THE U.S. ARMY’S EVOLVING ROLE IN SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE: LINKING ENDS AND MEANS
Russell, James A.
Moran, Daniel J.
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This thesis examines one central issue: How has the U.S. Army improved security force assistance (SFA) design with the implementation of the SFA Brigade (SFAB)? Secondarily, it investigates whether failures at the strategic policy level inhibited the accomplishment of enduring security objectives related to the establishment of the new unit. To address this question, the thesis will briefly describe concepts of U.S. strategic thought that underlie the policy consensus to conduct SFA activities in fragile regions. This thesis will evaluate the innovation and adaption of the Army’s SFA organizations/doctrine, so as to determine how well it fits into a greater U.S. strategy. It will also critically analyze SFA policy and procedures in order to identify areas for improvement. Two hypotheses are proposed with a research-based evidence chain suggesting both are confirmed. First, this thesis suggests SFABs are being established to increase the warfighting readiness of the Army, reduce SFA burdens on U.S. special forces, and secure resources to meet enduring security requirements. Second, ad-hoc approaches to SFA by the U.S. Army up to this point were in fact a by-product of disjointed policy, large resource disparities at the departmental level, and an overreliance on military solutions. As such, this thesis concludes with policy recommendations to rebalance and integrate various security programs that focus on institutional capacity in order to secure gains made by SFA.
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