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

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Old 06-28-2008   #21
Rob Thornton
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What I believe Rob is trying to get at is that SFA requires a holistic approach to complex systems by equally (or more) complex systems. If that is correct, it really represents a potential paradigm shift.
Hi John - true dat

The good news is its not just Rob - more and more I see folks from S/CRS, OSD-P SOLIC and other commands, offices and agencies who understand it. I might put it up here for us to think about, but I've come into allot of very good folks across the board who are working together in grass roots fashion to help each other out.
Best, Rob
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Old 06-28-2008   #22
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Default Ongoing issues

Rob,

Mosul was a very interesting experience for me. Security Forces and the Judiciary were hot topics resource-wise and politically during my tour. Some of my friends with police and corrections backgrounds were very involved with providing training, getting uniforms and equipment, and seeing if existing facilities could benefit from the application of US standards. Some of my attorney friends worked on capacity building with the local populace of attorneys. DOS was working on good governance in Mosul during this time as well. The grand re-opening of the judicial complex in the fall of '03 (not too far from the water & sewer departments - just around the corner in fact) was a kind of nexus for many different nation-building/stability practitioners and it sounds like we wrestled with the same issues that you did.

I often found that it was best to keep an eye out when dealing with local security forces. The Facilities Protection Service seemed to be underpaid, undertrained, and under-armed at the time, which lead to some 'interesting' situations for us. I didn't see too much of the local police except around the mayor's office, which I felt was a very dangerous area to be in. I would contrast this with my visits to Kurdistan, their police would be directing traffic among other things.

My reading on Vietnamization since I got back, and other topics, has me convinced that there is much to learn from history. I may have mentioned in one of my previous posts that Alistair Horne, in his book A Savage War of Peace (ISBN 978-1-59017-218-6) mentions that over 4,000 Kepi's Bleu or Special Administration Section Officers were deployed in Algeria. Not all of these guys acquitted themselves honorably but some of their tactics (to include functional arabic language skills) are an interesting COIN case-study about possible tactics for some of the problems we face. A google-drive-by on this subject turns up some French references and perhaps your French is better than mine; I would be interested to learn more about these guys.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 06-28-2008   #23
John T. Fishel
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Default El Sal, Panama, and Iraq

Steve, there is a lot of good stuff on El Sal during the war (and a lot of bad). El Salvador at War: An Oral History by Max Manwaring and Court Prisk (NDU Press) is excellent. Cynthia McClintock did a comparative book on El Sal and peru which is good. Perhaps, the best short piece is chapter 7 of Max and my Uncomfortable Wars Revisited (OU Press 2006) which also uses the Peru/El Sal comparison. Post War El Sal did a good job of incorporating the FMLN into the socio-political fabric. Indeed, the next President may actually come from the FMLN (now a political party). Back in 04 (more or less) the two best friends and collaborators on the Defense Committee of the Legislative Assembly were the chairman from ARENA, a retired army COL, and the "ranking member" from the FMLN, a former Comandante!

Rob, your Mosul prison story reminds me of our problem in getting Panama's Carcel Modelo back in business. Noiega, as Saddam did later, released all the inmates when the invasion hit. And the people looted the place! The new Commandant, needed to resupply just about everything - to the consternation of the commander of the 193d Inf Bde (COL Mike Snell) who was pressing me really hard to get the prison running because it was one of the preconditions to get his troops off the street. So, I took the Commandant, and a former PDF corporal who had been stationed there, out to Fort Cimarron, in my POV, where we believed we could get the supplies we needed. It was the day after the last sniper incident when we proved once again that Kevlar works. And I had neglected to coordinate the trip with the 82nd Airplane Div which controlled the place. So, I thought real fast as we approached their guard post on the hill and told my passengers to stay put. Stopped the car (little red Toyota), opened the door, put my hands on top of the door, stood up in soft cap and BDUs, and yelled at the top of my lungs, " Hey guys!!!!, I'm LTC Fishel of the US Forces Liaison Group. I have two Panamanian policemen in the car. May I come up and explain my business" - or something like that. Good troops - they let me. And that is how I made a successful assault on the 82nd! OBTW, we got what we needed and Mike got his infantry out of the police business.

Glad to see that you young guys are better at the business than we were.

Cheers

JohnT
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Old 06-29-2008   #24
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Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
And I had neglected to coordinate the trip with the 82nd Airplane Div which controlled the place. So, I thought real fast as we approached their guard post on the hill and told my passengers to stay put. Stopped the car (little red Toyota), opened the door, put my hands on top of the door, stood up in soft cap and BDUs, and yelled at the top of my lungs, " Hey guys!!!!, I'm LTC Fishel of the US Forces Liaison Group. I have two Panamanian policemen in the car. May I come up and explain my business" - or something like that. Good troops - they let me. And that is how I made a successful assault on the 82nd! OBTW, we got what we needed and Mike got his infantry out of the police business.

Glad to see that you young guys are better at the business than we were.

Cheers

JohnT

Hi John, It was the May I ....that did it
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Old 06-29-2008   #25
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Hi Rob, this is for you. Tried to send/post before but couldn't find the right button. Slap

He is a 5 rings analysis for a country. I have permission to Post but it is copyrighted. This is about 10 years old and has been used on several countries and some cities.

The way to use it is to map the system exactly as it is now and then draw(map) another one of how you would like it to appear when you are finished. This can give you a clear end state to work towards when you are dealing with complex problems.
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File Type: jpg 5 Rings of Countries.jpg (70.8 KB, 245 views)
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Old 06-29-2008   #26
John T. Fishel
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Default Hey Slap

You got that one right, Bubba!

All I know is that my pucker factor was rather high at the time...
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Old 09-02-2008   #27
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Default A Primer on Security Sector Reform in Conflict Countries

USIP, 1 Sep 08: Securing the Future: A Primer on Security Sector Reform in Conflict Countries

Moderator adds:the link is defunct and the website does not go back to 2008 (ends)
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Summary

• Since security is a precondition of sustainable development, security sector reform (SSR) is essential in the transition from war to peace in conflict-affected countries.

• SSR is the complex task of transforming the “security sector”—those organizations and institutions that safeguard the state and its citizens from security threats—into professional, effective, legitimate, apolitical, and accountable actors.

• SSR remains an unmet challenge for the United Nations and the international community, despite the growing demand for it in peacekeeping missions around the world. This lack of reform has perpetuated the cycle of violence and prolonged costly peacekeeping missions.

• Work on SSR remains in its early stages, with most organizations still focusing on common definitions and fundamental concepts and on “mainstreaming” their ideas within the larger international community.

• There is no U.S. government doctrine, best practices, or even common terminology concerning SSR. This is primarily due to SSR’s recent conceptual development, the inherent difficulty in implementing SSR programs, and the lack of an official interagency policy coordinating committee within the current administration.

• A comprehensive approach to SSR is needed if the United States plans to effectively support good governance programs in states emerging from hostilities. The United States also needs a formal interagency structure for managing SSR programs.

• SSR can be an effective instrument for conflict prevention and conflict management in changing threat environments. This report, however, focuses on the post-conflict application of SSR, since this is when comprehensive SSR is most often attempted.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-02-2015 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Add note
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Old 02-12-2009   #28
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USIP, Jan 09: The Private Sector in Security Sector Reform: Essential But Not Yet Optimized
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The U.S. experience in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrates the extent to which the U.S. relies upon the private sector in stability operations. The range of services provided by contractors extends from armed security to food service. In SSR, private contractors do everything from build classrooms and train military and police personnel to advise senior defense and interior ministry officials on strategic planning and management. In terms of numbers, contractors make up more than half of the American and international personnel working on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan. In terms of cost, the bills for their services run into the tens of billions of dollars. What are the advantages and the downsides of this extensive reliance on the private sector?
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Old 04-14-2009   #29
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USIP continues to publish on Security Sector Reform:

The Role of the Ministerial Advisor in Security Sector Reform: Navigating Institutional Terrains
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International actors in Security Sector Reform (SSR) are increasingly taking on roles as “advisors” to Ministries of Interior, Defense, and Justice. Rather than directly implement changes necessary for SSR, these advisors must persuasively articulate suggestions to their local counterparts. Advisors’ success depends on their ability to convey recommendations in a manner that makes change acceptable to their advisees. Ministerial and governmental advising is not the exclusive purview of any one entity. Rather, advising is undertaken by a diverse range of individuals from U.S. and foreign governments, militaries, NGOs, private contractors, and U.N. agencies. These actors have correspondingly diverse objectives and approaches to SSR; without coordination or consensus on SSR programming, advisors may find themselves working at cross-purposes. Furthermore, the multiplicity of advisors and institutions makes sharing best practices and improving over time and across conflicts extremely difficult.

What common challenges do foreign advisors face, and how might they pool intellectual resources and “lessons learned” to address these challenges? This question was addressed by a panel of distinguished experts at a recent meeting sponsored by the Institute’s Security Sector Reform Working Group.......
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Old 11-03-2009   #30
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Default Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen

CEIP, Oct 09: “Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen
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As they emerge from confl ict, states can rarely commence the arduous task of reconstruction and consolidate their governments until they undertake extensive restructuring of their security forces. Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen are all fractured, quasi-democratic states with divided societies, and deep disagreement over what constitutes the national interest. Successful reform in each will require security institutions that answer to democratically-elected civilian leaders, but the U.S. and European approach has thus far focused largely on providing military training and equipment, targeted toward counterterrorist capabilities.

To enable real reform, the West must adopt a comprehensive approach which treats security reform as only one part of a broader political strategy, and encourage governments and security commanders in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen to buy into such a strategy. Donor states should invest resources commensurate with their declared objectives, improve coordination, and standardize practices. Above all, they should make it a priority to build the institutions and procedures that are essential for democratic governance of the security sector, without which reforms become bogged down in internal power struggles. Pursuing counterterrorism in the absence of the rule of law perpetuates the undemocratic governance of the security sector and undermines state building and post-conflict reconstruction.
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Old 11-03-2009   #31
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Default Same old, same old...

If I had a penny/dime for every report, speech, project I have read suggesting broad reform of the governance structure of Middle East States I'd have a tidy sum (perhaps even enough for law school!). COIN, military-to military and other non-conditional or politically entangling (domestically speaking) processes are often more cost effective and politically suitable stratgies for short term social engineering or problem solving. But as soon as we start "getting holistic" we enter the realms of fantasy. I remember opening the local English language paper upon first arriving in Yemen and reading that the Italian interior minister was in town giving the Salah government a lecture on how to reduce corruption! (Yes, you read that right).

Credibility issues aside I never stop being amazed at the political naivete of Western intellectuals, liberals and other similar do-gooders who think that foreign governments, and especially foreign Muslim governments, are about to agree to hand over their governance structures to foriegn inspection, oversight and control (which, in effect, is the logical outcome). It doesn't work when the IAEA does it (i.e., Iraq, Iran, North Korea) is a purely circumscribed issue area and it has barely, just barely, worked in Bosnia (due more to economic-geographical contiguity than anything else) and is a recipe for disaster in Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine. Essentialy such thinking is nothing more than a thinly veiled liberal internationalism/imperialism/interventionism assuming that a system of like (democratic) units will lead to greater stability, co-operation and human progress (and other similarly fuzzy-wuzzy goals). It won't. A democratic Palestine is as much likely to elect Hamas as Fatah or even someone even worse. A democratic Yemen, a truely representative yemen, will bring to power the Yemeni Islah (Muslim Borterhood style) party which will make Saudi Arabia look like Disney Land. In Lebanon introducing efficiency, representation and true democratic proceduralism will first have to dismantle the system of quotas constitutionally set aside for each of the confessions (such as who can be Prime Minister, Presdient, etc.). To do that you are going to have to go up against entrenched political movements (and their military arms, defunct but re-bootable) as well as the immense social upheaval that could lead to (i.e., another civil war).

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Old 11-03-2009   #32
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Credibility issues aside I never stop being amazed at the political naivete of Western intellectuals, liberals and other similar do-gooders who think that foreign governments, and especially foreign Muslim governments, are about to agree to hand over their governance structures to foriegn inspection, oversight and control (which, in effect, is the logical outcome).
If you actually read the report--written, it should be said, by a Palestinian scholar with an intimate knowledge of the Palestinian security forces (Yezid wrote the seminal book on the evolution of Palestinian armed struggle, was a negotiator/advisor for the PA/PLO, and has a long history of working on Palestinian reform efforts)--it says nothing of the sort.

Rather, it is a critique of donor-driven reform and poor donor coordination.
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Old 11-04-2009   #33
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Rather, it is a critique of donor-driven reform and poor donor coordination.
Sir, I did read the report and was, in the above post, making a general observation. Specifically, the problem of donor-co-ordination inevitably means having to take sides and backing one group against another which then also brings to the fore the issues of oversight etc. to which I was alluding. My point is/was that as soon as western backers do that they become an integral part of the problem (rather than being peripheral they now come to the fore) as was evinced in Vietnam by America and which the US and NATO has had to learn the hard way in Afghanistan and Iraq with their efforts at mobilising pro-reform/Allied forces on side. Furthermore, I do not think that the author of the article is any more reliable an authority on the matter than any other former PLO representative, ally or fellow traveller given their past track record (i.e., Camp David, Oslo, et al although, granted, Israel is as much to blame, but not, IMO, by that much).
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Old 01-19-2015   #34
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Default Quietly Raising an Army: Security Sector Reform in Liberia

Quietly Raising an Army: Security Sector Reform in Liberia

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