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Old 01-04-2008   #1
SWJED
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Default In-sourcing the Tools of National Power

In-sourcing the Tools of National Power for Success and Security by Matt Armstrong at SWJ Blog.

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Military operations may neutralize immediate kinetic threats and strategic communications may make promises, but enduring change comes from systemic overhauls that stabilize unstable regions. Security, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, and development are critical for ultimate democratization. These are the real propaganda of deeds. Without competent and comprehensive action in these areas, tactical operations are simply a waste of time, money, and life.

Bullets and bombs represent short-term tactical responses to a much larger strategic dilemma. Any text worth reading on insurgency or counterinsurgency recognizes and emphasizes the operational and strategic center of gravity is the people. Failing to address grinding poverty and disillusionment in regions creates fertile breeding grounds for extremists, terrorists, and insurgents to attack the national interests of the United States.

The U.S. must in-source the tools of national power that support and compliment reconstruction and stabilization efforts to pacify and stabilize regions. The National Security Strategy declares the need to bring all of the elements of America’s national power to bear to build the “infrastructure of democracy” and to be a champion of “human dignity”. But, instead of consistent, coherent, and coordinated, operations, the U.S. relies on ad hoc reconstruction and stabilization solutions heavily dependent on outsourcing in lieu of any substantial internal capacity. This outsourcing of national power also relies on ad hoc solutions as companies quickly assemble teams that too often operate outside of existing military and other governmental operations in the region. We all know this is a fundamental requirement, even if we do not realize it. Consider the discussions surrounding the “Phase IV” planning for Iraq that recalled the Marshall Plan for post-war Europe. Too frequently lost in those discussions was the strategic and operational planning by the U.S. in the years prior to the collapse of Germany, as well as the civil and humanitarian aid that followed the American and British forces in the march to Germany.

Today the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) is a solution to address the structural problems of America’s response to unstable regions. Based on a “whole of government” approach, this office will in-source the most essential tools of national power while centralizing the ability to effectively partner with private sector providers. However, this civilian-based requirement of “winning” the post-conflict struggle cannot move forward because of a combination of misunderstanding and domestic posturing...
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Old 01-04-2008   #2
Ron Humphrey
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Thumbs up well thought out presentation

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Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
I read through it and it makes a lot of sense.
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Old 01-06-2008   #3
SWJED
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Default Taking Exception: Nation-Building Office Is No Solution

Taking Exception: Nation-Building Office Is No Solution - By Justin Logan and Christopher Preble at SWJ Blog.

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Senator Richard Lugar argue that “some of the greatest threats to our national security” come from the “brittle institutions and failing economies of weak and poorly governed states.” As a result, they argue, the creation of a nation-building office within the State Department is “essential for our national security.” This proposal is based on a fundamental misreading of the predicament we face today, and threatens to compound our recent strategic errors.

The experience in Iraq has apparently taught us little. Rice and Lugar propose populating the nation-building office with 250 full-time staffers, who would then draw on a reserve corps of perhaps some 2,000 federal employees, plus another 500-person cadre of think-tankers and civilians...
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