Foreign military interactions

In addition to controlling exports of physical items and technical data, the ITAR also regulates the training of foreign military units and forces by U.S. persons.  Such activities are known as “Defense Services”.

Duke faculty are advised to use caution if approached by a member of a foreign military unit with a request for training or aid, whether formal or informal.  Such assistance could come in the form of correspondence courses, technical, educational, or information publications and media of all kinds, training aid, orientation, training exercise, and military advice.

It is important to note that even information residing in the public domain, including the results of fundamental research, would fall under the definition of Defense Service if used to provide training or aid to a foreign military unit or force. 

The Office of Export Controls should be consulted prior to engaging in such activities.  The Office will help determine if a Defense Service is being engaged in and whether there are any exemptions available.  If none exist the Office will assist in applying for the necessary authorization from State Department to proceed in the proposed service.

Example: The French Air Force has taken an interest in your study of aerodynamics at high altitudes.  They’ve invited you to serve as a technical consultant in Paris, where you will be solving issues with direct applications in the aircraft fleet. 

Aside from a high potential that you may need to export ITAR-controlled technical data to use during your work overseas, such activity alone would qualify as a Defense Service.  A Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) would need to be issued by the State Department to authorize this work. 

Example: An officer in the German Army is taking your advanced course on metamaterials.  Your course is not designed to teach anything beyond the general concepts common to your field.  No specific end-use for the materials in your course is taught either.  The officer in question wants to schedule time to meet outside of class to discuss specific issues he is having in his military role. 

Since the information disclosed during the teaching of your class is not specific to a military application you would not be engaging in a Defense Service by merely having this individual in your class.  However, answering his or her specific military-related questions (whether formally or informally) will constitute a Defense Service.