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Old 06-23-2017   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,220
Default Training "allies": the Bassingbourn debacle

International Defence Engagement Strategy is the UK's name for helping allies and friends, within months of starting it had a disaster with training the new Libyan Army @ Bassingbourn barracks, near Cambridge:
Although entirely plausible in theory, the strategy has proved problematic in practice.

Why do I say debacle, this passage gives a clue:
In 2011 the United Kingdom was instrumental in supporting the popular uprising in Libya that led to the downfall of the Gaddafi regime. Thereafter, the British government was keen to assist with post-conflict stabilization to support Libya’s democratic transition. Central to this stabilization effort was an ambitious plan, under the auspices of its new International Defence Engagement Strategy, to train a new Libyan army at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire. The training programme, implemented in June 2014, was beset with challenges from the outset, and was abruptly terminated less than five months later after a number of trainees absconded from the barracks and were arrested for serious sexual assaults in Cambridge city centre.
The author ends with:
The theory could be sound enough, but the practice requires some refinement.
There is a longer paper (not read):

Want the official view, albeit from March 2014, so before the debacle, the same website, Chatham House, has the Army's then top soldier giving a speech on 'defence engagement' the audio and transcript:

From my "armchair" it would be easier not to train such new "allies" at home, in this case in the UK, but in a culturally easier location?
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