The Department of Defense has created and controlled proxy armies throughout Africa and Asia for almost 20 years by using the obscure counterterrorism funding power included in 10 U.S.C. 127e. Due to its highly confidential nature, the complete roster of these proxy armies is yet unclear.
Some of the nations where the Department of Defense has implemented 127e programs are expected; for example, it is well known that the United States has counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria. However, other nations may cause both constitutional questions and raise eyebrows. There is no definition of the kind of support that U.S. forces may provide or receive in 127e. But in order for American forces to be able to enlist, train, equip, and pay the salaries of foreign militaries, paramilitaries, and private persons who would help the country fight terrorism, the Department of Defense asked Congress for 127e. Putting these partners on the payroll, in the words of Maj. Gen. J. Marcus Hicks, the former commander of Special Operations Command Africa, would grant American forces “complete incentive authority” over them and allow them to “command and manage” them.