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Thread: " The Pentagon and Global Development: Making Sense of the DoD's Expanding Role"

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Alexandria, VA

    Default " The Pentagon and Global Development: Making Sense of the DoD's Expanding Role"

    Some of the language used indicates a bias against DoD involvement and the figures included are potentially misleading (aid distribution is illustrated on a % basis and not in $ amounts), but is illustrative of some of the civ-mil balancing challenges.

    Abstract - One of the most striking trends in U.S. foreign aid policy is the surging role of the Department of Defense (DoD). The Pentagon now accounts for over 20 percent of U.S. official development assistance (ODA). DoD has also expanded its provision of non-ODA assistance, including training and equipping of foreign military forces in fragile states. These trends raise concerns that U.S. foreign and development policies may become subordinated to a narrow, short-term security agenda at the expense of broader, longer-term diplomatic goals and institution-building efforts in the developing world. We find that the overwhelming bulk of ODA provided directly by DoD goes to Iraq and Afghanistan, which are violent environments that require the military to take a lead role through instruments like Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and the use of Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds. This funding surge is in principle temporary and likely to disappear when the U.S. involvement in both wars ends. But beyond these two conflicts, DoD has expanded (or proposes to expand) its operations in the developing world to include a number of activities that might be more appropriately undertaken by the State Department, USAID and other civilian actors. These initiatives include: the use of “Section 1206” authorities to train and equip foreign security forces; the establishment of the new Combatant Command for Africa (AFRICOM); and the administration’s proposed Building Global Partnerships (BGP) Act, which would expand DoD’s assistance authorities.

    We attribute the Pentagon’s growing aid role to three factors: the Bush administration’s strategic focus on the “global war on terror”; the vacuum left by civilian agencies, which struggle to deploy adequate numbers of personnel and to deliver assistance in insecure environments; and chronic under-investment by the United States in non-military instruments of state-building. We believe that DoD’s growing aid role beyond our two theaters of war carries potentially significant risks, by threatening to displace or overshadow broader U.S. foreign policy and development objectives in target countries and exacerbating the longstanding imbalance between the military and civilian components of the U.S. approach to state-building.
    Last edited by Kerguelen; 11-16-2007 at 07:30 PM. Reason: include link

  2. #2
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Newport News, VA


    Nature abhors a vacuum, if the other agencies of the USG that are nominally charged with these missions are not willing to step up to the plate, the money is going to go to the organization that is willing. These tasks must be done.
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.


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