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  • Author: Nadia Gerspacher, Adrian Shtuni
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Established in 2009, the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) program was based on a thorough needs assessment and extensive consultations with U.S., coalition, and Afghan stakeholders as well as possible support and service providers. The program initially recruited, trained, and deployed 17 senior advisors to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Training Mission–Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A) mission. Most advisors were assigned to the Ministry of Defense (MoD), with a few assigned to the Ministry of Interior (MoI). The goal of the program is to help transform the key security ministries into more efficient, effective, and professional institutions, capable of inheriting and executing the overall national security mission by 2014. By all accounts, the advisors, guided by many other similar capacity-building joint projects, have thus far effectively engaged their counterparts at MoD and MoI, developing rapport and productive professional relationships at a relatively early stage in their tours.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, North Atlantic
  • Author: Dov S. Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The United States has been fighting wars, to a greater or lesser extent, for the better part of the past 20 years. Indeed, hardly a year has passed during that period in which American forces were not involved in combat somewhere in the world. At the same time, the extent to which the United States and its military should be involved in nation-building, which increasingly was tied to the outcome of American military operations, became a major issue during the 1990s. In fact, there were two aspects to this issue, both of which were, and still are, hotly debated.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Hulslander, Jake Spivey
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: This article examines the security and stability programs known as Village Stability Operations (VSO) and Afghan Local Police (ALP). Created through the combined efforts of the U.S. military, other U.S. Government departments and agencies, and the Afghan government, VSO/ALP enhanced security, governance, and development in strategically important rural areas critical to the Afghanistan campaign but beyond the effective reach of the Afghan government and U.S. conventional forces. VSO/ALP attempts to link and effectively balance centralized and decentralized authority by bolstering traditional governance mechanisms. The program was designed to mitigate shortcomings in Afghan governance and security capacity and capability, while “buying time” for those capabilities to mature. Although the program's official inception was in August 2010, its roots go back to earlier efforts that served as the basis of the current initiative. Ultimately, VSO/ALP aims to provide a framework through which the Afghan government can strengthen its relationship with its citizens and wrest control and influence away from the Taliban, other insurgents, and criminal networks.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Michael T. Flynn, James Sisco, David C. Ellis
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Hard lessons learned during counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, counterterrorist operations across continents, and the Arab Spring all contributed to a growing recognition within the Intelligence Community (IC)1 of the importance of understanding the “human terrain” of operating environments. The Department of Defense (DOD), its Service branches and combatant commands, and the broader IC responded to the demand for sociocultural analysis (SCA) by creating organizations such as the Defense Intelligence Socio-Cultural Capabilities Council, Human Terrain System, and U.S. Central Command's Human Terrain Analysis Branch, among others. For large bureaucracies, DOD and the IC reacted agilely to the requirement, but the robust SCA capabilities generated across the government over the last decade were largely operationally and tactically organized, resourced, and focused. What remains is for the IC to formulate a strategic understanding of SCA and establish a paradigm for incorporating it into the intelligence process.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: James K. Wither
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Stability operations embrace a wide range of civil-military missions in fragile or conflictaffected states, and they range from traditional peacekeeping to combat with well-armed insurgents or criminal elements. Often different activities, including combat, policing, humanitarian assistance, and reconstruction, occur concurrently in the theater of operations. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has described these operations as: military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael J. Williams
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Using history to understand the present can be a useful tool, but it is also a limited one. Historical cases are not identical to contemporary ones, and there is a danger of conflating challenges in such a manner that, rather than illuminating a present challenge, history obfuscates it. This problem tends to be evident in the inaccurate use of analogies by policymakers, commentators, and analysts. Such may be the case in the contemporary American debate over the state of U.S. engagement in Afghanistan. Since President Barack Obama came to office in 2009 and deployed an additional 60,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first year of his administration, the debate over continued U.S. involvement has been dogged by analogies to Vietnam. But it is not readily apparent that Vietnam is an appropriate analogy for understanding the current challenge the United States faces in Afghanistan.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Our understanding of the American way of war begins in 1973 with the publication of historian Russell Weigley's classic work, The American Way of War: A History of U.S. Military Strategy and Policy. Weigley maintained that after the Civil War, American military strategy essentially narrowed from the practice of two types, annihilation and attrition, to one, annihilation. as the united states experienced a “rapid rise from poverty of resources to plenty,” he argued, so too the American way of war tended to opt for strategies of annihilation, largely because it could. as a consequence, however, the further evolution of strategies of attrition was cut short, and American military strategy became unidimensional, or imbalanced. that, according to Weigley, was part of the problem with the Vietnam conflict. the other part of the problem, in his view, was that the era of using military force rationally to achieve the aims of policy was nearing its end.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Vietnam
  • Author: Geoffrey Lambert, Larry Lewis, Sarah Sewall
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: This study examines the military support provided by U.S. Joint special operations task Force–Philippines (JSOTF-P) to Philippine military operations. Building upon the 2010 Joint Civilian Casualty Study—the first comprehensive examination of U.S. prevention and mitigation of civilian casualties based on U.S. operations in Afghanistan—this current effort aimed to assess civilian casualties in the different context of indirect U.S. operations. We found that the evolution of Philippine civilian and military strategy since the mid 2000s has reduced the occurrence and salience of civilian casualty issues during combat operations. Additionally, the study revealed many related best practices in JSOTF-P and operation Enduring Freedom–Philippines (OEF-P) more broadly, and provided insights into the possible future evolution of the mission and wider implications for foreign internal defense (FID) in the 21st century.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Philippines
  • Author: George Michael
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: As the U.S. military enters its 11th year of operations in Afghanistan, public support for the effort dwindles, according to recent polls, as a solid majority of Americans now believe the war is going badly and is not worth fighting. In The Operators, journalist Michael Hastings explores the recent history of America's longest military campaign through the prism of General Stanley McChrystal and his staff. Not long after his story broke in June 2010 in Rolling Stone magazine, General McChrystal was forced to resign. t he episode illustrated the deepening division between the White house and Pentagon over the appropriate prosecution of the war.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Riley M. Moore
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: With the outbreak of insurgency in Iraq (followed by Afghanistan), an urgent requirement emerged for concise and easily comprehensible answers to the complex question of how to counter an insurgency. In the midst of two wars, with no time or current doctrine and with a Presidential mandate for solutions, strategic thinkers and generals were desperately searching for a foothold to halt what seemed to be the inevitable descent into chaos in Iraq. t he works of David Galula played a significant role in fulfilling that mandate. Touted by General David Petraeus and other military leaders—General Stanley McChrystal, for instance, claimed to keep Galula's publications on his nightstand to read every night— Galula's work has been influential in forming current U.S. counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine. Indeed, his influence on Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency, which was authored under the leadership of General Petraeus, is undeniable.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Algeria