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Thread: Employment Generation in Stability Ops

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    Default Employment Generation in Stability Ops

    USIP, Mar 07: Employment Generation and Economic Development in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations
    • It seems logical that improving the lives of those who have suffered from conflict would include a program to generate economic well-being in the immediate period after hostilities subside. Yet livelihood creation, the root of potential economic success and security, has often become a secondary objective in the transformation from war to peace.

    • An obvious reason for this relegation to a lower priority is that security, humanitarian needs, and restoring the rule of law often overtake the economic development priorities of any peace-building mission.

    • Even in Iraq, the largest stabilization and reconstruction effort undertaken by the U.S. government, restoring livelihoods and getting people back to work remains an unresolved challenge and an unmet agenda. Of the nearly $20 billion of U.S.-appropriated funds to reconstruct Iraq, only $805 million was directed toward jump-starting the private sector.

    • Although employment generation is not a new subject in “postwar” literature, lessons about implementation vary from one country to the next. Current knowledge about “golden hour” job creation, which is creating jobs within one year of the cessation of hostilities, is culled more from specific pilot studies than from a coherent overview of what tools exist and how they can be applied.

    • This report advances current research by providing such an overview for U.S. government policymakers. It seeks to help the U.S. government work through the lessons learned about the processes needed to generate employment. Moreover, it explores the U.S. government strategy toward golden hour job creation, the existing civilian and military tools, and how these tools can be better incorporated into larger transformation efforts. The report also notes the limitations of U.S. civilian capacity in a nonpermissive environment.

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    805M out of 20B is a poor ratio - deduct Admin costs from that 805 and there isn't much seed money to be had. Factor in corruption and the number shrinks further. It would be virgin territory for the Military to manage some of the small business start-ups in Iraq but COIN as I see it is essentially an armed peace corps so I don't see why there couldn't be a pilot project to see how it would fly. Income generating projects/CCC type work could be managed at the small unit level. Oversight/Admin would be direct, on-site, not farmed out from the green zone through layers of intermediaries which significantly ups cost effectiveness and corruption. Create gainful employment and you create partners, trust, good relationships and ultimately improved security.

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    Hi Goesh

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    805M out of 20B is a poor ratio - deduct Admin costs from that 805 and there isn't much seed money to be had. Factor in corruption and the number shrinks further.
    Especially if it is "administered" in a "we'l tell you what to do" fashion . Again, the micro-loan programs are probably amongst the best models for doing this at a grassroots level.

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    It would be virgin territory for the Military to manage some of the small business start-ups in Iraq but COIN as I see it is essentially an armed peace corps so I don't see why there couldn't be a pilot project to see how it would fly. Income generating projects/CCC type work could be managed at the small unit level. Oversight/Admin would be direct, on-site, not farmed out from the green zone through layers of intermediaries which significantly ups cost effectiveness and corruption.
    Well, I'm not to sure how well the military would do in this role, but almost anything is better than 20 layers of government bureaucrats. Certainly, anything in the civil engineering area would probably be much better admnistered.

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    Create gainful employment and you create partners, trust, good relationships and ultimately improved security.
    I think that I'll have to both agree and disagree with this. I would tend to view it more as a risk reduction exercise, i.e. less unemployed, PO's people than otherwise, therefore more security. Would they become friends and partners? Maybe yes, maybe no.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Default Hillbilly Innovation

    Here's what I would do if I were some savvy Lt in a bush village:
    1.) I'd steal a truck from Halliburton
    2.) I'd hire some slick Iraqi kid to pick the pocket of some fat-cat from the USAID or some other such organization to have a supply of untraceable cash
    3.) I'd recruit/hire 6 Iraqi men in the village to pick up rubble and garbage and haul it 2-3 clicks out in the desert and dump it
    4.) I'd observe if my men after a few weeks noticed any change in attitude and friendliness in the village
    5.) If not, I'd take the stolen Halliburton truck out to the dump site and torch it and throw a b-b-q for the village with any cash left over

    The micro concept has worked well in India, that's for sure. Today's military is so much more sophisiticated , trained and capable than before that a pilot project is worth consideration.

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