Rethinking militias recognizing the potential of militia groups in nation-building
Thomas, Glenn R.
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Recent media, political, and military consideration regarding the use of militias has been almost totally negative. This conceptual bias against militias is somewhat misguided, and can lead to disastrously counterproductive situations. Conceivably, militias can play a role in building a functioning state, and can support immediate and long-term U.S. and host nation government efforts in these situations. Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) has become a mainstay of current U.S. strategy, but little effort is dedicated to developing options that deal specifically with the inclusion of irregular forces outside the control of a central government. This thesis seeks to counter the conceptual bias against militia groups, and provides a framework for analyzing militias' potential to assist with the establishment of governance in weak and failing states. Second, it analyzes a series of examples and arrays them along a spectrum that can be used to better define militias' characteristics and intents. The third aim of this thesis is to offer a set of strategy options the U.S. might apply in its efforts to deal with militias in its nation-building efforts.
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