I’ve owned the domain defenseassistance.org for several years; I use it for side projects related to work. The largest by far is one I started in mid-2015: a “database of everything” related to U.S. defense and security relations with Latin America.
This mammoth resource is just about complete. So I just took away the little “this site is under construction” warning and moved it to WOLA’s web space. It now lives at defenseoversight.wola.org.
There are four immense sections. All are searchable, or browsable by topic, country, aid program, and U.S. agency:
- Data Clips: Whenever I’m reading an official government source and I see something I didn’t know about security in Latin America, I take that bit of information and put it here. I tag it by country, aid program, topic, and U.S. agency, and add all the data about where I got it from. As of this afternoon there are 1,784 such clips. Click on any country or topic and you can get a briefing about it.
- Reports Library: Finding out what our government is doing with Latin America’s security forces means getting our hands on official government reports. We keep them all here, and share them. (A private part of this section keeps track of what we’re doing to obtain them.) We have 173 reports in the library as of now.
- Aid Programs: This part is brand new: we’re officially launching it next week. Many years ago, we set out to figure out all of the programs or “spigots” through which the U.S. government can give aid to foreign militaries. It turns out we identified 107 of them. Here they all are, explained, with the text of the laws that govern them and links to reports about them.
- News: If you visit this site often, you know that every weekday morning I post links to security-related news coverage around Latin America. I use this part of the database to generate those posts. My database of news clippings going back to May 2015 is here: a ridiculous 8,643 articles. You can’t have the text of the articles—it’s important to respect copyright—but you can search for them and link to the originals.
There’s also two private sections that I use to keep track of contacts and research questions. The rest is public—and now it’s a new subdomain on WOLA’s website.
I’ll keep the information gathered until now at the old defenseassistance.org domain. But that site will have a big warning at the top instructing visitors to go to defenseoversight.wola.org, and it will be hosted on a much slower (and cheaper) hosting plan.
I hope you find it useful.