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Thread: Security Cooperation at the strategic level

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    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    Default Security Cooperation at the strategic level

    I'm in the early stages of working on a paper (about 15 pages) on security cooperation at the strategic level. Right now I'm looking at the "ends" that I want to cover. In other words: What strategic effects can good security cooperation bring to the U.S. Here's what I have so far (terms may change):

    1. Force augmentation
    2. Enemy Resource Denial- think Brasidas fostering rebellions amongst Athens' colonies
    3. Economy of Force denial- think Stillwell tying up Japanese troops in China
    4. Strengthen partnered nations
    5. Strengthen US/Partnered nation relationship
    6. Assist allies without a major US commitment

    I'd love some comments if anyone has any ideas or if I'm missing something since I know we have a lot of SC experts on here. I'm only in the rough draft of a vague outline stage and have six months before my deadline, so I'm not emotionally invested in any ideas yet.

    Thanks.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    It is easy to get tied around the stick to these topics, but economic cooperation can lead to strategic results. The sale of superior weapons technologies can lead to strategic cooperations and closer alignment of national interests. Similarly, substantial economic ties can enhance military cooperation and strategic influence is a variety of ways. I don't know if you are looking for that kind of stuff, but that might be enhancements to what you have now.
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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
    I'm in the early stages of working on a paper (about 15 pages) on security cooperation at the strategic level. Right now I'm looking at the "ends" that I want to cover. In other words: What strategic effects can good security cooperation bring to the U.S.
    What's the Policy? You cannot have security cooperation at the strategic level, unless it serves the policy of all parties. Who are we talking about?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    US and allies/partners. The policy is I'm using as a jumping off point is the most recent National Security Strategy. In 70 or so pages, it mentions "partnering" or "security cooperation" something like 107 times, which is a departure from previous strategic documents. The US has a lot of different SC efforts, but since it now has strategic level attention, those efforts need to be brought into alignment. So, using an ends, ways, means approach I'm going to attempt to come up with some recommendations on how the joint force can align SC operations with strategic efforts. That's Plan A anyway. Plan B is whatever I come up with if I scrap Plan A.

    If anyone's curious this is an assignment for the Naval War College.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
    US and allies/partners. The policy is I'm using as a jumping off point is the most recent National Security Strategy. In 70 or so pages, it mentions "partnering" or "security cooperation" something like 107 times, which is a departure from previous strategic documents. The US has a lot of different SC efforts, but since it now has strategic level attention, those efforts need to be brought into alignment. So, using an ends, ways, means approach I'm going to attempt to come up with some recommendations on how the joint force can align SC operations with strategic efforts. That's Plan A anyway. Plan B is whatever I come up with if I scrap Plan A.

    If anyone's curious this is an assignment for the Naval War College.
    OK, all good. What's the Policy? What is the political end state sought? It cannot just be "Security." That makes no sense. Also, which Allies/partners? The same policies do not apply to both.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
    I'm in the early stages of working on a paper (about 15 pages) on security cooperation at the strategic level. Right now I'm looking at the "ends" that I want to cover. In other words: What strategic effects can good security cooperation bring to the U.S. Here's what I have so far (terms may change):

    1. Force augmentation
    2. Enemy Resource Denial- think Brasidas fostering rebellions amongst Athens' colonies
    3. Economy of Force denial- think Stillwell tying up Japanese troops in China
    4. Strengthen partnered nations
    5. Strengthen US/Partnered nation relationship
    6. Assist allies without a major US commitment

    I'd love some comments if anyone has any ideas or if I'm missing something since I know we have a lot of SC experts on here. I'm only in the rough draft of a vague outline stage and have six months before my deadline, so I'm not emotionally invested in any ideas yet.

    Thanks.
    Strange. I see nowhere a "reduce the probability of involvement in a costly and terrible war" on the list. Am I the only one who thinks that this is THE reason for entering a security co-operation?

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    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    I think 4, 5, and 6 can all contribute to that.

    There's no specific policy or specific partner. I'm looking at the potential, "big picture" benefits of SC. What it could do.

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    Default Think you're on the right track

    Will you limit yourself to SC as currently defined or propose an expansion of authorities?

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post

    There's no specific policy or specific partner. I'm looking at the potential, "big picture" benefits of SC. What it could do.
    No policy, no strategy. It's like a light bulb with no electricity. Meaningless and useless.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    "Strategic security cooperation" is a very, very broad topic to be addressed in the abstract, and I would worry about therefore having to generalize to the point of not saying anything terribly interesting or profound.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    No policy, no strategy. It's like a light bulb with no electricity. Meaningless and useless.
    Not entirely, Wilf: one could talk about what different types of effects security cooperation might have, as a way of identifying how it might fit into strategy. To use the light bulb analogy, one could certainly talk about what a light bulb can do (light things), might do (heat things, depending on the type), requirements (electricity), categories of adverse consequences (running up the electrical bill, setting the house on fire), and what it definitively can't do (make cheese sandwiches and walk the dog), all as a way of enhancing understanding of the tool in the broader strategic toolkit.

    However, as noted above, it does seem rather broad (and already broadly understood).

    A more interesting paper might the potential liabilities and second/third order effects of security cooperation: association with host nation human rights abuses, domestic political effects in the host nation, unintended signalling to other regional countries, mission creep and strategic entanglement, military-centric reporting and analysis, dependency, etc. These are much less well understood IMHO.
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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
    I think 4, 5, and 6 can all contribute to that.
    You were supposedly "looking at ends". 4, 5 and 6 are not ends but intermediate steps.


    Our difference is probably fundamental. I am looking at national security, while you're probably rather in pursuit of giving a big stick to a government.

    The latter is no end, though. It's a weapon.

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    Unclassified strategic ends are enumerated in the National Security Strategy. Classified details are in the GEF.

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    Default A current example

    Between US and Russia.

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    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the discussion so far, all. I have since convinced my Professor that we need to scale down the goal a little bit. After the holidays I'm going to discuss with him looking at specific security cooperation efforts, either in a geographic context like AFRICOM or a specific enablor, like SC MAGTFs.

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    Default Strategic Cooperation for a Purpose

    Xenophon,

    I encourage you to look at the pacom.mil website, and then look over the strategy link to get an idea of the purpose of strategic cooperation according to PACOM. I'm not so sure there is an "endstate", since it is a process that must be sustained to various degrees to maintain the desired relationships and build the cabilities needed to enable us to operate together should the need arise. Relationships garnered from SC can be as important (or more important) as the capabilities generated from these events. The perception that they are our partners and we're their partner has contributed to the prevention of conflict the PACOM AOR in recent years, but of course there is no guaruntee that peace will continue and if we need to go war the relationships we developed through SC will be critical enablers.

    I disagree with what I think Wilf implied about the need for a strategy first. The relationships we develop allow us to respond to a host of threats and disasters that we may not be able to predict (thus develop a strategy for). They allow us access to the region and the relationships allow us to reach a consensus quicker should the need arise where we have to respond. We also demonstrate our will to honor our security commitments in the region by participating in various exercises, and with the increasing instability in nK and a rising China that is important. Hard to sum up in a couple of paragraphs, but SC is critical to our overall security.

    http://www.pacom.mil/web/PACOM_Resou...Sep%202010.pdf
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 12-27-2010 at 04:26 PM.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Strategic Facilities for a Purpose

    The title is taken from Bill's post, which acted as a catalyst to return to an issue I've not looked at seriously for a long time.

    For a host of reasons, even in this networked world, using the USA as the example there is a requirement for such usually mundane matters as overflight permission (recall the US F-111 strike on Libya) and bases / facilities. I vividly recall now twenty years ago flying to Windhoek from Jo'burg and the on-board announcement look to your right at the US-funded, huge airbase (never used I think).

    Not to overlook the role of the heavy airlift available from the commercial sector and former Soviet air forces. Strategic co-operation and often in Africa, where the USAF might not be so welcome to overfly and land.

    Professor Robert Harkavy has written on this issue, most recently in 'Strategic basing and the great powers, 1200-2000':http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=s...page&q&f=false

    Ensuring both nations gain something is important. I am no expert, others here are on the Phillipines, but I do recall the amazement that the USA lost Clark Field and Subic Bay. What do you when one side says 'go now'? Another example was Libya, with Gadafy's coup. There the UK had more troops than the Libyan Army, plus UK & US airfields.
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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I disagree with what I think Wilf implied about the need for a strategy first.
    I never said that. I said you have to have a Policy! You cannot have a strategy until you have a clearly articulated Policy!

    It's worth noting that the men that write US Govt. Strategy papers very often confuse strategy and policy.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-29-2010 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Replace right with write in last sentence, must be the heat.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Not only them...

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    It's worth noting that the men that right US Govt. Strategy papers very often confuse strategy and policy.
    You, Sir, are a master of understatement...

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