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Thread: Tentative Guidelines for building partner armies post conflict

  1. #41
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    Default Case study specification

    Thanks all.
    David, the reason that I haven't been looking at those type of armies is my case restriction for the PhD - basically post 1990 and after UN and other intervention forces. My 14 + 1 case studies are: Zimbabwe 1980 -, Nambia (UNTAG) 1990, Mozambique (ONUMOZ) 1993 -, South Africa (nobody/BMATT), 1994 -, Bosnia-Herzegovina (1, MPRI, 2, Defence Reform Commission etc), 1996-, East Timor (INTERFET) 1999, Sierra Leone (British & UNAMSIL) around 1998-99 -, Afghanistan (OEF) (2002 - ), DR Congo (2003 - ) Iraq (2003 - ), Liberia (UNMIL) (2004-), S Sudan (2005-), Nepal (2006) -, and Kosovo (KFOR) (2008-). The key question is how to provide security for development, with an African bias because Africa is usually under-examined.

    Thus places like Korea are not included because they're Cold War and now developed. That does not mean that there are not valuable lessons to draw.

    Stan, thanks. But what about Lingala in N Kivu / S Kivu? Still applies? The thing is that if one goes as a English-language teacher / foreign language student, which is one of the things I'm idly considering, Tanzania is much easier and safer to learn Swahili in. Never mind, these possibilities are years away - but good to get views on the options.

  2. #42
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    Default Africa-centric

    Colin,

    Thanks for the clarification, which was what I suspected.

    How about Rwanda? I am aware that the RPF was Uganda-based and after victory became the new RPA. I know the UK has been involved in SSR there, although without any details.

    A long time ago the UK had a small BMATT in Uganda, IIRC after Idi Amin's fall and they may not have stayed for long - due to the lack of security.

    What has been the impact on Kenya of a continuing UK military presence since independence? The presence is ostensibly for the training of UK troops and as the US Embassy attack showed there was a UK engineer capability available. I understand there is often an infantry battalion in country all year.

    Another aspect is the deployment of 'new' armies in UN / AU peacekeeping, what impact does that have on a national military? Three African countries on your list have participated: Namibia, Zimbabwe and RSA (I include the DRC World War).

    Just a few thoughts.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Dayuhan, I hear what you are saying and all too often you are right. But what I mean by advice - and this is the way I practiced it as a civilian USG type, soldier, and free lance researcher - is that my advice to my counterparts was just my best guess as to what would work to achieve their goals. I never claimed to have a monopoly on truth and I always listened to their views. Sometimes their views would come out on top; sometimes mine; most often some amalgam of both brought out by mutually respectful discussion during which there was quite a bit of disagreement.
    I agree that's the ideal way to do it... i just feel that our approach often makes that ideal more difficult to attain. The perception that "shared goals" are a precondition to US support creates an incentive for our partners to conceal goals that may not be shared and exaggerate those that are. At the same time, Americans often assume that our goals are universal and of self-evident virtue, and may not perceive that the other party may have divergent goals.

    Disagreement, in these cases, is a good thing and one to be encouraged: it means that the goal divergences are out in the open and being discussed, and can likely be managed. If there's no disagreement, either everyone is on exactly the same page and pulling in exactly the same direction (yeah, right) or the goal divergences are not being recognized, which is not so good: they've a way of emerging to bite us on the ass at critical moments.

    Of course there are times when there's outright manipulation. Lots of people wistfully remember the good old days (for them) when the word "communist" was the key to the US treasury. Then that stopped working, and all of a sudden here's the word "terrorist".... ka-ching. Of course that's not always the case, but it's something that we need to be alert to, and in general I'd say our people need to be more aware of the reality of divergent goals and the need to address and manage them.

    If there's one piece of advice I'd give an adviser-to-be it would be this...

    If you see people doing things that make no sense to you, don't assume they're stupid, irrational, or deranged. Assume that there is some factor in the picture that you don't see - because there always is.

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    A one year tour is simply too short to get a solid grounding in all the situational and personality quirks. Two years would be much better with, generally, return to the same area after going home for "reblueing."
    With this I'd agree completely, but would add an additional concern with rapid turnover: Americans are typically comfortable with institutional relationships, but many of the cultures we work with think in more personal terms, and a relationship with one individual may not be inherited by a successor simply because they both represent the same institution. Of course rotation is inevitable, but we need to be more aware that a counterpart may see their relationship as one with an individual, not with the US Government, and this may take time to rebuild.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The key question is how to provide security for development, with an African bias because Africa is usually under-examined.
    That of course brings us to the question of what development is, and how to provide it, which is often even thornier than the problem of achieving security! Hopefully you don't have to deal with that one...

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    Nah, I'm still around, but if I have nothing to say on a given subject then there's no sense saying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Hey Marc !



    I hate you - As I pine away with a balmy 5 degrees of Estonian Spring listening to renditions of the Grateful Dead on the radio Sounds like something I would have indeed enjoyed ! Seems Tom Kratman (and Odom) has disappeared and no doubt on another journey.

    Hey Colin,



    As you already have French under your belt (and would have to be retaught Belgian French to comprehend the Zairois (and truly infuriate the real French) ), I would recommend Lingala over Swahili regardless of the region. Even in Rwanda I got by with Lingala. I learned Lingala mostly by default working with the military in Gbadolite and Kinshasa, but it came in handy all over. You may have also noticed that even with Lingala or Swahili, they still use much of the French language merely to borrow words especially during bartering. I know some humanitarian deminers that found they were lost with just French and began learning Lingala too.

    BTW, a General in DIA call Zaire "one of the most inhospitable places on earth". I often referred to the country in message traffic as it was always known --- The Heart of Darkness.



    David's got a good point. We have some post-intervention success stories that rarely make the press. Makes me wonder what recipe we used then, that obviously aren't working now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post

    Gesnippt

    Just to get back to your specific questions / ponders about Latin America, what answers would we get if we dumped Huntington's fatally flawed model and looked at reality instead? Probably the key areas would be the social and technological. Put simply, there is just no way that any of the Latin American states could (or would) become industrialized nations; their environments don't force them to (which, BTW, is what happened in England and the US, albeit for different reasons). Without mass industrialization and the consequent economic surplus to support massive bureaucracies, expensive militaries, large public school systems (for literacy), etc., you can't actually field the type of force that we tend to assume is "Western". Perhaps more importantly, without 100+ years of social organization around that industrial model, you don't have cultural expectations of "rightness" surrounding that way of war (actually, it's an exaptation of social organization between the social and military spheres).

    Anyway, 'nuff of that - I'm going to get some more coffee and try and wake up .

    Cheers,

    Marc
    If by "fatally flawed" you mean Huntington's writing off or Latin and Orthodox civilization as distinct from, and generally inimical to, Western Civlization, I am inclined to agree with you. I think I know why he did it: Because with those two in our camp, and portrayed on a map, it looks like we are well poised to dominate the world for the next couple of thousand years, but without them, it looks as if we're on our last legs.

    Conversely, I don't know how one argues against the notion that, historically, conflict along civilizational lines among peers and near peers tend to be particularly intractable and bloody, since it usually is.

    I'm inclined to disagree that Latin states "cannot" become industrialized, in part because some of them seem to be, in part because some of them have been for some time, and in part because the opportunity is opening for them as the core west deindustrializes and shifts ever more to service. This is not to say that they will industrialize well, or honestly / without massive corruption, or efficiently, or anything along those lines. But, if you look at countries capable of building, say, tanks - not bad measures of industrialization - among the few countries that can, can because they have, are Brazil and Argentina. (Though, admittedly, the TAM was rather light and based on a German design.)

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    Default But EMBRAER

    has made any number of very good aricraft that are being bought by the US among others.

    Dayuhan, accord at last!

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    This is not to say that they will industrialize well, or honestly / without massive corruption, or efficiently, or anything along those lines.
    If dishonesty, corruption, and inefficiency - or to add a few, environmental devastation, sweatshop labor, union-busting, etc - are signs of not industrializing well, then I'm not sure anyone has ever industrialized well. All of these and more were present in abundance during the early stages of industrialization in the US and Europe, and in industrializing Asia.

    Political, economic, and military transitions are rarely smooth and elegant, and those who expect the transitions of others to be smoother and more elegant than ours were are likely to be disappointed. There are few things as strange to me as hearing, say, Western Europeans wonder
    why the emergence of nations and the settlement of international and intranational disputes in Africa is so complicated and so often violent. I seem to vaguely recall that the same process in Europe produced just a wee bit of mess, possibly even more.

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Dayuhan, accord at last!
    There goes my reputation...

  8. #48
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    Hi Tom,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    If by "fatally flawed" you mean Huntington's writing off or Latin and Orthodox civilization as distinct from, and generally inimical to, Western Civlization, I am inclined to agree with you. I think I know why he did it: Because with those two in our camp, and portrayed on a map, it looks like we are well poised to dominate the world for the next couple of thousand years, but without them, it looks as if we're on our last legs.
    Oh, it's flawed at that level, too, but that wasn't what I meant. His entire thesis is based on a fatal flaw which, at it's root, is the association of a "civilization" with a genetic grouping. In reality, there are three fatal flaws in it. The first is that he doesn't understand genetics and uses "culture" (actually "civilization") as a proxy for it. The second is that he doesn't understand genetic variances and the interplay between genetic groupings and cultural groupings. The third fatal flaw is that he doesn't understand the relationship of culture as a selection criterion in natural selection.

    Given those three flaws, I would have to chcracterize his exclusion of the Latin and Orthodox "civilizations" as a minor peccadillo .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    Conversely, I don't know how one argues against the notion that, historically, conflict along civilizational lines among peers and near peers tend to be particularly intractable and bloody, since it usually is.
    It's a theoretical distinction that flows from his flaws. Given his model, it's the only possible solution. However, his model cannot account for the rise of trans-civilizational actors or intra-civilizational ones either.

    Hmmm, let's see: how would Huntington account for the rise of the Cosmos? What "civilization" would they be part of? (Note: for those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is a scenario that is playing out right now that Tom examines in some of his books)

    At best, Huntington's model would have to assume that such groups were a) part of a "civilization" and b) were diasporic in some sense. He would have to model them, since he uses an organicist analogy for civilization, as an "infection" of some type (cf Mein Kampf, Book 1, Ch. 11 for an example of this).

    Getting away from the flaws in Huntington's model for a minute, and back to your observation about peer and near peer competition, sure they happen and, you're quite right, only a twit would argue against that. Of course, "competition" doesn't necessarily mean conflict, it could be economic, it could be status oriented (think about the monumental architecture of the early Sumerian city states), etc. I'm not saying that it won't be conflict, just that that will not be a constant.

    Furthermore, it is likely that in any long run of peer / near-peer competition, sets of "conventions" governing both competition and conflict will appear as a way of reducing the risk of total annihilation. A good example of this was the development of the Five Empires agreements (~1800 - 1300 bce) between some pretty different "civilizations who were all peers / near peers. On the flip side, sometimes they just end up annihilating one another...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    I'm inclined to disagree that Latin states "cannot" become industrialized, in part because some of them seem to be, in part because some of them have been for some time, and in part because the opportunity is opening for them as the core west deindustrializes and shifts ever more to service. This is not to say that they will industrialize well, or honestly / without massive corruption, or efficiently, or anything along those lines. But, if you look at countries capable of building, say, tanks - not bad measures of industrialization - among the few countries that can, can because they have, are Brazil and Argentina. (Though, admittedly, the TAM was rather light and based on a German design.)
    Tom, I've got to agree with Dayuhan here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    If dishonesty, corruption, and inefficiency - or to add a few, environmental devastation, sweatshop labor, union-busting, etc - are signs of not industrializing well, then I'm not sure anyone has ever industrialized well. All of these and more were present in abundance during the early stages of industrialization in the US and Europe, and in industrializing Asia.
    Can they industrialize? Sure they can, that really isn't the question for me at least. For me, it's more a matter of how they industrialize, using what relational model. Britain (and the US) industrialized along a Robber Baron mode of relations which, in the case of Britain, had already been a cultural vector for several hundred years before the invention of the Watts engine (the Enclosure Movement). The key problem, at a social level, is how do you bring industrialists into a beneficial relationship with the rest of society? In Britain, they did it in part by creating new Peers of the Realm. and intermarriage with the great families. In the US, they did it by letting industrialists control large parts of the political process, although I don't think that option is as stable as the British one.

    So, how is it being done in Brazil and Argentina?

    Then there is the issue of capability vs. utility. Sure, both Brazil and Argentina can produce tanks, but should they? What are the social relations of their society likely to produce if large numbers of tanks become standard equipment?
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    has made any number of very good aricraft that are being bought by the US among others.

    Dayuhan, accord at last!

    Cheers

    JohnT
    Embraer, yes. Seems to me I recall some others. Being a gruntish type, I'm usually inclined to think ground equipment. My flaw, I know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    If dishonesty, corruption, and inefficiency - or to add a few, environmental devastation, sweatshop labor, union-busting, etc - are signs of not industrializing well, then I'm not sure anyone has ever industrialized well. All of these and more were present in abundance during the early stages of industrialization in the US and Europe, and in industrializing Asia.

    Political, economic, and military transitions are rarely smooth and elegant, and those who expect the transitions of others to be smoother and more elegant than ours were are likely to be disappointed. There are few things as strange to me as hearing, say, Western Europeans wonder
    why the emergence of nations and the settlement of international and intranational disputes in Africa is so complicated and so often violent. I seem to vaguely recall that the same process in Europe produced just a wee bit of mess, possibly even more.



    There goes my reputation...
    They may well do it worse than us, and are perhaps unlikely to do it any better, but yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Oh, it's flawed at that level, too, but that wasn't what I meant. His entire thesis is based on a fatal flaw which, at it's root, is the association of a "civilization" with a genetic grouping. In reality, there are three fatal flaws in it. The first is that he doesn't understand genetics and uses "culture" (actually "civilization") as a proxy for it. The second is that he doesn't understand genetic variances and the interplay between genetic groupings and cultural groupings. The third fatal flaw is that he doesn't understand the relationship of culture as a selection criterion in natural selection.
    Except in the case of the Japanese, I'm not sure that's true, both your criticism and your characterization. I mean, he has to have been aware of blond, blue eyed Islamic Circassians, highly western Americans with epicanthic folds, bloody Magyars, and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Given those three flaws, I would have to chcracterize his exclusion of the Latin and Orthodox "civilizations" as a minor peccadillo .

    It's a theoretical distinction that flows from his flaws. Given his model, it's the only possible solution. However, his model cannot account for the rise of trans-civilizational actors or intra-civilizational ones either.

    Hmmm, let's see: how would Huntington account for the rise of the Cosmos? What "civilization" would they be part of? (Note: for those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is a scenario that is playing out right now that Tom examines in some of his books)
    Most are likely to know it under the term "Tranzis." Though I think my term, "Cosmos," is slightly more accurate, and less prone to mispronounciation. (Tranzis as in "band," not Tranzis as in Nazis.)

    By and large, they're western with some token participants from other civilizations tacked on, mostly for reasons of Cosmo aesthetics. They're neither diasporic nor primarily from any other civilization. And, as I've said, somewhere or other, they're a disease not unlike AIDS.

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    At best, Huntington's model would have to assume that such groups were a) part of a "civilization" and b) were diasporic in some sense. He would have to model them, since he uses an organicist analogy for civilization, as an "infection" of some type (cf Mein Kampf, Book 1, Ch. 11 for an example of this).

    Getting away from the flaws in Huntington's model for a minute, and back to your observation about peer and near peer competition, sure they happen and, you're quite right, only a twit would argue against that. Of course, "competition" doesn't necessarily mean conflict, it could be economic, it could be status oriented (think about the monumental architecture of the early Sumerian city states), etc. I'm not saying that it won't be conflict, just that that will not be a constant.
    Well...no; exhaustion sets in. But something need not be constant to be more or less endless, which is, I think, Huntington's view.

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Furthermore, it is likely that in any long run of peer / near-peer competition, sets of "conventions" governing both competition and conflict will appear as a way of reducing the risk of total annihilation. A good example of this was the development of the Five Empires agreements (~1800 - 1300 bce) between some pretty different "civilizations who were all peers / near peers. On the flip side, sometimes they just end up annihilating one another...

    Tom, I've got to agree with Dayuhan here:

    Can they industrialize? Sure they can, that really isn't the question for me at least. For me, it's more a matter of how they industrialize, using what relational model. Britain (and the US) industrialized along a Robber Baron mode of relations which, in the case of Britain, had already been a cultural vector for several hundred years before the invention of the Watts engine (the Enclosure Movement). The key problem, at a social level, is how do you bring industrialists into a beneficial relationship with the rest of society? In Britain, they did it in part by creating new Peers of the Realm. and intermarriage with the great families. In the US, they did it by letting industrialists control large parts of the political process, although I don't think that option is as stable as the British one.

    So, how is it being done in Brazil and Argentina?

    Then there is the issue of capability vs. utility. Sure, both Brazil and Argentina can produce tanks, but should they? What are the social relations of their society likely to produce if large numbers of tanks become standard equipment?
    I used tanks, of course, as a measure of can, not should, and only in relation to the question of "can they industrialize?" which you seemed to be answering in the negative. Or did I misread you?
    Last edited by marct; 04-12-2010 at 05:13 PM. Reason: fixed quotes

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    Okay, I have obviously NOT gotten the trick of interspersing with quotes. See the above.

    [QUOTE=Tom Kratman;96660][QUOTE=marct;96646]Hi Tom,



    Oh, it's flawed at that level, too, but that wasn't what I meant. His entire thesis is based on a fatal flaw which, at it's root, is the association of a "civilization" with a genetic grouping. In reality, there are three fatal flaws in it. The first is that he doesn't understand genetics and uses "culture" (actually "civilization") as a proxy for it. The second is that he doesn't understand genetic variances and the interplay between genetic groupings and cultural groupings. The third fatal flaw is that he doesn't understand the relationship of culture as a selection criterion in natural selection.[QUOTE=marct;96646]

    Except in the case of the Japanese, I'm not sure that's true, both your criticism and your characterization. I mean, he has to have been aware of blond, blue eyed Islamic Circassians, highly western Americans with epicanthic folds, bloody Magyars, and the like.

    [QUOTE=marct;96646]Given those three flaws, I would have to chcracterize his exclusion of the Latin and Orthodox "civilizations" as a minor peccadillo .



    It's a theoretical distinction that flows from his flaws. Given his model, it's the only possible solution. However, his model cannot account for the rise of trans-civilizational actors or intra-civilizational ones either.

    Hmmm, let's see: how would Huntington account for the rise of the Cosmos? What "civilization" would they be part of? (Note: for those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is a scenario that is playing out right now that Tom examines in some of his books)[QUOTE=marct;96646]

    Most are likely to know it under the term "Tranzis." Though I think my term, "Cosmos," is slightly more accurate, and less prone to mispronounciation. (Tranzis as in "band," not Tranzis as in Nazis.)

    By and large, they're western with some token participants from other civilizations tacked on, mostly for reasons of Cosmo aesthetics. They're neither diasporic nor primarily from any other civilization. And, as I've said, somewhere or other, they're a disease not unlike AIDS.

    [QUOTE=marct;96646]At best, Huntington's model would have to assume that such groups were a) part of a "civilization" and b) were diasporic in some sense. He would have to model them, since he uses an organicist analogy for civilization, as an "infection" of some type (cf Mein Kampf, Book 1, Ch. 11 for an example of this).

    Getting away from the flaws in Huntington's model for a minute, and back to your observation about peer and near peer competition, sure they happen and, you're quite right, only a twit would argue against that. Of course, "competition" doesn't necessarily mean conflict, it could be economic, it could be status oriented (think about the monumental architecture of the early Sumerian city states), etc. I'm not saying that it won't be conflict, just that that will not be a constant.
    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post

    Well...no; exhaustion sets in. But something need not be constant to be more or less endless, which is, I think, Huntington's view.



    I used tanks, of course, as a measure of can, not should, and only in relation to the question of "can they industrialize?" which you seemed to be answering in the negative. Or did I misread you?

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    Default Lol

    Well, it's all in the coding ! Sometimes, I just cheat and use wordpad....
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    Hey Tom,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    Nah, I'm still around, but if I have nothing to say on a given subject then there's no sense saying it.
    Jeez, for someone with nothing to say herein... can't wait for your interest to peak

    Then there's always professional help available...

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Well, it's all in the coding ! Sometimes, I just cheat and use wordpad....
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Stan, thanks. But what about Lingala in N Kivu / S Kivu? Still applies? The thing is that if one goes as a English-language teacher / foreign language student, which is one of the things I'm idly considering, Tanzania is much easier and safer to learn Swahili in. Never mind, these possibilities are years away - but good to get views on the options.
    Hi Colin,
    I think there's more than 100 examples of Peace Corps workers doing the exact same thing in Kivu. For that matter, my time in Goma and Bukavu went relatively well with Lingala. Let's not forget that much like any trading border, there's little if any language barriers. In the late 80s I traveled to the bitter end of Lake Tanganyika with a bunch of Brits and Lingala worked much better than French (well, if you've ever heard a Brit speak French, you'd be inclined to learn Lingala too ).
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    What are the social relations of their society likely to produce if large numbers of tanks become standard equipment?
    I’d guess the production of tanks would have a fairly minor impact on social relations, given that the primary function of the tanks will probably be to roll down the boulevard on Independence Day (an excellent and laudable function for a tank and far superior to the intended one, IMO). If national pride demands tanks, better to manufacture them locally and keep some of the money in the country than buy them abroad…

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    His entire thesis is based on a fatal flaw which, at it's root, is the association of a "civilization" with a genetic grouping. In reality, there are three fatal flaws in it.
    Only three? I stopped counting in the double digits, though I admit that I made little effort to synthesize. I always had a sneaking suspicion that he came up with a catchy title for a book and had to conjure up a theory to go with it. Stranger things have happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    By and large, they're western with some token participants from other civilizations tacked on, mostly for reasons of Cosmo aesthetics. They're neither diasporic nor primarily from any other civilization. And, as I've said, somewhere or other, they're a disease not unlike AIDS.
    That's scary. Because, you see, I met one once, and despite being loony she was cute, and one thing led to another, and does that mean...

    Colin, the good news is that your thread has drawn a group of people who are eminently capable of constructive comment on the question you raised. The bad news is that instead of commenting on the question you raised, they're rambling off Brazilian industry, Huntington's flaws, and transnational regressions.

    Hey, it's the Internet. Sic Bisquitas Disintegrat, as somebody said...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I’d guess the production of tanks would have a fairly minor impact on social relations, given that the primary function of the tanks will probably be to roll down the boulevard on Independence Day (an excellent and laudable function for a tank and far superior to the intended one, IMO). If national pride demands tanks, better to manufacture them locally and keep some of the money in the country than buy them abroad…



    Only three? I stopped counting in the double digits, though I admit that I made little effort to synthesize. I always had a sneaking suspicion that he came up with a catchy title for a book and had to conjure up a theory to go with it. Stranger things have happened.



    That's scary. Because, you see, I met one once, and despite being loony she was cute, and one thing led to another, and does that mean...

    Colin, the good news is that your thread has drawn a group of people who are eminently capable of constructive comment on the question you raised. The bad news is that instead of commenting on the question you raised, they're rambling off Brazilian industry, Huntington's flaws, and transnational regressions.

    Hey, it's the Internet. Sic Bisquitas Disintegrat, as somebody said...
    Matter of fact, when a book comes to me, it comes in the form of a title first. Then the story more or less falls in on the title. No doubt the story was floating around in the back of my head prior to that, but subjectively it never appears that way.

    And, sad to say, yes, you're going to die. The good news, however, is that you're most unlikely to die from your no doubt sordid little tryst with a Tranzi.

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    Huntington first published the article, then the book.

    Marc, I'm afraid I don't see anything genetic in Huntington. My read is that he sees culture writ large as civilization. And it is between these big cultures that he sees conflict. Historically, his thesis holds up best along the Eurpean/Islamic fault line. It falls apart entirely when he argues that the Mediterranean sub-set of Western Culture is a different civilization that he calls Latin American. Then there is the argument that Victor Davis Hanson makes in Carnage and Culture that the really nasty wars are between various enemies from within Western culture - WWI and WWII. We can reject parts of hunington's thesis on grounds other than the genetic argument but it still retains a heuristic utility. (Haven't been able to use "heuristic" in a long time.)

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Huntington first published the article, then the book.

    Marc, I'm afraid I don't see anything genetic in Huntington. My read is that he sees culture writ large as civilization. And it is between these big cultures that he sees conflict. Historically, his thesis holds up best along the Eurpean/Islamic fault line. It falls apart entirely when he argues that the Mediterranean sub-set of Western Culture is a different civilization that he calls Latin American. Then there is the argument that Victor Davis Hanson makes in Carnage and Culture that the really nasty wars are between various enemies from within Western culture - WWI and WWII. We can reject parts of hunington's thesis on grounds other than the genetic argument but it still retains a heuristic utility. (Haven't been able to use "heuristic" in a long time.)

    Cheers

    JohnT
    What's always (or, rather, since reading it) struck me most about Huntington's thesis, and supports it most, is how freaking _merciless_ cross civilizational wars are. Between Brits, French, and Germans we can have something like the spontaneous 1914 Christmas Truce. This never happened between the US Army and AmerInds, nor between us and the Japanese or VC/NVA or Norks or PLA. Instead, we had absolutely ruthless, murderous, merciless slaughter, with very few, if any, instances of humanity to lighten it. It springs, I think, from a lack of feeling, on both sides, that the other side is quite fully human, while the resentment of slaughter has the effect of causing war to go on long after it should be ended. Revenge and all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Hi all,
    I've been working away on the PhD thesis and have developed a number of guidelines for creating or recreating indigenous armies in a post conflict, post intervention environment.
    I'm not sure whether I've missed something obvious or whether I've got something wrong, so thoughts from older heads with more wisdom would be much appreciated.
    Does this list sound right -
    Preparatory considerations
    The first area is preparatory considerations before the process gets underway.
    *The first is the state of peace and war in the country, which will have a dominant effect on the environment in which reconstruction takes place.
    *army reconstruction not just into a broader SSR programme, but within civil institutional redevelopment of a wider nature still.
    *Third, national security and defence planning needs to be incorporated into wider national development documents.
    *Fourth, the OECD guidelines on SSR and repeated experience indicates the need for an overall army strategic and budgeting plan. The South African example of making the responsibilities of the government to the armed forces clearly understood, including making available sufficient resources, is a good one to follow.

    Army reconstruction process
    *First, Southern African experience shows the need to set realistic, rather than unobtainable, transition goals within the armed forces.
    *Second, if foreign models must be utilised, they should not conflict. Zimbabwe shows the difficulty of applying differing systems (British and North Korean) in the same army.
    *Third. retraining the entire new force may not be necessary; officers and NCOs only may be sufficient.
    *Fourth, the army itself when being reconstructed should be designed to be all-inclusive, to avoid factional dissatisfaction. As shown by the crisis in East Timor, internal tensions need to be carefully managed until they can be resolved.
    *Fifth, the creation of a reserve force should be carefully considered. Such a force might employ those people who would benefit from having an occupation to avoid them causing trouble, but are unsuitable for the regular army.
    *Sixth, after individual and unit training, major exercises need to be scheduled to maintain skills and keep soldiers busy.
    *Seventh, logistics, administration and maintenance need particular attention. This applies doubly when a force is being transformed from a guerrilla into an institutionalised army.
    *Eighth, automatic transferral of sophisticated bureaucratic procedures and computer/information systems should be resisted. Cf. 10 Division British advisors '..it is better that they be allowed to adopt the elements of our systems that suit their needs,' SWJ article on problems in Iraqi Army intelligence, and my personal experience in East Timor
    *Given the need for large numbers of advisors in teams like ETTs and MiTTs, consideration needs to be given to ways to improve the prestige of advisor assignments.
    *Care should be taken to restrain pressure for higher quantities of new army personnel over higher quality personnel.
    *U.S. private contractors such as DynCorp, PAE and new Protection Strategies Inc. seem to be best suited to U.S. ‘train and equip’ type reconstruction efforts. Eg MPRI in Nigeria, yet, DynCorp in Liberia handled a complex programme well.
    *U.S. legal restrictions which prohibit U.S. funds from being spent on non-U.S. equipment can hamper acquisition of cheaper, less sophisticated equipment. It also requires a potentially long supply line back to the United States.

    Comments and violent disagreement very welcome.
    Just to throw a little monkey wrench into the works, Colin, contemplate that an army will be no better than its training, coupled with the possibility that all the most important training the soldier gets he takes in with mother's milk or, in any case, long before the military gets its hands on him Conversely, if he doesn't have those things when he comes to the colors, he never will. Think about how difficult it would be to make a decent army of an Islamic group when they value religion and blood relations, and damned little else. That's a group that is completely alone, atomized individuals, in the loneliest place in the world.

    Yes, you can build units based on clans and tribes. And sometimes they will fight fairly well. The problem there, though, is that a) the real chain of command is very often not the official chain of command, and b) that, because such units are blood based, they have a strictly finite tolerance for casualties, since casualties beyond a certain point threaten the power and security of the clan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I’d guess the production of tanks would have a fairly minor impact on social relations, given that the primary function of the tanks will probably be to roll down the boulevard on Independence Day (an excellent and laudable function for a tank and far superior to the intended one, IMO). If national pride demands tanks, better to manufacture them locally and keep some of the money in the country than buy them abroad…



    ...
    Maybe, maybe not. I understand that Venezuela remanufactured its AMX-30fleet. Now the turrets can only traverse about 60 degrees. Who knows what they might have ended up with if they'd started from scratch...

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