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  • Author: Liora Danan, Johanna Mendelson Forman
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Foreign internal conflicts clearly remain a permanent feature of the u.S. foreign policy landscape, especially since the united States regularly participates in efforts to stabilize countries affected by conflict and then helps them recover afterwards. Yet u.S. government officials and the american public in general have difficulty accepting the inevitability of u.S. involvement in such efforts. to ensure lasting progress and security in post-conflict situations, the united States must adjust its approach from a focus on large military operations to preparing adequately for small-scale, long-term interventions. Most u.S. military deployments since the end of the Cold War have been in “small wars” or what the Department of Defense once called “military operations other than war.”1 Yet the military has usually been more prepared to fight large, technologically advanced wars than smaller contingencies that require greater integration with civilian capacities. as a consequence, each time the u.S. military is deployed to a complex–but “small”–emergency, it has had to relearn lessons on the ground about the best way to manage these types of contingencies. Civilian participation in stabilization and reconstruction efforts is likewise inevitable, but civilian institutions are even less prepared for such work than the military. Lessons learned over the last decade are only recently being institutionalized, through offices like Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) and the u.S. agency for International Development's Office of transition Initiatives (OtI). In part this is due to bureaucratic politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: James Q. Roberts
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The new defense strategy, “Sustaining u.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” released in January of this 2012, makes clear the mandate for the Department of Defense to continue, in fact to increase significantly, its abilities to improve the capabilities of partners around the globe. In his cover letter to the guidance, President Barack Obama directs us to “join with allies and partners around the world to build their capacity to promote security, prosperity, and human dignity.” Likewise, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in his preface, stresses that the department will focus on “strengthening alliances and partnerships across all regions.” this is not traditional guidance for the Department of Defense. Such guidance usually focuses on how to fight and win the nation's wars. But after more than ten years of combat operations in afghanistan and Iraq, and in these times of impending steep fiscal reductions the utility of partners who can share the burden of defending their countries individually, and their regions collectively, has come to the fore. this guidance displays the degree to which the department in general, and the Geographic Combatant Commanders in particular, have come to recognize the value in helping partners improve their capability to govern their own territories.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kari Mottola
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Despite the apparent strength of their case, the community of planners, veterans, think-tankers and civic activists working in external security and humanitarian missions are puzzled and frustrated with the past and present performance of the United States in such missions, and anguished about the future.2 It is not that the United States has not taken action in foreign conflicts, regional instabilities or humanitarian catastrophes. It is not that the response to fragile or failed states has not been a key agenda item in U.S. foreign and security policy throughout the post-Cold War era. Where America as a polity has come short is in failing to recognize, as a permanent national security interest, the need to design and pursue a strategic policy on stabilization and reconstruction. While the concept may be debatable and the capability may be constrained by developments, what those devoted to the cause call for is a policy with a sustainable balance between ends and means and commensurate to the responsibility of U.S. global leadership.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Frederik Rosen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The U.S. elevation of security assistance to a core military capability has divided the waters between those who believe the military should stick to preparing strike capability and fighting wars and those who believe the world needs much broader forms of military engagement. Recent developments in strategy indicate that the latter opinion will prevail. The commencement of U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in 2007 with its civilian command, interagency modalities, and soft power mandate reflects that an amalgamation of military and civilian capabilities is viewed at the highest levels as the way forward for realizing U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States