International Military Education and Training (IMET)
The International Military Education and Training (IMET) program is an instrument of U.S. national security and foreign policy and a key component of U.S. security assistance that provides training and education on a grant basis to students from allied and friendly nations. In addition to improving defense capabilities, IMET facilitates the development of important professional and personal relationships, which have proven to provide U.S. access and influence in a critical sector of society that often plays a pivotal role in supporting, or transitioning to, democratic governments. IMET’s traditional purpose of promoting more professional militaries around the world through training has taken on greater importance as an effective means to strengthen military alliances and the international coalition against terrorism.
The objectives of the IMET program are to:
Further the goal of regional stability through effective, mutually beneficial military-to-military relations that culminate in increased understanding and defense cooperation between the U.S. and foreign countries.
Impart skills and knowledge that help participating countries develop new capabilities and better utilize their existing resources.
Provide training and education that augments the capabilities of participant nations’ military forces to support combined operations and interoperability with U.S. NATO and regional coalition forces.
Expose foreign military and civilian personnel to the important roles democratic values and internationally recognized human rights can play in governance and military operations.
Training and education provided under the IMET program is professional and non-political, exposing foreign students to U.S. professional military organizations and procedures and the manner in which military organizations function under civilian control. The English language proficiency requirement for many IMET-funded courses establishes an essential baseline of communication skills necessary for students to attend courses. The IMET program exposes students to military justice systems and procedures and promotes the development of strong civil-military relations by showing key military and civilian leaders how to overcome barriers that can exist between armed forces, civilian officials and legislators. In addition, IMET has a positive effect on participants and recipient countries beyond actual training. Exposure to American values, quality instruction and the professionalism of the U.S. military play an important role in the IMET program. Finally, military cooperation is strengthened as foreign militaries improve their knowledge of U.S. military doctrine, strategic planning processes and operational procedures. This cooperation leads to opportunities for military-to-military interaction, information sharing, joint planning and combined force exercises that facilitate interoperability with U.S. NATO, and regional coalition forces.