Monday, April 14, 2008

Nagl: Teach a Man to Fish

In the new issue of Armed Forces Journal, John Nagl argues that we should focus more on host nation training units to meet the demands of the long war. Incidentally, that is one of the things that the new, no-longer-Shaping but CSE or Cooperative Security & Engagement JOC from JFCOM will be about (more on that debacle in this post). The operational elements of this in terms of major conflicts was in principle described back in the old SSTR JOC as a development on Internal Defense Operations. But this will be about both the peace time version (African peace ops capacity building, i.e. like ACOTA (CRS report, pdf file from FAS) and the war version (Afghanistan, where both Brits and Americans have integrated commands).

Nagl points to hwo these functions have traditionally been carried out by special forces; but that the demand has grown so much that regular forces should be educated and trained in these matters. Ultimately, the whole thing is about what I said the CSE JOC would end up being about: development in the shape of just (and hence:) stable states:
The Long War is ultimately a war of ideas. Strong partners with institutions that work toward political and economic development and reflect respect for human dignity present one of the best weapons to wage such a war. Enabling and empowering our partners through security force assistance coordinated within an interagency framework supports national policy goals and national security. Embracing a new adviser force structure and adviser education is the answer we need for the hard questions of this new era.
Of course, the private sector is and has been delivering a lot of the peace time training - and it seems likely that this is the way to go for small countries who would wish to retain a fighting force. Like Denmark e.g.

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