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last updated:9/2/03

Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)


The Department of Defense established DSCA as a separate agency to direct, administer, and supervise security assistance programs. DSCA receives policy direction, as well as staff supervision, from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, which in turn is directed and supervised by the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

DSCA administers programs in the Arms Export Control Act (P.L. 90-269, or the AECA) and part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-195, or the "FAA"). These include:

  • Sales of defense articles, training and services under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program (Section 524 FAA; Sections 21-40A, AECA);
  • Drawdowns of defense articles, training and services (Section 506 FAA);
  • Grants and sales of Excess Defense Articles (EDA) (Section 516 FAA);
  • Leases of defense articles (Sections 61-64 AECA);
  • Funding of FMS purchases through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program (Section 23 AECA); and
  • Funding of training through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program (Sections 541-546 FAA).

In late 1998, at about the same time it changed its name from "Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA)," the agency gained responsibility for the Defense Department's Humanitarian Assistance (HA) and demining activities.

The agency's main duties, according to a Pentagon publication, are as follows:1

  • Administering and supervising security assistance planning and programs;
  • Coordinating, formulating and carrying out security assistance programs in cooperation with other government agencies;
  • Conducting international logistics and sales negotiations with foreign countries;
  • Serving as the liaison between the Department of Defense and U.S. industry for security assistance activities;
  • Managing credit financing programs;
  • Developing and issuing guidance for security assistance procedures;
  • Maintaining databases for the security assistance program; and
  • Allocating funds gained from administrative surcharges on Foreign Military Sales (FMS).

Other sites


1 United States, Department of Defense, Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, The Management of Security Assistance, 17th ed. (Wright-Patterson AFB, OH: May 1997): 102-3.

Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)


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