The role of the Army National Guard in strategic shaping
Hutchinson, Andrew F.
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This thesis asks whether the Army National Guard is a capable instrument for strategically shaping the post-Cold War environment to meet United States foreign policy objectives. Further, it examines foreign policy and military benefits of Guard participation in strategic shaping missions. It focuses on the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) and the NATO partnership for Peace (PfP) program, although it also refers to National Guard peace operations deployments to Bosnia. The thesis provides background on SPP and PfP and discusses assets the National Guard possesses for strategic shaping, including force structure, expertise, and institutional culture. It addresses the effects strategic shaping missions have on the National Guard's traditional dual missions of providing a disciplined force ready to respond to local and state emergencies and providing properly trained and equipped units for mobilization in response to war and national emergencies. This thesis also compares and contrasts two similar case studies of strategic shaping: a current study of the SPP Partner Challenge 1999 and the NATO PfP Baltic Challenge 1998 exercises. The case studies illustrate capabilities and benefits of the National Guard in strategic shaping. Finally, the thesis presents recommendations for studying and improving the National Guard's effectiveness in strategic shaping.
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