SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Military Art & Science Applied > FID & Working With Indigenous Forces

FID & Working With Indigenous Forces Training, advising, and operating with local armed forces in Foreign Internal Defense.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-21-2011   #1
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,972
Default When does FID work?

Transitioning a discussion from the Iron Majors post on the blog:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...rtage/#c020176, where we diverted the discussion from why there was a shortage of Majors, to FID.

I like to get your thoughts on the following:

I think State Department in the lead for FID has generally been more effective than when DOD has been the lead. While hurts me to say this, and I am not attributing any talent to State (it is an organization that rejects talent generally, and embraces tenure), I think their process of under resourcing the mission (not allowing mission creep) and limiting U.S. forces in combat to largely self defense forces the host to adapt and take the lead. Agree or disagree? Why?

Historically, with Iraq perhaps being the only exception, FID operations were successful when the number of advisors was kept low, probably under 300 personnel. On the other hand, any time we sent several hundred advisors we failed? Agree or disagree? Why?

Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-21-2011 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Add link to SWJ Blog from 2008 which has new life!
Bill Moore is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #2
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17 5' 11N, Longitude 120 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

For starters, I'd say FID is most likely to work when...

1. Goals are clear, specific, and realistic (most things work best that way)

2. The foreign partner has an existing government with some capacity, both on the governance level and the military level. Trying to install governments or reanimate corpses is generally a pretty dodgy venture.

Certainly a lot more to it than that, but good places to start.

If State is more successful, that may be less due to State's capacity than due to State being more likely to lead in situations where we're cooperating with a functional government.
Dayuhan is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #3
John T. Fishel
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
Posts: 1,065
Default Bill, what do you man

by State having the lead? If you are referrring to situations where there is no major US military operation then the Ambassador (not DOS) is in charge of ALL USG activity including military. In such a case, the US advisory role is usually small vis the El Salvador 55. But note that the 55 were military. and the the Country team included AID and USIS etc under the leadership of 3 extraordinary Ambassadors - Deane Hinton, Tom Pickering, and Ed Corr. Our research shows tht small is bettter -see SWORD Model.

Cheers

JohnT
John T. Fishel is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #4
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,703
Default

Well, for one factor, while State is still in the lead we have not yet made the tragic decision to call the intervention a "War."

Once we decide to call our FID intervention War, we then shift to waging "warfare," and logically shift the lead to the military. Now we have converted the situation into something we must "win" and have sent in a bunch of pro-active professionals who will go to any length to achieve that win. It is in that effort to win that we lose sight of the big picture and begin to shift from helping a partner achieve stability to one of helping a partner defeat the threat. Defeating a threat that is a portion of ones own populace, and that represents a much larger portion that the threat emerges from; and waging war agaist ones own populace is bad business. Bringing in a foreign force to wage war against your own popualce is even worse. (Even if that foreign force is Eric Prince and his band of mercs.)

I would offer the question may be better asked not in terms of State Lead vs. DoD Lead but rather in terms of FID as peacefare vs. FID as warfare.
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

Last edited by Bob's World; 05-21-2011 at 12:40 PM.
Bob's World is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #5
82redleg
Council Member
 
82redleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USAWC, Carlisle Bks
Posts: 224
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
by State having the lead? If you are referrring to situations where there is no major US military operation then the Ambassador (not DOS) is in charge of ALL USG activity including military. In such a case, the US advisory role is usually small vis the El Salvador 55. But note that the 55 were military. and the the Country team included AID and USIS etc under the leadership of 3 extraordinary Ambassadors - Deane Hinton, Tom Pickering, and Ed Corr. Our research shows tht small is bettter -see SWORD Model.

Cheers

JohnT
The Ambassador is part of DOS, and this is exactly what is meant. Once we make something a military operation, and DOD has lead until it transitions back to DOS.
82redleg is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #6
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17 5' 11N, Longitude 120 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

I'm sure that small deployments are generally much more successful... but is that because they are intrinsically better or because they are typically used under circumstances much more conducive to success, such as when the government being assisted has a relatively high capacity of its own?

Larger military operations are typically used in cases of full or imminent state failure or in a post-regime change situation, where we are less assisting a state than trying to create one. Those situations would naturally have a lower success rate, but is that because the operations are large or because the underlying conditions are far less conducive to success?

The medicine that isn't used until the patient is in critical condition is likely to have a lower success rate. That doesn't mean it's bad medicine, it means that patients in critical condition are harder to cure.
Dayuhan is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #7
Morgan
Council Member
 
Morgan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Indiana/ KSA
Posts: 51
Default

I think Dayuhan said it well...."goals that are clear, specific, and realistic".

I think FID works when we know what we want FID to do and are willing to actually work WITH the HNSF VS imposing on them the USA method for solving a problem/ issue.

In terms of the size of force we deploy to conduct FID, I tend to agree that smaller is better but even a larger force can be effective if properly trained to understand the local language and culture, and led by people who understand how to develop & maintain a working relationship with HNSF and are willing to accept the risks that come with such an environment.

The large forces executing FID/ SFA don't meet the criteria above.
Morgan is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #8
John T. Fishel
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
Posts: 1,065
Default 82 Redleg not DOS

An American Ambassador is the personal representative of POTUS. His or her fomal chain of command is POTUS to AMB. SECSTATE is more on the order of CJCS - in the chain of communication not chain of command. A career FSO confirmed by the Senate as an Ambassador must (according to Amb David Passage in multiple lectures at CGSC Fort Leavenworth) resign from the Foreeign Service (to be reinstated when his ambassadorship is over). Note that a significant minority of Ambassadors are appointed from the outside - notably in the current world, Eikenberry in A'stan and now his successor, Ryan Crocker (retired). Zalmay Khalilzad was also appointed ambssador to both A'stan and Iraq from outside the Foreign Service.

In the McCaffrey Wars of the early 90s when the general claimed that MILGP commanders worked for him, he was backed by the DEPSECSTATE who had to be reminded by Amb to Colombia Morris Busby and Ambassador to Guatemala Marilyn MacAffee that they did not work for him but for Pres Clinton. Amb MacAffee ordered an ongoing military exercise shut down in 24 hours - it took 48. McCaffrey left SOUTHCOM for the drug czar office but MacAffee stayed as ambassador outlasting him and ignoring State.

So, I say again, what do we mean by DOS lead? Ever wonder why many DCMs as Charge d'Affaires seem to be afraid of their own shadows? It is because they DO work for DOS.

Cheers

JohnT
John T. Fishel is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #9
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,972
Default

John,

As you stated the AMB is the direct representative of the President, but I think most people see the role the AMB not only a representative of the President, but as a State Department employee. While an important point, the bottom line is DOD is not the in the lead. It is providing military support to our overall effort, and not transforming it into our war. In contrast a DOD lead is where the military is not only the main effort, but the U.S. military starts to take the lead in the fighting.

Getting back to the State Department issue, every FID mission I have been on the money was controlled by a person in State proper at Foggy Bottom and he-she had the final say on what would get funded and what wouldn't. Usually this person worked harder than our Iron Majors and was managing numerous programs simultaneously, so your time to ask for more received limited attention.

There is a black and white legalistic answer when State is in charge (title 22) and when DOD is in charge (title 10), but I am more interested in who is making the calls and shaping the policy. State can notionally be charge, and get run over by DOD in some cases. I haven't been on one mission where (except JTF Liberia and that wasn't FID) where the commander didn't want more resources-people. If you get more people you can do what? The answer is you can do more, which means the host nation does less and that is where the downward spiral starts.

Last edited by Bill Moore; 05-21-2011 at 07:11 PM.
Bill Moore is offline  
Old 05-21-2011   #10
John T. Fishel
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
Posts: 1,065
Default Bill, that is precisely what I was getting at



We need to recall that Security Assistance is a DOS program enabled (or constrained) by the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 (as amended) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1976 (as amended). Any program funded and/or controlled by these acts is subject to DOS supervision at the very least. Most FID is funded as FMS/FMF(a bit under IMET and ESF) which are all FAA programs. While there is some counternarcotics funding not under the FAA and programs of Joint Exercises (JCETs for example) and Title 10 H/CA these are merely add ons to FID programs funded by FAA. And, these "add ons" are subject to the approval of the Amb whio is advised by his Country Team (only 2 members of which wear uniforms - most of the rest are DOS).

One might be able to make a distinction between FID - a normal program run by the Amb and his CT and SFA in the midst of a major military operation. Yet, i am not sure the distinction is real or valid. I would argue that the SFA mission in Iraq was relatively successful due, in large part, to the mind meld of GEN petraeus and Amb Crocker. So, who had the lead C or P or P or C? Yes! But that is what makes the situation so unusual and it was made to work by the 2 guys on the ground. There is no standard "command relationship" that can dictate such a structure and a reluctance on the part of all presidents in my lifetime to say who is in charge of such a situation.

Your point that constrained resources makes people use what they have more effectively (and efficiently) is wise.
John T. Fishel is offline  
Old 07-26-2013   #11
azl
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: pakistan
Posts: 3
Default

I think size of the force doesnt matter, the type of force or agency doesnt matter also. for FID to work the agency or force needs to improve and build relations, if one cant change the populations loyalty, one cant win .
azl is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FID or COIN? does it matter LS Government Agencies & Officials 56 02-22-2010 04:27 PM
Question regarding career paths into FID/Advisor work... mrc_023320 RFIs & Members' Projects 0 01-16-2010 12:34 AM
FID or UW: And does it matter? LS Doctrine & TTPs 1 07-30-2009 09:55 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation