years, as it trained many military
personnel before and during the years of the "national security doctrine"
-- the dirty war years in the Southern Cone and the civil war years in Central
America -- in which Latin American militaries ruled or had disproportionate government
influence and committed serious human rights violations. Training manuals used
at the SOA and elsewhere from the early 1980s through 1991 promoted techniques
that violated human rights and democratic standards. SOA graduates continue to
surface in news reports regarding both current human rights cases and new reports
on past cases.
of the SOA and its successor, however, argue that they do not teach abuse, and
that today the curriculum includes human rights as a component of every class.
They also argue that no school should be held accountable for the actions of only
some of its graduates.
911 of the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5408) added a new section
2166 to Title 10, U.S. Code (the part of U.S. law that governs the military).
The new section repealed the legal authorization for the old School of the Americas
and made the following changes.
Fort Benning facility was renamed the "Western Hemisphere Institute for
renamed institute's official purpose is now "to provide professional education
and training to eligible personnel of nations of the Western Hemisphere within
the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization
of American States ... while fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence,
and cooperation among the participating nations and promoting democratic values,
respect for human rights, and knowledge and understanding of United States customs
an existing SOA policy, the new law requires that each student receive at least
eight hours of instruction in "human rights, the rule of law, due process,
civilian control of the military, and the role of the military in a democratic
new law allowed Western Hemisphere civilians and police personnel to attend, and
requires that the Secretary of State be consulted in the selection of students.
must focus on leadership development, counter-drug operations, peace support operations,
disaster relief, or "any other matter the Secretary [of Defense] deems appropriate."
law codified the old SOA's decade-old practice of inviting a "Board of Visitors"
to review and evaluate "curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal
affairs, and academic methods." A federal committee, the board must include
the chairmen and ranking minority members of both houses' Armed Services Committees
(or surrogates), the senior Army officer responsible for training (or a surrogate),
one person chosen by the Secretary of State, the head of the U.S. Southern command
(or a surrogate), and six people chosen by the Secretary of Defense ("including,
to the extent practicable, persons from academia and the religious and human rights
communities"). The board reviews the institute's curriculum to determine
whether it complies with U.S. laws and doctrine, and whether it is consistent
with U.S. policy goals toward Latin America and the Caribbean. Within sixty days
of its annual meeting, the Board must submit a report to the Secretary of Defense
describing its activities and its recommendations.
law requires a detailed annual report on the institute's activities, which the
Secretary of Defense, after consulting with the Secretary of State, must submit
to Congress by March 15 of each year. No report was produced in 2001; the Defense
Department claimed that the newly created institue had no activities to report.
As of July 2002, the 2002 report had not yet been produced.
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation:Law
"Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" is authorized
by section 2166 of Title 10, U.S. Code.
4415 of Title 10, which formerly authorized the School of the Americas, was repealed
by section 911 of the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5408).
changes the new law makes to the school are enumerated in the bulleted list to
5408, the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act (link to the "Thomas"
website of the Library of Congress). The changes to the School of the Americas
can be found in section 911.
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, Command Information Briefing, PowerPoint
presentation, July 2005
Board of Visitors report to Congress for 2004 (PDF
of December 1-2, 2004 Board of Visitors' Meeting (MS Word [.doc]
of December 11-12, 2003 Board of Visitors' Meeting (MS Word [.doc]
of June 3-4, 2003 Board of Visitors' Meeting (MS Word [.doc]
of December 12, 2002 Board of Visitors' Meeting (MS Word [.doc]
review by the Curriculum Subcommittee,
WHINSEC Board of Visitors, September
10, 2002 (MS Word [.doc]
of June 3-4, 2002 Board of Visitors' Meeting (MS Word [.doc]