Security Force Assistance
Definition/Scope: (FM 3-07.1) Security force assistance (SFA) is the unified action to generate, employ, and sustain local, host-nation or regional security forces in support of a legitimate authority (FM 3-07). SFA improves the capability and capacity of host-nation or regional security organization's security forces. These forces are collectively referred to as foreign security forces. Foreign security forces are forces— including but not limited to military, paramilitary, police, and intelligence forces; border police, coast guard, and customs officials; and prison guards and correctional personnel—that provide security for a host nation and its relevant population or support a regional security organization's mission. SFA occurs within the framework of full spectrum operations (see FM 3-0). In most situations involving this assistance, there is relatively little weight on offensive and defensive operations from a U.S. perspective. However, when U.S. forces accompany foreign security forces (FSF) in combat, the weight of offensive and defense operations will change to address the situation and align with the foreign security force's efforts. SFA is not just a stability operation, although it is a key contributor to the primary stability tasks of establish civil security and establish civil control. SFA can be conducted across the spectrum of conflict, from stable peace to general war. This assistance could focus on improving the security forces of a host nation that is currently under no immediate threat, on paramilitary forces to counter an insurgency, or on advising FSF in major combat operations against an external threat.
Broader Terms:Department of Defense Directive 3000.05
Narrower Terms:Irregular Warfare
Related Terms:Advise and Assist Brigade