The Major Crimes Task Force-Afghanistan: a case study and examination of implications for future FBI capacity building programs
Cyrus, Stephen A.
Smith, Paul J.
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In 2009, to attack the financial and political support structure of the growing insurgency in Afghanistan, the FBI created the Major Crimes Task Force-Afghanistan (MCTF-A). However, within approximately two years, the FBI had withdrawn its personnel from the task force, and the MCTF-A’s efforts to counter corruption within the highest levels of the Karzai government were at the center of a highly public diplomatic row that changed the strategic direction of U.S. national security objectives for Afghanistan and the region. Was the outcome predictable and can lessons be captured by examining the FBI’s experience with the MCTF-A, and should the FBI ever consider attempting to build capacity in post-conflict or developing nations? The FBI is now being asked by U.S. government partners to build similar rule of law (ROL) capacity-building programs around Africa and the Middle East. Through the MCTF-A case study, a set of cultural, legal and political criteria was developed for evaluating potential capacity-building partners and programs. This thesis proposes a repeatable and structured process to help the FBI evaluate potential capacity-building partners, and design an end-based, sustainable law enforcement capacity-building program and build capable counterterrorism partners while improving the nation’s entire ROL framework.
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