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Old 07-24-2012   #81
Madhu
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Default An interesting article in City Journal....

"City, Empire, Church, Nation" by Pierre Manent in City Journal
Quote:
We have been modern for several centuries now. We are modern, and we want to be modern; it is a desire that guides the entire life of Western societies. That the will to be modern has been in force for centuries, though, suggests that we have not succeeded in being truly modern--that the end of the process that we thought we saw coming at various moments has always proved illusory, and that 1789, 1917, 1968 , and 1989 were only disappointing steps along a road leading who knows where.
http://www.city-journal.org/

I'm not sure the process is illusory as much as fragile and at times reversible?

On the doctrine stuff--about which I know next to nothing if not less--I am interested in "options" as mentioned above and for two reasons:

1. The military doesn't get to choose and needs to be prepared,

and

2. The intellectual study of "options" countering an insurgency may help us in other ways, lead to other lines of productive inquiry, something like that.

At any rate, FWIW. I don't know, maybe if I were drinking rum I might not be so confused about all of this....
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Old 07-24-2012   #82
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Default "Counterinsurgency and American Strategy, Past and Future"

Steven Metz, World Politics Review

Quote:
Counterinsurgency is very different. Victory requires not simply defeating an extant enemy, but changing a system. There is seldom a discrete moment at which the United States decides to undertake large-scale counterinsurgency. Involvement is usually gradual and nearly inadvertent until the United States finds itself embroiled in a type of conflict that it never intended to enter. Since successful counterinsurgency entails altering a political and economic system -- and sometimes even a culture -- it requires an integrated, holistic effort. Despite endless panels, commissions, studies, conferences and hand-wringing over the past decade about developing a whole-of-government counterinsurgency capability, this hasn't happened and isn't going to. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development do not have the resources to undertake large-scale, protracted counterinsurgency. No part of the U.S. government has a robust, expeditionary capability to help build legal and intelligence systems in alien cultures without a tradition of rule by law.
and

Quote:
In the broadest sense, the U.S. military must find a way to mothball its counterinsurgency capability rather than abandoning it outright. If done with skill, this will enable the United States to revive its counterinsurgency skills if they are needed again.
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/a...ast-and-future

That's it for me--for now--because it seems that I am becoming some sort of council and blog commenting addict, which is just weird....
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Old 08-01-2012   #83
Madhu
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Default Another article/monograph

I don't believe I've posted this upthread, but, if have, my apologies. Interesting reading:

Counterinsurgency: Strategy and The Phoenix of American Capability

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute....cfm?pubID=333

Especially "in retrospect" and all that....
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Old 08-14-2012   #84
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Default On "options"

So I am years and years behind everyone else around here, it seems.

Quote:
By Gian Gentile
Best Defense counterininsurgency critic

In general terms I would deconstruct the manual as it is now and break the singular link that it has with a certain theory of state building (known as population centric COIN). Once broken up I would then rewrite the doctrine from the ground up with three general parts: 1) would be a counterinsurgency approach centered on post-conflict reconstruction; 2) would be a counterinsurgency approach centered around military action to attack insurgent sources of military power (sometimes referred to as counter-terror or CT), but not linked to an endstate of a rebuilt or newly built nation state; 3) would be a counterinsurgency approach -- perhaps call it COIN light -- that would focus largely on Special Forces with some limited conventional army support conducting Foreign Internal Defense (FID).

The trick with this revised manual would be to present doctrinal alternatives for the U.S. Army when it goes about the countering of insurgencies and conducting stability operations with teeth. The trifecta trick would be to treat these three methods of countering insurgencies as operationally equal; that is to say, we would move away from the dogmatic belief currently held that anytime an insurgency is fought it must be of the population centric (FM 3-24, aka state building) persuasion, and that methods of CT and FID are subsumed within it and hence are seen as "lesser" operations. To reemphasize the key here is operational equality of the respective three.
from Rick's Best Defense (via a SWJ link)

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts...urgency_manual

Last edited by Madhu; 08-14-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 08-14-2012   #85
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Default Where did the term "capacity building" come from?

I've always wondered about the origin of the term "capacity building" and its relation to Thomas Barnett's SysAdmin, Kilcullen's proposed global "CORDS" (via the Counterinsurgency book linked above), etc? From the UN originally?

Quote:
Capacity Building Defined

FM 3-07 (Oct 2008) Stability Operations: "Capacity building is the process of creating an environment that fosters host-nation institutional development, community participation, human resources development, and strengthening managerial systems."

UNDP Definition (circa 1991): "the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks, institutional development, including community participation, human resources development and strengthening of managerial systems; UNDP recognizes that capacity building is a long-term, continuing process, in which all stakeholders participate (ministries, local authorities, nongovernmental organizations and water user groups, professional associations, academics and others."

Ford Foundation Definition (circa 1996): defines "capacity building" as the "process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes, and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in the fast-changing world."
http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/call/docs/11-23/ch_2.asp

What was the scholarship or whatever behind the UNDP definition? Anyone know?

I'm just curious, that's all. I like to know where terms come from and the intellectual genesis.
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Old 08-14-2012   #86
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Default Maybe I should start a new thread?

Quote:
History of Capacity Building
Since the early 1970's, the lead within the UN system for action and thinking on what was then called Institution Building was given to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and it has offered guidance to its staff and member governments. This involved building-up the ability of basic national organisations, in areas such as civil aviation, meteorology, agriculture, health, nutrition to allow them to perform their tasks in the best way possible. All UN specialised agencies were supposed to actively support capacity building in the areas for which they were technically qualified e.g. FAO in the rural sector and agriculture, WHO in health etc, but they achieved mixed results. By 1991 the term had evolved and had transformed into Capacity Building.

UNDP defined Capacity Building as "the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks, institutional development, including community participation (of women in particular), human resources development and strengthening of managerial systems, adding that, UNDP recognizes that capacity building is a long-term, continuing process, in which all stakeholders participate (ministries, local authorities, non-governmental organizations and water user groups, professional associations, academics and others".(citation: UNDP).
http://www.coastalwiki.org/coastalwi...ilding_Concept

Hmmm, did all of this stuff start "embedding" itself in your military doctrine during the 90s, when we started to think about a post Soviet world and our peacekeeping duties as the main purpose of the American Army?

Loaded question, I know, I know. Just wondering how it all "came about".
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Old 08-14-2012   #87
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
http://www.coastalwiki.org/coastalwi...ilding_Concept

Hmmm, did all of this stuff start "embedding" itself in your military doctrine during the 90s, when we started to think about a post Soviet world and our peacekeeping duties as the main purpose of the American Army?
If I had to guess, it came about as a result of the collapse of Yugoslavia and the wars and interventions that followed. Although the UNDP stuff predates that, so it could be part of the effort to assist newly free post-colonial states.

BTW, the methods used in Bosnia etc. were exactly the methods that the Rumsfeld Defense Department were working hard to avoid during the planning for Iraq. Might be part of the reason we were so far behind the power curve (but only part).
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Old 10-30-2012   #88
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Default The Ugly American and Modernization Theory

Quote:
Defying expectations that it would drop into an ocean of public indifference, The Ugly American remained on the New York Times best-seller list for seventy-eight weeks, sold an astonishing four million copies, and was made into a block-buster movie starring Marlon Brando. The ensuing media frenzy put development on a par with the space race and created a new strand of populist internationalism that Senator John F. Kennedy seized to boost his presidential bid. Kennedy sponsored legislation to increase aid to India and announced the existence of an "economic gap" in Asia that was being filled by Soviet aid. In February 1958, Kennedy first met Rostow, and the modernization theorist moved into Kennedy's inner circle of advisers. Kennedy was drawn to the diagnostic precision of the CENIS model, and he adopted its language in his own critiques of foreign aid. The alliance of Rostovian theory and Kennedy-Johnson foreign policy ushered in the golden age ofmodernization theory in the 1960s. George Ball, undersecretary of state from 1961 to 1966, recalled in his memoirs the vogue for development economics in 1961 and "the professors swarming into Washington" who "talked tendentiously of 'self-sustaining growth,' 'social development,' the 'search for nationhood,' 'self-help,' and 'nation building.'"

In the first year of his presidency, Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress, the Peace Corps, Food for Peace, and the Agency for International Development (AID). He declared the 1960s the "Development Decade" and substantially increased the budget for foreign assistance. Modernization theory supplied the design, rationale, and justification for these programs. Stages had called for an expanded foreign aid effort organized exclusively around the development mission. Rostow implied and Kennedy had declared during the campaign that State Department bureaucrats used aid for short-run diplomatic advantage, making the separation of the Agency for International Development from State an essential first step. Likewise, Food for Peace took established agricultural surplus disposal programs and organized them around a develop-mental mission. Rather than dumping the excess produced by federal price supports (or using the surplus to alleviate famine), the program's primary purpose was the generation of "counterpart" funds that could be steered into social overhead investment. At the administration's urging, the United Nations put food assistance on the same basis in its World Food Programme.

The Peace Corps institutionalized a belief (traceable through The Ugly American to Lerner and Redfield) that exposure to modern personalities could induce change. Kennedy announced the Peace Corps during the campaign and asked Rostow and Millikan to draft the proposal. Volunteers were expected to create a catalytic effect by introducing ideas from a higher point on the developmental arc. The Peace Corps sought not specialists but "representative Americans" who could transmit values by example. Theory informed expectations of what volunteers should achieve. Performing their assigned jobs as teachers or agronomists was considered secondary to the task of catalyzing community involvement in a spontaneous project. Many volunteers experienced at first hand the chasm between the theory and reality of development.
http://www.americanforeignrelations....#ixzz2Ap6F7H8U

Has anyone at the Council noted the similarity between The Ugly American and Three Cups of Tea (haven't reviewed this thread in some time, perhaps it's somewhere here already....)
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Old 10-30-2012   #89
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Default Aid as Religion

Quote:
The analogy with religion becomes quite explicit when the authors move on to recommend what both countries need to do to realize good outcomes: “They must redouble their efforts to make sure that money spent on development achieves its intended result.” There is no analysis here of what has kept the countries from redoubling their efforts all these years or why they would want to change course at this point in time. All one is given is the following concession regarding the US: “One of the biggest failures of the current US approach is the lack of overarching vision.” Take it or leave it; there is no explanation for why with all the intellectual firepower at its disposal the US continues to lack an overarching vision. Or could it be that there is an overarching vision that is not visible to the authors blinded by their unquestioning faith?
http://thesouthasianidea.wordpress.c...d-as-religion/
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Old 11-14-2012   #90
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Default 1997 book on Capacity Building

Quote:
The prime purpose of Oxfam and similar development agencies is to assist poor men and women in changing their situation and exercising their right to participate in the development of their societies. However, aid agencies that ignore peoples existing strengths may create dependency, and so make people more vulnerable than before. This book examines the concept of capacity-building and why it is such an integral part of development. It considers specific and practical ways in which NGOs can contribute to enabling people to build on the capacities they already possess, while avoiding undermining such capacities.

"Capacity-Building" reviews the types of social organization with which NGOs might consider working, and the provision of training in a variety of skills and activities, for the people involved and for their organization. The particular importance of using a capacity-building approach in emergency situations, and the dynamic and long-term nature of the process, are emphasized.
http://www.amazon.com/Capacity-Build...acity+building

I am adding this title to the thread because I asked up thread when certain language seemed to become standard, especially in doctrinal writing and thinking.

A lot of current military/stability/development thinking might come from the 90s-era stability assignments and development theory of that period? Around the time of MOOTW?

Well, I don't know. Continue to be intellectually curious about all of this.

Last edited by Madhu; 11-14-2012 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Added sentence "a lot of...."
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Old 11-18-2012   #91
Madhu
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Default Should I start another thread?

This has sort of morphed into a catch-all for international aid criticism but developmental and humanitarian aid seem to be important parts of international peace-keeping so I'll keep at it:

Quote:
Economist William Easterly speaks with Hugh Eakin about the recent militarization of Western foreign aid policy, the dangers of this new "aid imperialism," and the role economists have played in its development.
http://www.nybooks.com/podcasts/issu...ilitarization/

I suppose for intellectual honesty's sake I ought to go dig up articles by critics of the aid critics....
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Old 11-27-2012   #92
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Default The Ugly American=Three Cups of Tea?

I proposed that the Mortenson book Three Cups of Tea was this generation's The Ugly American upthread but the following is a post with a different view:

Quote:
I feel like I need to explain the background of “ugly American”-ness because, until I read Jon Krakauer’s essay Three Cups of Deceit, Mortenson fit into this mold. (Example: “We need more people like Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute. He uses a budget of only a few million dollars to build hundreds of school. Imagine if the US could send hundreds of Greg Mortensens armed with tens of millions of dollars.”) An American with an inclination toward languages who could seamlessly blend between Pakistan and Afghanistan and America and builds hundreds of schools for several hundred thousand dollars each? Sounds like an “ugly American” to me, in the original, good sense of the phrase.

Unfortunately, it’s likely that Mortenson spends more time telling stories about his “ugly American”-ness then he does “ugly American”-ing. That, in short, is a shame.

So the question becomes, do Mortenson’s actions condemn the idea of “ugly Americans”? Does this mean that philanthropy and development and foreign aid are farces?

Not at all. If anything, good “ugly Americans” keep themselves out of the spotlight, which Mortenson clearly did not. And, more importantly, Mortenson will be replaced. As soon as the fiasco broke, Rye Barcott released his book, It Happened on the Way to War. Then NPR’s Planet Money podcast aired a few shows about their attempts to build a school in Haiti and the lessons they learned. And then the Economist ran an article about new, more intelligent ways to use philanthropic dollars.
http://onviolence.com/?e=450

On the other hand, I'm not sure that the two points are that far off. What does development mean and what is its place within "stabilization" operations, military or civilian? Perhaps the first question is whether to "do" development or not, does it help or hinder progress, however progress is defined?

http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2012/11/flo...longer-useful/

Last edited by Madhu; 11-27-2012 at 04:17 PM. Reason: changed block quote
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Old 04-29-2013   #93
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Default Interesting history

Quote:
Petraeus's father-in-law, William Knowlton, had been involved in the most ambitious of these programs, known as CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support), which created "strategic hamlets"--distinct areas where the population could be separated (in some cases, physically resettled) from the insurgents--and then trained local self-defense units to stave off the insurgents' return. CORDS was led by a brilliant but wild-eyed White House official named Robert Komer, known to those who worked with him as "Blowtorch." (He didn't mind the nickname.) Knowlton had served as Komer's military deputy, and after Petraeus married Knowlton's daughter, the two talked at length about CORDS: how it operated and its similarities to other counterinsurgency campaigns that Petraeus had been studying.
- The Insurgents, Fred Kaplan

So, supposedly, the Army had forgotten lessons learned in Vietnam about counterinsurgency.

But the topic was kept alive, especially because the Army had an internal argument about who really lost the war and why?

I wonder if the better understanding is that the methodical institutional STUDY stopped, rather than it was entirely forgotten.

Better lesson learned: study on such topics must continue institutionally and be kept intellectually alive and informed by current developments? Intellectual study is a living thing, not simply a "lessons learned" thing?

The American military "Insurgents" (Kaplan book), then, had a point about unpreparedness regarding counterinsurgency but their ideas off the page did not bear fruit?

I personally still think we paid a price for not reviewing our own complicated history in South Asia, especially Afghanistan and Pakistan. (I don't generally talk about Iraq around here because I am not as comfortable with that topic).

I hope the institution corrects that error and studies its own history and its own SELF (if you see what I mean) in South Asia and China so that there is a better understanding of the region. If outside experts or State Department Hands are used, then something important is missing and a DC group think will continue about various regions, IMO. Some of the reading lists around here, on the larger strategic view of regions, is a bit worrisome. I will add to those articles at a later date.

Each institution with its own rigorous understanding may help.

Last edited by Madhu; 04-29-2013 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Corrections and added last sentence
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