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Thread: Foreign Internal Defense (Indigenous Forces)

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Foreign Internal Defense (Indigenous Forces)

    Just added this forum and a new section to the SWJ Library - Foreign Internal Defense (Indigenous Forces). The library section concentrates on the training and advising of foreign military forces. This forum is open to all aspects of FID...

    Here are the first two "new" additions to the library (with a hat tip to Council member CaptCav_CoVan).

    Advising Indigenous Forces: American Advisors in Korea, Vietnam, and El Salvador by Robert Ramsey III, US Army Combat Studies Institute Occasional Paper.

    Mr. Robert Ramsey’s historical study examines three cases in which the US Army has performed this same mission in the last half of the 20th century. In Korea during the 1950s, in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, and in El Salvador in the 1980s the Army was tasked to build and advise host nation armies during a time of war.

    The author makes several key arguments about the lessons the Army thought it learned at the time. Among the key points Mr. Ramsey makes are the need for US advi*sors to have extensive language and cultural training, the lesser impor*tance for them of technical and tactical skills training, and the need to adapt US organizational concepts, training techniques, and tactics to local conditions. Accordingly, he also notes the great importance of the host nation’s leadership buying into and actively supporting the development of a performance-based selection, training, and promotion system. To its credit, the institutional Army learned these hard lessons, from successes and failures, during and after each of the cases examined in this study. However, they were often forgotten as the Army prepared for the next major conventional conflict.
    Advice for Advisors: Suggestion and Observations from Lawrence to the Present by Robert Ramsey III, US Army Combat Studies Institute Occasional Paper.

    CSI is publishing this occasional paper as a supplement to Occasional Paper 18, Advising Indigenous Forces: American Advisors in Korea, Viet*nam, and El Salvador. In that important study, Mr. Robert Ramsey dis*tilled the insights gained by the US Army from its advisory experiences in Korea, Vietnam, and El Salvador. In this anthology, Mr. Ramsey presents 14 insightful, personal accounts from those who advised foreign armies in various times and places over the last 100 years. Unlike most of the monographs in our GWOT Occasional Paper series, this volume is an anthology.

    The articles are from past and present advisors, and they are presented without editing or commentary. Each one presents valuable lessons, insights, and suggestions from the authors’ firsthand experiences. Readers will thus make their own judgments and analysis in support of their unique requirements.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Resource for Advisors

    About 9 months ago I set up up the Advisor's Log on ComapanyCommand.amry.mil which is a CoP for future, current and past company commanders. The Army for its part identified early on that Transition Teams (Border, Military, Police, Special Police and Provincial) were going to be an increasingly important effort in our long term approach to Iraq, Afghanistan, and potentially other states in the GWOT. As such the CC.mil team asked that I stand up a CDR's Log on the Advisory team subject. It has become more of a hybrid Log and Rally Point where advisors can post and share thoughts on what is going on in their location, pull down tools on IO, ISR, Force Pro, Life Support Contracts, Maintenence, articles, links (SWJ is one of them).

    We see this forum (and all those that assist the advisory mission) as very important due to the increasing requirements for advisors in terms of sheer numbers, the wide range of skills and maturity needed by advisors to accomplish the mission, and the recognition that resources are limited in terms of people once you figure out that the people you need are the same people everyone needs. Many of our servicemen curently training for on on advisory duty will be going on, or are just coming out of command. Who knows, in the future the 1 year stints may just become additional Branch Qulifying jobs, which would put a whole new spin on it.

    Tom Odom has a couple of papers I did up on our experiences here. SWJ is welcome to add them to the collection of resources.
    Best Regards, Rob

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default On Cultural Experiences and FID

    To All

    I have said that I am building a MiTT/ETT reader as a parallel to a handbook. As part of that effort, I am putting together an article that deals with cultural awareness and immersion.

    Here is what I am looking for from those of you with extensive experience in this realm:

    A short vignette type account of where you were, what you were doing, and a specific incident of where cultural understanding led to success or failure. your vignette if used would be inserted as one of a series of illustrative examples in the larger essay I am writing.

    Stan: hopefully you will not send me a vignette about the cultural difficulty in dealing with a irrascible colonel from Texas

    PM me if you have something.

    best

    Tom

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    Registered User Maphu's Avatar
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    Default

    Tom,

    I'm new here and still trying to find my way around your website. I'm not sure how to PM you and not even sure what that means. I lived among the Vietnamese in a rural setting for about 12 months during the war. Our small unit worked with local militia troops. I also spent many months there after the war and lived among, and had many conversations with, former friend and foe alike. I have been "immersed" in a foreign setting for nearly 13 years, still in this part of the world, and with fairly extensive travel in Laos and in Cambodia.

    I could probably work something up for you with some examples which might be helpful.

    Please advise if you are interested.

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    Default FSF-TT's...are they identical to ETT'S?

    I am attempting to find any information concerning these newly formed FSF-TT (Foreign Security Force - Training Team). I've called random contacts down at the 162nd @ Polk to little / no avail. I have the option to stay at my current unit (Light Infantry) and deploy with them as a member of this team. What I don't want to be doing is staying in the rear strictly training / organizing forces, rather than training in addition to advising the ANA whilst on patrol, forward deployed. Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

    G26

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    Default When does FID work?

    Transitioning a discussion from the Iron Majors post on the blog:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...rtage/#c020176, where we diverted the discussion from why there was a shortage of Majors, to FID.

    I like to get your thoughts on the following:

    I think State Department in the lead for FID has generally been more effective than when DOD has been the lead. While hurts me to say this, and I am not attributing any talent to State (it is an organization that rejects talent generally, and embraces tenure), I think their process of under resourcing the mission (not allowing mission creep) and limiting U.S. forces in combat to largely self defense forces the host to adapt and take the lead. Agree or disagree? Why?

    Historically, with Iraq perhaps being the only exception, FID operations were successful when the number of advisors was kept low, probably under 300 personnel. On the other hand, any time we sent several hundred advisors we failed? Agree or disagree? Why?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-21-2011 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Add link to SWJ Blog from 2008 which has new life!

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default

    For starters, I'd say FID is most likely to work when...

    1. Goals are clear, specific, and realistic (most things work best that way)

    2. The foreign partner has an existing government with some capacity, both on the governance level and the military level. Trying to install governments or reanimate corpses is generally a pretty dodgy venture.

    Certainly a lot more to it than that, but good places to start.

    If State is more successful, that may be less due to State's capacity than due to State being more likely to lead in situations where we're cooperating with a functional government.

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    Default Bill, what do you man

    by State having the lead? If you are referrring to situations where there is no major US military operation then the Ambassador (not DOS) is in charge of ALL USG activity including military. In such a case, the US advisory role is usually small vis the El Salvador 55. But note that the 55 were military. and the the Country team included AID and USIS etc under the leadership of 3 extraordinary Ambassadors - Deane Hinton, Tom Pickering, and Ed Corr. Our research shows tht small is bettter -see SWORD Model.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Well, for one factor, while State is still in the lead we have not yet made the tragic decision to call the intervention a "War."

    Once we decide to call our FID intervention War, we then shift to waging "warfare," and logically shift the lead to the military. Now we have converted the situation into something we must "win" and have sent in a bunch of pro-active professionals who will go to any length to achieve that win. It is in that effort to win that we lose sight of the big picture and begin to shift from helping a partner achieve stability to one of helping a partner defeat the threat. Defeating a threat that is a portion of ones own populace, and that represents a much larger portion that the threat emerges from; and waging war agaist ones own populace is bad business. Bringing in a foreign force to wage war against your own popualce is even worse. (Even if that foreign force is Eric Prince and his band of mercs.)

    I would offer the question may be better asked not in terms of State Lead vs. DoD Lead but rather in terms of FID as peacefare vs. FID as warfare.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 05-21-2011 at 11:40 AM.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    by State having the lead? If you are referrring to situations where there is no major US military operation then the Ambassador (not DOS) is in charge of ALL USG activity including military. In such a case, the US advisory role is usually small vis the El Salvador 55. But note that the 55 were military. and the the Country team included AID and USIS etc under the leadership of 3 extraordinary Ambassadors - Deane Hinton, Tom Pickering, and Ed Corr. Our research shows tht small is bettter -see SWORD Model.

    Cheers

    JohnT
    The Ambassador is part of DOS, and this is exactly what is meant. Once we make something a military operation, and DOD has lead until it transitions back to DOS.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    I'm sure that small deployments are generally much more successful... but is that because they are intrinsically better or because they are typically used under circumstances much more conducive to success, such as when the government being assisted has a relatively high capacity of its own?

    Larger military operations are typically used in cases of full or imminent state failure or in a post-regime change situation, where we are less assisting a state than trying to create one. Those situations would naturally have a lower success rate, but is that because the operations are large or because the underlying conditions are far less conducive to success?

    The medicine that isn't used until the patient is in critical condition is likely to have a lower success rate. That doesn't mean it's bad medicine, it means that patients in critical condition are harder to cure.

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    Council Member Morgan's Avatar
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    I think Dayuhan said it well...."goals that are clear, specific, and realistic".

    I think FID works when we know what we want FID to do and are willing to actually work WITH the HNSF VS imposing on them the USA method for solving a problem/ issue.

    In terms of the size of force we deploy to conduct FID, I tend to agree that smaller is better but even a larger force can be effective if properly trained to understand the local language and culture, and led by people who understand how to develop & maintain a working relationship with HNSF and are willing to accept the risks that come with such an environment.

    The large forces executing FID/ SFA don't meet the criteria above.

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    Default 82 Redleg not DOS

    An American Ambassador is the personal representative of POTUS. His or her fomal chain of command is POTUS to AMB. SECSTATE is more on the order of CJCS - in the chain of communication not chain of command. A career FSO confirmed by the Senate as an Ambassador must (according to Amb David Passage in multiple lectures at CGSC Fort Leavenworth) resign from the Foreeign Service (to be reinstated when his ambassadorship is over). Note that a significant minority of Ambassadors are appointed from the outside - notably in the current world, Eikenberry in A'stan and now his successor, Ryan Crocker (retired). Zalmay Khalilzad was also appointed ambssador to both A'stan and Iraq from outside the Foreign Service.

    In the McCaffrey Wars of the early 90s when the general claimed that MILGP commanders worked for him, he was backed by the DEPSECSTATE who had to be reminded by Amb to Colombia Morris Busby and Ambassador to Guatemala Marilyn MacAffee that they did not work for him but for Pres Clinton. Amb MacAffee ordered an ongoing military exercise shut down in 24 hours - it took 48. McCaffrey left SOUTHCOM for the drug czar office but MacAffee stayed as ambassador outlasting him and ignoring State.

    So, I say again, what do we mean by DOS lead? Ever wonder why many DCMs as Charge d'Affaires seem to be afraid of their own shadows? It is because they DO work for DOS.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    John,

    As you stated the AMB is the direct representative of the President, but I think most people see the role the AMB not only a representative of the President, but as a State Department employee. While an important point, the bottom line is DOD is not the in the lead. It is providing military support to our overall effort, and not transforming it into our war. In contrast a DOD lead is where the military is not only the main effort, but the U.S. military starts to take the lead in the fighting.

    Getting back to the State Department issue, every FID mission I have been on the money was controlled by a person in State proper at Foggy Bottom and he-she had the final say on what would get funded and what wouldn't. Usually this person worked harder than our Iron Majors and was managing numerous programs simultaneously, so your time to ask for more received limited attention.

    There is a black and white legalistic answer when State is in charge (title 22) and when DOD is in charge (title 10), but I am more interested in who is making the calls and shaping the policy. State can notionally be charge, and get run over by DOD in some cases. I haven't been on one mission where (except JTF Liberia and that wasn't FID) where the commander didn't want more resources-people. If you get more people you can do what? The answer is you can do more, which means the host nation does less and that is where the downward spiral starts.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 05-21-2011 at 06:11 PM.

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    Default Bill, that is precisely what I was getting at



    We need to recall that Security Assistance is a DOS program enabled (or constrained) by the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 (as amended) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1976 (as amended). Any program funded and/or controlled by these acts is subject to DOS supervision at the very least. Most FID is funded as FMS/FMF(a bit under IMET and ESF) which are all FAA programs. While there is some counternarcotics funding not under the FAA and programs of Joint Exercises (JCETs for example) and Title 10 H/CA these are merely add ons to FID programs funded by FAA. And, these "add ons" are subject to the approval of the Amb whio is advised by his Country Team (only 2 members of which wear uniforms - most of the rest are DOS).

    One might be able to make a distinction between FID - a normal program run by the Amb and his CT and SFA in the midst of a major military operation. Yet, i am not sure the distinction is real or valid. I would argue that the SFA mission in Iraq was relatively successful due, in large part, to the mind meld of GEN petraeus and Amb Crocker. So, who had the lead C or P or P or C? Yes! But that is what makes the situation so unusual and it was made to work by the 2 guys on the ground. There is no standard "command relationship" that can dictate such a structure and a reluctance on the part of all presidents in my lifetime to say who is in charge of such a situation.

    Your point that constrained resources makes people use what they have more effectively (and efficiently) is wise.

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    Default A question on the controversy of FIDs

    Statement:

    In 1959, a French military mission is created in Buenos Aires where French officers--all veterans from Algeria--translate Roger Trinquier, hold classes and publish articles in military revues.

    In the mid-1960s, they move on to the School of the Americas where they teach American instructors and, eventually, directly teach special forces at Fort Bragg.

    Special forces then put to practice what they have learned in Foreign Internal Defense programmes, particularly in Latin America.


    Given the fact that Trinquier sanctions torture in Modern Warfare (1), and in the light of atrocities perpetrated in Latin America during the same period as Foreign Internal Defense programmes where in place (e.g. in El-Salvador), my question is the following: despite that FIDs programmes evolved in the right direction, to what extend is this history known and, accordingly, to what extend are FIDs controversial in the U.S.?

    .

    (1)
    No lawyer is present for such an interrogation. If the prisoner gives the information requested, the examination is quickly terminated; if not, specialists must force his secret from him. Then, as a soldier, he must face the suffering, and perhaps the death, he has heretofore managed to avoid
    Source: R. Trinquier, Modern Warfare (Praeger Security International, 2006), p. 19. Nota bene, it is even more explicit in the original, French, version.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-07-2011 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Citation in quotes

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    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Hi White Rabbit

    Welcome to the Small Wars world. As you read the primary sources, you'll see the first hand accounts of why these types of wars are messy, and many come to the conclusion that we should limit our involvement in others affairs unless absolutely necessary.

    As for FID, you'll have to be more specific and ask about a certain country. Each mission can test the moral fiber of the service member. Yesterday, over at Tom Rick's blog, "Leroy the Masochist" provided a very good description of how he dealt with his moral dilemmas as a military advisor to the Iraqi Army,

    Usually the right thing to do is obvious. Other times... during my MTT deployment one of the hardest things we had to do as a team was sit down and get consensus about how much corruption we would tolerate in the Iraqi officers we advised. If we, per "doing the right thing all the time" as preached by [take your pick: Army, USMC, Service Academy, etc] doctrine, had decided to tolerate zero corruption, we would have had to push for the firing of two-thirds of the Iraqi officers in our battalion; the remaining one-third, we didn't have solid evidence on.

    The integrity vs. loyalty dynamic is in my opinion the hardest one for leaders to negotiate at the small-unit level. The terrible choice between either not ratting out your buddies (loyalty) or standing up for what is right (integrity/ethics) has always been, and will always be, one of the demons haunting the profession of arms.

    The problem is, where do you draw the line. Doing things by the book would have destroyed our ability to advise the Iraqis effectively, but "going native" and completely abrogating any semblance of professional ethics wasn't a choice either, obviously. We did end up purging the battalion of a couple of guys who were particularly egregious; this had the ancillary effect of getting the less-corrupt guys to tone it down a bit.
    Me, personally, I had to place an Iraqi company commander in jail for torturing and murdering prisoners, and I had to really work hard to mentor another company to stop torturing. It was a very difficult environment to work in. At the time, tensions were very high, and a lot of violence was going on.
    Last edited by MikeF; 12-07-2011 at 12:44 PM.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Did torture plus travel to historical FID?

    White Rabbit,

    I think I see what you are looking for - how does the inter-nation transfer of COIN doctrine and practice work, using the application of whether torture became part of FID.

    It might help to look at the field of intelligence ethics, a good starting point is here:http://intelligence-ethics.org/confe...rence_2011.pdf

    Which touches upon the separate Anglo-French experience and indicates SME work to check for.
    davidbfpo

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    Mike, David, thank you for your inputs--very interesting although they go beyond the answer I am looking for.

    To be honest my question is more superficial, i.e. if in the U.S. and the U.S. military, there has been, or is, a reluctance to use FID as it has been portrayed as leading to rather messy outcomes, including death squads in the case of El-Salvador.

    P.S. Because of the sensitive nature of the subject, I just want to emphasis the fact that I am not merely looking to point fingers at someone or something just for the sake of it. I am genuinely wondering if there have been, or is, some reluctance regarding the "re-birth" of FID alongside COIN doctrine, e.g. due to the aforementioned death squads in the case of El-Salvador.
    Last edited by White Rabbit; 12-07-2011 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Added precisions

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    I can’t tell you the first thing about how FID is currently looked upon within the U.S. Military or by civilian policymakers within the Federal Government, but at the risk of going off-topic I do want to comment on the below.

    Quote Originally Posted by White Rabbit View Post
    To be honest my question is more superficial, i.e. if in the U.S. and the U.S. military, there has been, or is, a reluctance to use FID as it has been portrayed as leading to rather messy outcomes, including death squads in the case of El-Salvador.
    From what I know of Salvadoran history events such as the Mozote massacre look like patterned behavior the antecedents of which precede the existence of the Special Forces or the CIA. As someone who is particular with semantics, I myself consider statements to the effect that FID lead to such events during the Salvadoran Civil War to be poorly informed. I don’t feel like that lets U.S. policymakers off the hook in regards to aid military or otherwise to the Salvadoran Government during the conflict, though. They either did not know who they were getting into bed with (i.e., were reckless), did not care who they were getting into bed with (i.e., were promiscuous), or knew who they were getting into bed with and thought they were going to be able to make an honest woman out of her (i.e., were some mix of naïve and supercilious).
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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