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Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

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The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is an agency within the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 that bridges the Department of State with the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

. It provides policy in the areas of international security
International security
International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to ensure mutual survival and safety. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. International and national security...

, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy and policy, military use of space, and defense trade. It is headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs is a position within the American Department of State that manages the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, charged with linking the Department of Defense and the Department of State by providing policy in the areas of international...

 who is currently Andrew J. Shapiro
Andrew J. Shapiro
Andrew J. Shapiro is the current United States Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.-Biography:Andrew J. Shapiro was raised in Chestnut Ridge, New York. His father headed the Westchester Medical Center's regional genetics program, and his mother ran a liquor store. Shapiro...

.

According to the Department of State website, the Bureau secures military base access and overflight permission to support the deployment of U.S. military forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

. It negotiates the status of U.S. military forces and International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 non-surrender agreements. It is also responsible for coordinating the participation of coalition combat and stabilization forces, and assisting other countries in reducing the availability of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), which are shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles.

The Bureau seeks to create and manage defense relationships with allies of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, regulate arms transfers, control access to military technology, and combat the illegal trafficking of small arms or light weapons. It also is responsible for training and equipping international peacekeepers and other military personnel.

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement within the Bureau of Political Affairs manages the Humanitarian Mine Action Program and publishes the SAFE PASSAGE: A Newsletter for the Humanitarian Mine Action and Small Arms/Light Weapons Communities. The office also publishes To Walk The Earth In Safety a publication that summarizes the current U.S. effort to rid the world of the most pressing land mine and ordnance problems in a country-by-country format. Finally they have published a number of Press Releases that describe ongoing efforts within those communities and the Office's efforts in support of these aims. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Mine Action Centre defines "mine action" as removing land mine
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

s from the ground, assisting victims, and also teaching people how to protect themselves from danger in environments affected by land mines. In addition to promoting public and private mine action partnerships, the Bureau works with the Department of Defense to provide assistance in the event of natural disasters.

Current offices within the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs include the Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers, the Office of Plans, Policy and Analysis, the Office of International Security Operations, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, the Office of the POLAD Coordinator, the Office of Security Negotiations and Agreements, and the Office of the Coordinator for Counter-Piracy and Maritime Security.

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