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Thread: Military Wants More Civilians to Help in Iraq

  1. #21
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Negroponte Advises New Diplomats to Seek Challenging Posts

    21 February NY Times - Negroponte Advises New Diplomats to Seek Challenging Posts by Thom Shanker.

    Entering his first full week as deputy secretary of state, John D. Negroponte on Tuesday urged a graduating class of new diplomats to seek overseas assignments in challenging, difficult and even hazardous posts.

    Mr. Negroponte, only the third career Foreign Service officer to hold the deputy position, said the diplomatic corps was shifting its weight from historic centers of politics and policy to increase the American presence in world capitals more subject to turmoil.

    Potential assignments in Iraq were very much on the minds of many students at the Foreign Service Institute, where 4 members of this class of 75 will go to work in Baghdad or with provincial reconstruction teams throughout the country.

    Mr. Negroponteís comments will resonate across the diplomatic corps because of an animated interagency debate here in Washington about the proper way to share the burden among the governmentís civilian agencies and the military to carry out the Bush administrationís new Iraq strategy...

  2. #22
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    That's a win for State if you go thru with it, but it's a tragic sign of the times that those two qualities (MI and Arabic) don't pop up on some staffer/planner's Excel spreadsheet. I know that every battalion commander in the box would probably give up his own unit funds to bring those capabilities on board.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 02-21-2007 at 07:41 PM.

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    Want to work for state, well I take it you are going to donate a year of your life for no compensation?

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    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
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    It's kindof a catch-22 - civilians do not want to be involved unless security is improved (understandably) but the military says security cannot be improved unless civilians are involved. Is there an answer?
    Mark
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    Well,

    COCOM's aren't the people who make those deciosions. Army HRC would determine if they needed your MOS not CENTCOM (NAVY/AF?Whatever). If you worked for CENTCOM in the past and they know you, great. However, DoD determines who goes to State, COCOMS only provide forces as tasked by DoD (JS). CENTCOM might send some LNO's to State, and they might have direct coordination authorization, but CENTCOM has very limited execution authority. If you feel you can utilized, then you need to engage through your respective service to go on active duty. That may or may not be in the CENTCOM AOR, and it may or may not be at State.

    As far as DoS, I have read a lot of good ideas and such on here about what should happen. A couple of points, PDD-56 has been out since Jan 20, 200. NSPD-44 is the current document that they use (both similar). State has said a bunch of good things about what they want to do. The problem is money. DoS operates on a continuing resolution because their budget hasn't been approved. Civilian Reserv Corps and such have no money attached them at this time and no money budgeted. That is why DoD is having to support the intial PRT surge. DoS is trying to figure out how they are going to do PRT-type missions over time. There are a bunch of good ideas, but there is a hesitance to go out and ask for the resources in either personnel or money. Fortunately, a bunch of this should get resolved in the next 60 days. The downside, is that an optimistic view would be that in 180 days DoS can meet the surge requirement, pessimistic view would be a wait out until the FY08 budget gets done.

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    That was kinda the point of my last post.

    The State Dept does not have the force structure to support all this SSTR stuff, even though they should. Maybe they need an analog organization to the CIA's "ground branch". Maybe they need a better reach back to the recently retired community. As you all know, simply stripping existing units or the schoolhouse to fill undocumented requirements hurts everybody.

    If, however, somehow under DoDDir 3000.05, these functions become all military, then DoD needs major force structure changes to meet the requirements.

    As you all know, once again, it's not having one qualified face for each space, it's having between 2.5 and 3 in order to keep up the rotation, get folks trained etc.

    Nothing good is happening in the next 180 days. Maybe a bandaid on the sucking chest wound.

  7. #27
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Well,

    COCOM's aren't the people who make those deciosions. Army HRC would determine if they needed your MOS not CENTCOM (NAVY/AF?Whatever).
    And therein lies the problem. The question is, which drunken monkey is the one who makes the decisions and what is the fix over-centralized and non-responsive piece of crap that IS the HRC?

    Thanks for getting my pulse rate up this morning.

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    Default From the Foreign Service Journal

    Check out my book: http://www.contracross.com

  9. #29
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    Default Iraq Rebuilding Short on Qualified Civilians

    24 February Washington Post - Iraq Rebuilding Short on Qualified Civilians by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

    In Diyala, the vast province northeast of Baghdad where Sunnis and Shiites are battling for primacy with mortars and nighttime abductions, the U.S. government has contracted the job of promoting democracy to a Pakistani citizen who has never lived or worked in a democracy.

    The management of reconstruction projects in the province has been assigned to a Border Patrol commander with no reconstruction experience. The task of communicating with the embassy in Baghdad has been handed off to a man with no background in drafting diplomatic cables. The post of agriculture adviser has gone unfilled because the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided just one of the six farming experts the State Department asked for a year ago.

    "The people our government has sent to Iraq are all dedicated, well-meaning people, but are they really the right people -- the best people -- for the job?" asked Kiki Skagen Munshi, a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer who, until last month, headed the team in Diyala that included the Pakistani democracy educator and the Border Patrol commander. "If you can't get experts, it's really hard to do an expert job." ...

  10. #30
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    The following has been blasted out to Army Reserve personnel.

    Just got this USAR-wide message in my AKO account....
    ---------------------------------

    The Department of Defense is asking for Army Reserve Soldiers and Civilian Employees to volunteer for service with the Department of State's Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in Iraq to promote security and economic development and assist the Iraqi people in rebuilding and administering their country. Civil Affairs Officers, in particular, are needed. Period of service is 9-12 months, with mission start date of 1 May 07.

    Those with the requisite skill sets are encouraged to apply:
    - Agri-Business
    - Business Specialists
    - Economics
    - City Management
    - City Management/Engineering
    - Governance
    - Industry Specialist
    - Medical
    - Rule of Law
    - Veterinarian

    Army Reserve Soldiers must volunteer by 15 Mar 2007 through their chain to USARC G1. (Refer to USARC WARNORD 001 211700ZFEB-07 (Civilian Volunteers for Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq). Additional information on the status and funding of volunteers will be announced in the near future. Information on duty descriptions is at http://www.cpms.osd.mil/gwot

    Army Reserve Civilians should volunteer NLT 26 Feb 07 via the Army Resume Builder/Resumix process. Employees who qualify are endorsed by HQ USARC and will be detailed in a TDY status (non-reimbursable) at their current grade. For application information, visit http://www.cpms.osd.mil/gwot

    The Army Reserve's senior leadership appreciates your consideration of this volunteer request.

  11. #31
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    Default NG is not the answer

    While the NG obviously has more people skilled in these civil skills than the active duty, they cannot support long duration operations (several years) on the scale required. I'm active duty, so I speak with no expertise, but have been reminded several times by NG folks they also have another life, another job, and they can't stay away from it forever. We need the NG and Reserves to step up now (or continue stepping up), but the Army should be thinking long term and training a cadre of experts in these areas. Unlike the Air Force and Navy, the Army has tended to shy away from advanced technical training, and instead hires contractors to work at the depot level. Perhaps this a gap that the Navy and the Air Force can fill?
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 02-24-2007 at 11:47 PM. Reason: I replaced Marines with Navy for technical training

  12. #32
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    While the NG obviously has more people skilled in these civil skills than the active duty, they cannot support long duration operations (several years) on the scale required. I'm active duty, so I speak with no expertise, but have been reminded several times by NG folks they also have another life, another job, and they can't stay away from it forever. We need the NG and Reserves to step up now (or continue stepping up), but the Army should be thinking long term and training a cadre of experts in these areas. Unlike the Air Force and Marines, the Army has tended to shy away from advanced technical training, and instead hires contractors to work at the depot level. Perhaps this a gap that the Navy and the Air Force can fill?
    Actually, the mobilization process has created quite a few unemployed/divorced NG/Reserve guys with the right skill-set. For quite a few folks, like me, this is a pretty good deal. I've been a military contractor since mobilization in 2003. There aren't a whole bunch of stable jobs paying at the correct level that I can get outside military contracting or picking up the occasional tour or two.

    I see it as a "win-win" situation. You get the mindset/skills you need, and the Guardsman/Reservist gets another chance at a career.

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