Morocco: U.S. Security Cooperation With Morocco


Morocco is a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues, with a shared goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East and North Africa. The United States works closely with Morocco to promote regional stability, counter terrorism, strengthen trade and investment ties, and support Morocco's development and reform efforts.

The United States has provided Morocco with security cooperation since the late 1950s, reflecting the enduring nature of the bilateral relationship. This commitment has been memorialized by multiple Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), most recently in 2007 and 2015, that outline critical areas of security and economic cooperation, helping Morocco address regional challenges and the impact of crises in neighboring regions.

Morocco is a stalwart partner in multilateral defense. It joined the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue in 1995, an initiative to promote regional security and stability in coordination with key NATO allies around the Mediterranean, and the United States designated Morocco a Major Non-NATO ally in 2004. Thanks to this designation, Morocco is able to participate in cooperative research and development, receive priority delivery for Excess Defense Articles (EDA), and benefit from reciprocally funded cooperative training.

Morocco is the largest purchaser of U.S. military equipment in Africa. The United States has $8.545 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Morocco under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS sales notified to Congress are listed here. Recent significant prior sales include: 18 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers; 40 AGM-154C Joint Stand Off Weapons (JSOW); six Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS); ten GM-84L Harpoon Block II Air Launched missiles; 25 F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft; 5,810 MK82-1 Bombs; 36 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters; eight AN/MPQ-64F1 SENTINEL Radars; 20 AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Missiles; three CH-47D CHINOOK Helicopters; 40 LAU-129A Launchers with 20 AGM-65D MAVERICK Missiles; and a Gulfstream G- 550 aircraft.

Since 2013, Morocco has received equipment worth $478 million under DoD's EDA program. This includes 222 M1A1 Abrams tanks, two C-130H aircraft, and 600 M113A3 Armored Personnel Carriers.

In FY 2018-22, the United States also authorized the permanent export of over $167 million in defense articles to Morocco via the Direct Commercial Sales process. The top three categories of defense exports to Morocco were Military Electronics; Gas Turbine Engines and Associated Equipment; and Fire Control, Laser, Imaging, and Guidance Equipment.

Since 2012, the United States has provided Morocco with $135 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF). Our assistance has been key to maintaining U.S. origin defense articles; boosting maritime surveillance to address illegal immigration, smuggling, drug trafficking, and illicit fishing; procuring transport and logistics equipment; and upgrading aerial surveillance.

Also, since 2006, the United States has provided Morocco with $32 million for International Military Education and Training (IMET). Through this program, Moroccan students are sent annually to Professional Military Education classes at U.S. service schools. IMET courses advance military professionalization, build capacity in key areas, enhance interoperability with U.S. forces, and create a deeper understanding of the United States. These benefits are key to establishing lasting relationships with future leaders.

Morocco is among the top ten contributors to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. It currently deploys 1,718 peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and South Sudan. Morocco maintains a pre-deployment training center in Tifnit, which provides training in the areas of civilian protection, combating disinformation, digitalization, telemedicine, mental health, and environmental protection.

Morocco continues to deal with landmines and unexploded ordnance resulting from engagement between Morocco and Polisario Front forces over Western Sahara. Since 1993, the United States has provided $1.996 million dollars in Conventional Weapons Destruction program assistance to Morocco, including $1.154 million in FY2022.

Morocco plays a leading role in the United States' counterterrorism efforts. Since 2005, Morocco has been a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership--a U.S. government funded and implemented effort designed to counter violent extremism in the Sahara-Sahel region. In 2011, Morocco and the United States joined 28 other countries as founding members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum--an initiative to "reduce the vulnerability of people everywhere to terrorism by effectively preventing, combating, and prosecuting terrorist attacks and countering incitement and recruitment to terrorism." Furthermore, Morocco was the first Maghreb country to join the anti-ISIS Global Coalition in 2014 and currently serves as the co-chair of the Coalition's Africa Focus Group.

The United States and Morocco also maintain strong military cooperation through joint security operations. Since the late 1990s, Morocco has hosted the AFRICAN LION training exercise, which brings together U.S. and Moroccan forces with participants from more than twenty countries and NATO for training. Under U.S. Africa Command since 2008, African Lion has become the largest joint military exercise on the continent, with thousands of troops participating annually. Additionally, since 2003, Morocco has had a training partnership with the Utah National Guard as part of the U.S. National Guard State Partnership Program, which provides specialized training and exchange opportunities with the Moroccan Armed Forces.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

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