Building partner capacity: the science behind the art
Hoover, Zachary T.
Self, James L.
Yu, David S.
Gregg, Heather S.
Burks, Robert E.
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Building Partner Capacity (BPC) is a key mission for special operations forces (SOF), yet there is a lack of consensus on which variables most significantly impact BPC success. This thesis uses quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the effects of cultural, economic, and support conditions on the outcome of BPC programs. It first constructs and analyzes a quantitative model that uses several preexisting conflict datasets. It then provides a qualitative case study, the Dhofar Rebellion (1965–1975) in Oman, to give real-life context to the model's findings. This thesis finds that cultural differences between BPC sponsor and client, the number of sponsors per client, the length of a BPC relationship, and the types of support provided are all critical factors for BPC mission success. From these findings, the thesis offers five recommendations for sponsors to improve BPC mission success: manage personal relationships to overcome cultural differences; front-load support to their clients; consider allowing clients increased access to the sponsor's military and intelligence infrastructure; recognize the importance of funding support; and shield clients from the complexities of multilateral BPC efforts. In short, sponsors should build intimate sponsor-client relationships to succeed at BPC efforts.
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