Selection of military advisors
Clark, Todd J.
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Proper selection of advisory personnel for "transition teams" is critical to military advisory efforts in Iraq. The selection procedures currently in place have shortcomings that may be best adjusted through analyzing historical experiences and prior lessons learned. The U.S. military has decades, if not more than a century, of advisory experience, to include with Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia. Transition teams' main purpose is to provide advisory support to the Iraqi Security Forces in garrison, training, and combat environments. Advisors are expected to live, work, train, and fight alongside their Iraqi counterparts. Clearly some personnel are better suited than others to such austere and often ambiguous environments. Therefore, discrete selection of appropriate personnel has to be considered for successful advising. Historic lessons learned, coupled with current experience advising Iraqi Security Forces, suggest the need to develop discrete selection criteria. Critical to selection is recruitment and screening of candidates. Personnel that are selected for advisory duty should then proceed to a preparatory phase in which advisor-specific skills are developed or enhanced prior to deployment. Assessment should continue through all phases of team formation and deployment to ensure that there is no degradation of individual suitability and / or team capability over time.
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