Broken mirrors: tracing issues in building partner capacity
Odom, Christopher B.
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Recent U.S. military engagements in fragile states have focused on building security institutions that match Western military and police models. These operations, however, have highlighted the need to reevaluate how we build host-nation security institutions from the ground up in conflict areas with varying social, religious, and ethnic concentrations. The interaction between the environment, doctrine, and technology (EDT) provided by U.S. government agencies has complicated the issue by locking the host-nation's success to ongoing U.S. support. This research uses process-tracing to examine EDT factors in two case studies: U.S. advisory missions in Vietnam from 1954Ð1965, and in Afghanistan from 2001 to the present. These cases are used to analyze past and current U.S. efforts aimed at building a partner's capacity to secure their own sovereign territory. Because the current U.S. model for fighting internal threats maintains a military structured for fighting external threats, a foreign partner's security structure will likely collapse without continuing U.S. advisory presence and materiel support.
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