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Old 03-01-2008   #1
Rob Thornton
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Default What is JCISFA, what is SFA, and how does it fit in the greater scheme of things-PT 1

What is Security Force Assistance & What is JCISFA

Most folks on the SWC know me, I’ve been around the council for about a year and a half, and started inter-acting while deployed on a BN level Transition Team to Mosul. I am currently working at the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance as an Army strategist (FA 59) at Fort Leavenworth where we have responsibilities that place us working to identify and integrate SFA knowledge and practices into the institution, and also to provide operational support to deployed units. We work with the greater JIIM community on SFA and related issues, but we are not necessarily where some have identified us as being e.g. we have a relationship with FT Riley, but they are FORSCOM driven, and we are a Joint Center – like most organizations with “Center” in the title, there is plenty of responsibility not necessarily with commensurate authority. We are a Chairman’s activity, and LTG Caldwell is “dual-hatted” as both the CAC CDR and the JCISFA Director. Originally JCISFA was established under then LTG Petraeus when he was the CAC CDR, along with the COIN Center that CAV GUY works at. We are about a 25 person organization, with about five Marines, eight Army personnel, one Sailor, and eleven contractors.

JCISFA’s current mission statement: Institutionalize lessons and best practices from security force assistance (SFA) operations to better prepare U.S. and partner nation forces to rebuild security infrastructure during stability, security, transition, and reconstruction operations. Serve as the DOD Center of Excellence and U.S. Armed Forces focal point to provide advice and assistance for international security force assistance mission.

Appropriately, much like the SFA effort it supports, JCISFA achieves much of its mission through influencing, and you influence by providing good analysis and suggestions, good products that help the operational and institutional JIIM community get its arms around things, and by being right more often then being wrong. Because of the scale of the advisory mission, there is a great deal of related activity, numbers of centers (Riley is not the only Advisory training center in the JIIM community), and as the advisory mission becomes more accepted as something which will not only endure in Iraq and Afghanistan, but may become a key tenet of a greater “Indirect” strategy which focuses on building partner capacity, there has been more senior leader interest into how SFA fits into the “Full Spectrum” construct. SWC member and blogger DR JACK recently mentioned the SFA symposium hosted here at Fort Leavenworth where for the week in Jan, senior uniformed and civilians associated with SFA came into discuss strategic and policy level questions – there are still some due outs regarding the symposium that JCISFA is working on, but the important thing here is the issues were discussed if not by the decision makers themselves, then by those who directly influence how SFA will develop. I was not there – as I’d mentioned we touch allot of things, and that week we also had to send folks to participate in the Army’s TMAAG conference, and to the event I attended – the JFCOM J9’s Military Support to the Rule of Law workshop with the greater JIIM community up at Gettysburg, PA. I did review some of the video and presentations that were made at the SFA Symposium and SWC member Old Eagle was there, and I think they wrestled with the tough, high yield problems. I’d say in that regard, progress was made – just in getting a common understanding of the problems associated with SFA.

What is SFA?
The definition of Security Force Assistance (SFA): Unified action by the joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational community to generate, employ, sustain and assist host nation or regional security forces in support of a legitimate authority

SFA is a broad framework that spans the spectrum of conflict focused on assisting foreign security forces in support of US and Coalition interests regardless of operating environment

Within that definition the conduct of a SFA effort the functions of Generate, Organize, Train, Equip, Rebuild, and Assist could be seen a required lines of effort that might be seen from both sequential and simultaneous perspectives – e.g. although you have to start somewhere, the effort itself might be so large that within the partner’s greater security sector, various components (army, police, border, etc.) might be more or less mature then the others, its also worth considering that if conducting SFA under conditions where there is greater rather then less stability, and where there is already a mature insurgency, then the possibility exists that you might wind up with two steps forward and one step back, or worse, one step forward and two steps back for reasons that my be beyond your capability to effect.

Considering SFA from the tactical to the operational to the strategic


A political objective of using military force to conduct SFA might be described as a way to build partner capacity to the point where it can gain and sustain capability and capacity in its security sector against internal and external threats for the purposes of allowing the government to establish and sustain Rule of Law (RoL). RoL as a concept provides the physical and perceptual underpinnings that citizenry can point to as ensuring their safety and protection, provide the basis for law and order and the perception of justice as administered by the state (this does not necessarily exclude competing forms of cultural justice – each government must decide for itself how and if non-secular and secular ideas of justice can co-exist.)

Each partner we would like engage with in SFA is likely to have differing conceptual security challenges, but within their challenges will have both internal and external security threats. Even in the United States we have both internal and external threats which can both be further considered as domestic and foreign components. The connectivity between the internal and external threats has grown comparably as have the forms, functions and frequency of communications that have provided increased access between individual and groups who look for advantages and opportunities to undermine state security.

SFA then should be considered from a holistic view point if the threats are to be identified and defeated, because to focus solely on one aspect can create an advantage for the enemy; e.g. in a modern city with an airport that sits astride some line of communication, be it for commercial, government or religious travelers who pass through its gates for purposes in addition to, or outside of the business to be conducted within that city, the potential exists that illicit activity which undermines that city’s authority, the authority of the larger province or state and potentially the region might be conducted. If the conditions support that activity, meaning there is not a strong “anti” or “counter” capability to deter it, then that city is likely to provide some incentives to conducting business there. If that city is a target, because conditions there offer a tactical, operational or strategic advantage to one or more individuals or groups (to include foreign states) e.g. the police or the intelligence there are weak, and the population offers some degree of support, or is not in active support of the government, then that city may become more then just a safe haven, or place to plan operations, conduct meetings and conduct training.

This is where we must scope out and consider not only the activities which go on inside the city or destination, but the connected activities which deter and make more difficult for individuals and groups to enter, conduct and support those activities which threaten the state. This is a significant challenge inside Iraq and Afghanistan where even within a single city there are multiple efforts and units tasked to conduct SFA, given the size of the effort and the multiple LOEs (Lines of Effort) such as the police, the army, the local governments, the correctional system, etc., building a common operation picture that ensures unity of effort is daunting, particularly when an active and adaptive enemy is looking for ways in which to retard, or delay the effort so that it can establish itself as the political authority and wear out U.S. public will over time – its view is it does not necessarily have to win decisively right now, just prevent the Iraqi government from becoming strong enough to win. In Iraq and Afghanistan we are engaged with SFA tasks at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.


see continuation

Last edited by Rob Thornton; 03-03-2008 at 02:59 PM. Reason: update
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Old 03-01-2008   #2
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Default What is JCISFA, what is SFA, and how does it fit in the greater scheme of things-PT 2

part 2

To understand the threat to a city, the best place to start may be looking at what makes a city a city. Such an investigation might include asking the questions of: why did people decide to establish a city here?; who lives here?; why do they stay? What does this city produce?; who else comes here besides the residents and why? From there, you can start to consider what opportunities present themselves to both the enemy(s) and to the security forces who must operate there. While not exactly the same in terms of form, or in terms of authority, our own model of layered security can provide a functional model of reverse engineering to consider how the threat goes about gaining entry to, and establishing operations with a given location. From there, you should be able to go back and look at the security sector gaps which have allowed the enemy to conduct operations. This is not limited to the physical barriers, agencies, units and personnel which form part of the security sector, but also the types of law governing and regulating all other types of intercourse. I am “not” advocating “mirror imaging” of our security sector – what I am advocating is that SFA practitioners need to see the threat in the context of the greater security sector and that a holistic effort is required or the threat will retain freedom of movement within a system he understands better then you – the parts of the security sector (police, military, paramilitary, border guards, coast guard, intelligence, EPS, etc.) must be seen as somewhat inter-dependent (based on the threat), and as such our efforts to help them build capacity need to recognize and support that. This can quickly raise SFA from the tactical to operational level.

This leads you from the tactical SFA to the Operational SFA to the Strategic SFA. One of the presentations I wrote an EXSUM for based of the slides and the video was LTG Dubik’s, the MNSTC-I CDR. Without going into too great a detail, LTG Dubik has taken an Enterprise approach to his efforts. He has recognized that in order to eventually sustain itself independent of external assistance, the Iraqi security sector is going to have to have sufficient bureaucratic institutional depth to perpetuate itself, and to resist the whim of domestic policy. This is not only important when considering reliance on U.S. support, but in order to stand independently from having to enter into collective security arrangements because it was unable to sustain itself – it provides the state with a security sector capable of supporting its own domestic and foreign policy objectives.

SWC member CAVGUY, aka MAJ Niel Smith, had asked me to consider writing about what JCISFA is, what its role is, and the broader topic of SFA. This last bit is probably as important as the discussions on the many discussions as to how best we should organize to conduct SFA. If you don’t have an idea of what you might be trying to do, or why you are doing it, then trying to describe how best to organize for it is probably short sighted. There are multiple ways to go after an objective, once you have identified what the objective is, and why you want to do it. There are some great JCISFA contributions already out there (the SFA Planner’s Handbook – already out to the JIIM community, the SFA CDR’s HB – soon to be released) and several other good pieces of work to help SFA practitioners be they advisors, BCTs, CDRs, uniformed or civilian leadership, etc. JCISFA as a center is working to improve our capability and capacity to conduct SFA.

Best Regards, Rob

Last edited by Rob Thornton; 03-02-2008 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 03-01-2008   #3
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Hi Rob, that's a great post. The references you described are they available online anywhere or is this secret stuff? If they are tell them guys with the stars that assistance starts at home and as a security manager I wants some
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Old 03-02-2008   #4
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Slap - shoot me the proverbial PM - that which has been approved for public release is yours for the asking; that which isn't currently - soon will be, and I'll get you that too. So far its all UNCLASS, and set for unlimited distro. Right now the SFA Planner's Handbook is good to hook and on the streets, and its found a home with a good many J5s, I also passed out a bunch to JIIM community. BTW, while we don't have a uniformed airman in JCISFA yet, we do have a retired airman who is currently a contractor, he and our Deputy Director just got back from USAF's advisor training effort.

Some of the first guys at JCISFA (like SWC member "Old Eagle") are to be thanked for the quality of the SFA Planner's HB. Best, Rob

Last edited by Rob Thornton; 03-02-2008 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 03-02-2008   #5
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Default Enterprise

Rob,

This is a solid post and will require some time to digest. There is a discussion on the BCKS CMO website concerning 'Best of Breed' that might be of interest to you. I have been thinking about analyzing strategic frameworks using such business techniques as Balanced Scorecard, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportuniites, and Threats) VRINE (Value, Rarity, Inimitability, Nonsubstitutuability, and Exploitability) among others in support of the CMO effort. By combining these with my ongoing interest in defining applicable metrics I might even find the time, one of these days, to put something together for the website. In the meantime I'll just continue to ramble on here...

Regards,

Steve
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Old 03-02-2008   #6
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Default Many thanks, Rob. Lot of good to know info.

Like Steve, I'll have to digest that for a bit. Out of idle curiosity, does the AF plan on providing some blue suiters?
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Old 03-02-2008   #7
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Hi Steve,
I found his (LTG Duik's) presentation and philosophical framing of it as an enterprise pretty interesting, and I think spot on - I'd known some PRT folks, but I'd yet to see thinking on building the required institutional bureaucracy, until now. MNSTC-I is working to get the right type of senior level / ministry type advisors in place to help the Iraqis work through this. As many have mentioned before, under Saddam's regime they had a bureaucracy that was not designed to tell the emperor he had no clothes. When the regime was torn/fell apart even those linkages were dissolved.

JCISFA is trying to help them out by providing an advisory course POI (the actual teaching of that would probably go to somebody else with capacity) targeting the skill sets for that level of advising. This is not easy. For a job of such importance you have to start with someone with a level of technical education appropriate to evaluate the existing system, the environment in which the system is supposed to work, how the system will facilitate and sustain the desired endstate - or a combination of all three simultaneously. We're talking high art here I think. This is not something that can be minted and sent out the door.

One of the best analogies I've heard is that of a gardener. Before you can advise somebody on how to garden in a manner that theperson being advised stands a good chance of being successful, the advisor needs to understand gardening pretty well himself. Nobody wants advice on a topic from someone who really has no practical experience in the area he's advising on. At the tactical level, this is challenging enough, but for the most part we get it about right, we and the Iraqis have enough capacity in that area that when a TT goes down range they can at least advise on the technical aspects. These ministry level advisors though are of a different nature - a strategic one.

Not only do they require someone saavy on politics, and the culture of the politics at work, but a senior level mis-step can have far reaching and enduring ill effects. Also, the longer it takes the Iraqis to build their institutional bureaucracy, the less stable, less effective and more vulnerable the overall governmental structure will be to internal and external pressures. Unfortunately the uniformed side does not have allot of experience in this, in fact most of our culture goes far out of its way to stay out of it.

I think his observation is right on, but getting the right people, with a sufficient amount of professional experience in a personnel system that struggles to meet "made to order" requests is going to be tough. Most of the folks I would think best suited to do this level of advising would be OSD SES types, and people who'd served as -Ds, etc. We (the big JIIM "we") can provide them with the skills to "advise", but the core competencies, cannot be built in a short term nature, they are either the product of long term experiences (best case & requiring hand selection based on professional assignments), or potentially a series of courses and schools that at least introduce them to the technical skills (maybe an adequate solution, but will mean selection early and a good deal of supplemental preparation in the technical areas).

Another one of those things with "no easy answers".

Best, Rob
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Old 03-02-2008   #8
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Ken, my understanding is that there are many who'd like to. We'll see. Best, Rob
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Old 03-02-2008   #9
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Default Human Capital

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Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post

JCISFA is trying to help them out by providing an advisory course POI (the actual teaching of that would probably go to somebody else with capacity) targeting the skill sets for that level of advising. This is not easy. For a job of such importance you have to start with someone with a level of technical education appropriate to evaluate the existing system, the environment in which the system is supposed to work, how the system will facilitate and sustain the desired endstate - or a combination of all three simultaneously. We're talking high art here I think. This is not something that can be minted and sent out the door.

One of the best analogies I've heard is that of a gardener. Before you can advise somebody on how to garden in a manner that theperson being advised stands a good chance of being successful, the advisor needs to understand gardening pretty well himself. Nobody wants advice on a topic from someone who really has no practical experience in the area he's advising on. At the tactical level, this is challenging enough, but for the most part we get it about right, we and the Iraqis have enough capacity in that area that when a TT goes down range they can at least advise on the technical aspects. These ministry level advisors though are of a different nature - a strategic one.
Rob,

You have touched upon quite a few pithy and central points to the reconstruction effort.

Fortunately for the US we have Gen Petraeus on the ground. For an American, he probably has the truest grasp of the many, many changing variables involved and he is the best placed to bring about change.

Iraq is not America. It never will be. The American approach to Time does not apply. Relationships are established and tested before things begin to happen.

In addition to deep technical/technocratic skills, linguistic, and cultural skills for JCISFA teams will truly be key. Failure to have the first two have definite repercussions, failure to have the latter can get you and your team injured or killed. Some of the South Koreans, Bechtel, and ACOE folks found this out the hard way during my tour. These 'silver-bullet' teams would be the poster children for a 'low density MOS' and we would have to careful how they are employed.

Having said this I feel that Iraqi Human Capital is the key issue to the success or failure of our operation. Many of the people I worked with had options and I would be very surprised if they are still around. Many of the engineering directors that I worked with in Mosul during OIF 1 were western educated at the graduate level, multi-lingual, well spoken, and very astute. These gentlemen had been getting things done despite the sanctions and the very difficult political situation for many years...they were survivors, all of them.

These Iraqi Engineers were as effective as they were because they had some semblance of a governance and social network left that they could work with. This social network had options and I would be very surprised if they are still around. By American standards our progress was painfully incremental. I was very thankful for the CERP funding that we had, but in truth it was a bandage placed on arterial bleed. Nonetheless we functioned on the hope of some appropriate future funding to begin the rehabilitation of public infrastructure necessary for supporting a functional and civil society.

The JCISFA teams will need a secure AO, deep funding pockets, and significant time in order to reverse things using a top down strategy. The other possibility that I see is to attempt to quilt together militias for security, quilt together 'electricity-militias' for electricity (one generator/one block at a time), 'water-militias' for drinking water (small filters and a squad of water trucks for a block/neighborhood), tribes & imams for governance (again one block/neighborhood at a time) and a comprehenisve jobs program for each AO. From what I can see this appears to be the pathway that we are on/considering.

As an aside I wonder about the kids. They have seen much and they are the future of Iraq.

How then do we pull the three parts of the country back together or at least end up with functional portions? Perhaps an oil profits sharing program in which each citizen of Iraq gets a share of the countries oil revenue every quarter will be enough to ensure that some semblance of normalcy can return.

I do not know.

3 to 6 million barrels a day at ~$ 100 dollars a barrel can be used to fund the expression of a lot of anger. It can also be used to express hope for tomorrow.

As you indicated if it was easy it would already have been done.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 03-02-2008   #10
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Default Need to clarify what JCISFA is not

Hi Steve,
Great points. I do need to clarify something though for people who might pick up the thread without reading the original posts. You'd referred to "JCISFA" teams. JCISFA does not have the capacity to send out TTs from inside the organization itself - as mentioned, we are only about 25 folks.

Like other individual augmentees, these folks who will go out to ministerial level advisory positions come from somewhere else, and go to somewhere else ( assigned to MNSTC-I). They are not assigned to JCISFA. Like other advisory and SFA efforts, we may touch them to different degrees, often indirectly through our effects on the institutional side (like helping to est. a POI specifically for them); or more directly in our support to the operational side - but its a misnomer to call them "JCISFA" teams. If you remember the "BASF" commercial a few years back that "At BASF we don't make________, we just make _________ better" - that might be closer to what we do.

On the support to operational units, we do work with deploying units on challenges such as SFA planning - which could get you to how you might organize to best support ongoing SFA efforts in your AOR, or to how you might take on a larger chunk of the SFA mission. Primarily we are focused on supporting the SFA missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, again with 25 folks - you have to establish some priorities, but we have recognized the need to consider other areas as SFA as a way to build partner capacity and meet other policy objectives in many other areas.

Its probably also good idea to talk about the relationship with the various service training centers. Although we have "Joint" in our name, that does not put us at the top of a training hierarchy. Right after the word "Joint" is the word "center", which for those who have looked out into the world of centers, there is generally not a great deal of authority associated with it. This is a conscious decision when est. a center - you want them un-encumbered to do those things which a center can do. Center then, does not equal command - once you throw command responsibilities into an organization, you change the fundamental nature of what that organization is, and what it does, and how what it does is perceived. What we have done though, is serve as an integrator for education, best practices, etc. - we connect people and efforts so that people have a better understanding of what works and why, and what does not work and why. One of the recent things JCISFA did was bring representation from the various advisory training centers together to talk about ways they could leverage each other in near real time - so the advisors that go through the various service sponsored centers will have had the best and most up to date information.

Another example are the interviews we conduct with TT members, with GOs, and with BCT members about SFA as they saw it during their operational deployment (and how they might see it now), then we figure out how to work that into a product that informs the JIIM community, Ex. I'm working on a SFA Case study that interviews not only folks assigned to TTs in an AOR, but to members of the BCT, members of the higher echelon CMD, members of the PRT, and some of the folks from DoJ who worked advising Iraqi prisons. I'll take all that and synthesize it so what comes out will hopefully be a holistic look at SFA in that area for that period of time that shows the complexity of the SFA environment. The goal of that effort would be that when someone deploying, someone working institutional issues, some one working policy, or just an average civilian considering the war picks it up, they will have a better understanding of the challenges of conducting SFA simultaneously with offensive, defensive and other stability tasks.

Now I want to go back and look at your post in depth, I feel like there are some important things that should be talked about - I just needed to provide a little bit more info on this side of the original thread before doing so.

Best, Rob

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Old 03-03-2008   #11
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Steve,
You touched on some real considerations that leaders should consider when conducting (before or during) SFA. Since we're talking about assistance to the security sector, one of the first considerations may be to ask ourselves what we hope to accomplish by BPC with the HN? That is probably a 2 part question - the first is how does it help the United States achieve FP objectives, and the second is defining the nature of the SFA the partner requires and desires?

Tackling the first question - about how it furthers our FP - on the surface that probably seems overtly pragmatic. However, given the nature of our political system, and the unpredictable nature of war, the the risk and benefits for using military means to achieve a policy object need to be considered up front and incorporated into strategic communications that consider the domestic, international and regional audiences. Also to be considered with regard to the first question is how is a bi-lateral (or as part of a multi-lateral) SFA effort is integrated into a larger regional picture and potentially as part of a grand strategy where all the elements of national power are being leveraged to create a more enduring effect that justifies the means. We could be talking about a few ministerial level advisors, the routine visits by an ODA, FMS (Foreign Military Sales), or the use of some other emerging TAA (Train, Advise & Assist) effort such as the Marine Corps SC-MAGTF, or the Army TMAAG-F.

The second question is about working with the partner nation's political leadership and also to our other regional partners who have to consider how new capabilities will be integrated into a regional outlook (there could be an existing collective security arrangement, or something informal). Not just in terms of changing the balance of military power, but increasingly, how that partner's ability to govern itself and support the domestic RoL effect other states and interests in the region. Ideally we'd support and facilitate regional diplomatic talks aimed at improving security and furthering stability from a regional perspective.

Once we get the strategic SFA/SSR framework established, I think we can better address important operational and tactical questions about the level of SFA, what types of enablers are needed to support the SFA effort (be they financial, cultural, technical), and how the conditions in the operational and tactical environment can best be overcome or mitigated. We've learned (and continue to learn) a great deal in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines and the HOA - it could also be argued we've had to relearn a great deal of it. The question is how we use the knowledge to inform current and future efforts to achieve our and our partner's goals.

Best, Rob
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Old 03-03-2008   #12
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Hi Rob,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
Not only do they require someone saavy on politics, and the culture of the politics at work, but a senior level mis-step can have far reaching and enduring ill effects. Also, the longer it takes the Iraqis to build their institutional bureaucracy, the less stable, less effective and more vulnerable the overall governmental structure will be to internal and external pressures. Unfortunately the uniformed side does not have allot of experience in this, in fact most of our culture goes far out of its way to stay out of it.
Great series of posts! I'd like to pick up on this particular point and make a few observations. For most people in the West and ex-colonies, "bureaucracy" has a very specific meaning which was pretty much defined and laid out by Max Weber in his Theory of Bureaucracy (a good synopsis available here). There are, however, competing theories of bureaucracy and other models for it, for example Confucianism and, if we go back further, the Temple States model from, you guessed it, Iraq (okay, it was 6-3.5 thousand years ago, but...).

One of the reasons why the reconstruction of Germany post WW II went to well was that we had almost exactly the same conceptualization of bureaucracy. Japan's was roughly similar, but embedded in a radically different cultural matrix; still, there rapid and recent industrialization paved the ground for adopting Western bureaucratic models (they already had them in their industry and military).

Iraq is another story altogether since almost all of the bureaucratic tradition goes back to the Temple States (weird, but it does). Part of this is because of the cultural matrix which defines the responsibilities of key social systems in a totally non-Western manner, i.e. a balance of areas between the Temple (nowadays the Ulama, Imams, etc.) and the State. This is totally different from the Western traditions where "religion" was, following the breakup of the Roman Catholic hegemony ~1500 or so, placed in a subservient position to the State and, in most Western nations, eventually relegated to the personal sphere and occasional ceremonial functions (this is he process of secularization). BTW, all of this is actually implicit (and sometimes explicit) in Machiavelli's The Prince (look at his discussion of government types).

Any long-lasting and effective bureaucracy will have to a) match up with the cultural matrix and b) have a solid, culturally-based justification ("Charter" in Malinowski's terms).
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Old 03-03-2008   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
Right after the word "Joint" is the word "center", which for those who have looked out into the world of centers, there is generally not a great deal of authority associated with it. This is a conscious decision when est. a center - you want them un-encumbered to do those things which a center can do. Center then, does not equal command - once you throw command responsibilities into an organization, you change the fundamental nature of what that organization is, and what it does, and how what it does is perceived. What we have done though, is serve as an integrator for education, best practices, etc. - we connect people and efforts so that people have a better understanding of what works and why, and what does not work and why. One of the recent things JCISFA did was bring representation from the various advisory training centers together to talk about ways they could leverage each other in near real time - so the advisors that go through the various service sponsored centers will have had the best and most up to date information.
Rob has your organization tied in at all with TRADOC's Army Training Support Center? I worked there from 02-04. Although most commonly associated with running the Reimer Digital Library and the Army Correspondence Course program, ATSC was doing some interesting stuff with distributed learning and info sharing that might prove useful to JCISFA's efforts. ATSC has a CAC LNO, BTW.
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Old 03-04-2008   #14
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Rob has your organization tied in at all with TRADOC's Army Training Support Center? I worked there from 02-04. Although most commonly associated with running the Reimer Digital Library and the Army Correspondence Course program, ATSC was doing some interesting stuff with distributed learning and info sharing that might prove useful to JCISFA's efforts. ATSC has a CAC LNO, BTW.
I checked into it today with the lead on "Advisor University", he gave me thumbs up that they are being leveraged, and that one of their spin offs is helping out too.
Best, Rob
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Old 10-15-2008   #15
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There's a JCISFA DoD Interagency Advisor Working Group on 27-28 October at Quantico.......anyone have some scoop on this?
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Old 10-15-2008   #16
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Hi Nichols,
This is the second WG we've hosted like this. The first was focused on DoD training centers. The goal was to cross level information, TTPs for the training of advisors and cross leveling knowledge on resources. It worked out very well and helped us establish a community of practice for the various TT centers. It went very well due in no small part to the energy of the folks from the centers and their desire to do what they do better. The result is a web based presence that allows each of the centers to share and update their POIs on all the topics they cover, as well as come up on the net to raise issues. It gives JCISFA better visibility on service and joint issues, as well as allowing us to provide the community with anything that comes our way, or the results from the surveys, knew knowledge, interviews, case studies, etc. that we conduct. MSG Mike Beemer deserves allot of credit for the hard work he did in making it happen.
This one will attempt to extend the same type of benefits to the broader JIIM community (Joint, Inter-Agency, Inter-Governmental, Multi-National) community. We are likely to have as many PRT related training center folks (there are multiple sites for this, just as there are multiple TT training sites) as straight transition team trainers. The list of invitees is pretty long, and while it will focus on assisting the "trainers" there will also be some relevant topics for those trying to understand how their agencies can set better policies.
We decided on Quantico because of its proximity to D.C. so more people could make it. For many agencies, 2 days is a significant investment, and closer allows them more flexibility with their limited personnel. While Quantico is the home of HQ MC, it is also the location of the FBI Academy.
If you are in the TT, PRT or advisor training business and would like to attend, please PM me. Nichols, shoot me your .mil email addy via PM and I'll provide more info on what the 2 days are looking like, and the invitee list.

Best, Rob
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Old 03-03-2010   #17
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How has any of this changed in the last two years? This is a very important group and I would love to see the update. I will read the post (as I only scanned it).
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Old 03-03-2010   #18
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I would recommend going to the JCISFA website https://jcisfa.jcs.mil/Public/Index.aspx not certain, but I think Rob has moved on from JCISFA. If you can't find the POC/info you need feel free to message me, since I'm in vicinity of JCISFA
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Old 03-03-2010   #19
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As an interesting addendum;

I was at a presentation yesterday by COL Gregory Burt on the OMLT concept and how it has played out in Kandehar. Apparently, JCISFA is talking with them about their experiences with an eye to incorporating some of it into their own work.
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Old 03-03-2010   #20
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Hi guys,
Hacksaw - not yet, but I'll start PTDY and transition leave next month - and then its on to a contractor or GS job at Knox The ACAP folks say using the word retired is bad, and that I should use the word transition. As I am still relative young and with 5 kids not yet in college, but all going to require braces, the word retirement seems at least another 20 years off. Around here though I've been occupied finishing up a white paper on institutionalization and a couple of other projects I don't want to leave undone before I start clearing.

OTT - I think over the last couple of years JCISFA has lived up to its charter (also available on the website). I don't see it going away anytime soon, COE's (Centers of Excellence) I think should be sustained until the purpose for which they were stood up is realized, or until something more pressing requires the use of those resources.

JCISFA is currently engaged in collecting, analyzing and distributing SFA best practices in both theaters and from those GCCs and SCCs involved in developing FSF capabilities for number of purposes. It continues to work with elements of the operating force, the generating force (to include the Joint Proponent SOCOM, and the Army proponent) and the executive direction to look at how to generate the capabilities and capacities required to meet operational requirements in the context of conditions and objectives. Its still about the same size as it was in 2006 - roughly 25, it still is Joint, and it is still at Fort Leavenworth.

If you'd like shoot me a PM with an email addy and I can send you the latest organizational brief. The website serves as a good repository for the guides, etc. that we've developed and the historical and contemporary references drawn from around the JIIM community.

If you are ever in the neighborhood, please stop by, the folks here are always happy to answer SFA related questions
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