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Old 01-04-2020, 03:59 PM
split p&j is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Upstate
Posts: 369
More to the point, the entire US presidency is a joke, and has been for my entire life and I'm near 50. They have all been puppets, front men for an agenda. And yes this includes Obama. The whole idea of nation building is a joke, it was never the goal, itsa delusion cooked up to sell the people. A long game

Last edited by split p&j; 01-04-2020 at 04:00 PM.
Old 01-04-2020, 04:06 PM
RioRico is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: beyond cell service
Posts: 1,339
How well would a Bureau of Nation-Building Affairs under the Pentagon do? Probably about as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, formed as a division of the US Department of War, and exemplifying US government corruption. Any dismantling and rebuilding will be to benefit high-level US interests, without bothersome accountability. Need some warlord's approval? Ship another couple pallets loaded with Benjamins. Bucks are the universal lubricant.
Old 01-05-2020, 01:01 AM
Lantern is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,013
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
And USAID is the nation-building agency of the US Government.

Jesus, how many times do I have to ask this? Why would a person sign up for a military service rather than a civilian agency to do essentially the same job? Because they also get to kill people if needed?
USAID is not a nation-building agency;it is an agency for administering international development assistance which is very different. In particular USAID had little experience in post-war reconstruction and state-building in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan before they actually went to those countries with very limited success.

As for recruitment neither I nor anyone else has claimed that a military nation-building agency would be able to recruit a radically different set of people. The point is what happens after recruitment. I think a military agency makes sense because its employees can be given some military training which would help them work better in a warzone and they could be also be trained to gather military intelligence and work closely with the rest of the military which is an essential part of the job.
Old 01-05-2020, 07:49 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 715
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
The US military is really good at killing people, and blowing stuff up without getting killed or blown up itself. This is not surprising. It is their primary purpose and what they are trained to do. But more an more they are being relied on to do things that don't fall under the kill people and blow stuff up categorization, and instead into a the winning hearts and minds, building a functioning society out of a war torn nation, manage refugees, emergency relief efforts, etc. The military does their best in these situations, and due to their incredible logistic capabilities, often does amazing things. The same skills that build a landing field, can build a soccer field, and the same food that can feed an army on the move, can feed a flooded out village, troop tents can house refugees etc. but it is not what they were designed to do.

I'm imagining a branch that includes people specifically trained in diplomacy, sociology and anthropology, as well as emergency response and relief. I wouldn't imagine it would be as large as the other branches, and that it would work with the other branches with help with logistics and security, but would help to determine how those resources should be directed. I think that having them separate from the other branches is important however, since it reduces the danger that the nation building mission will be always viewed as secondary to the primary security mission, even when preventing the radicalization of new insurgents may provide more effective security long term than killing the current insurgents.

I agree with your general principle, but that's about it. If US doctrine is that attacks against foreign powers should include the overthrowing of the government, occupation of the country, and "building a functioning society", then I agree that the US military should have a structure in place to accomplish that mission. There should be strategies, doctrines and training established to achieve the outcome's you've listed, and they would be best accomplished under a semi-autonomous structure.

My disagreements:
1) It's not clear whether you expect this structure - let's call it Civil Restoration - to be a separate armed force on the level of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard (and Space Force?), or a branch with the Army.
My thought is that your new structure would be best placed as a branch within the Army. Note that the Army already has Civil Affairs units, so I think you're just looking at a reorganisation, refinement of mission, and enhancement of an existing structure rather than creation of a brand new structure.

2) You want this new branch to have "people specifically trained in diplomacy, sociology and anthropology". At high levels, such as battalion commander or division staff officers, that type of knowledge is certainly needed. However, acquiring that knowledge takes years of study and experience. You're probably going to want your branch to be more mission-focused and have the specialist in-depth knowledge provided by outside experts.

3) I disagree with the idea that, quoting myself, US military doctrine for attacks against foreign powers should include the overthrowing of the government, occupation of the country, and "building a functioning society". The US military should seek to be a counter-belligerent. I wholeheartedly support missions such as keeping the seas free from piracy and military aggression, protection of allies, protection of US citizens, and retaliation for strikes against the US. However, I think the doctrine of "nation-building" is a failed doctrine. I don't think outside forces can unify or impose peace within a country. And it's very difficult to do so when you've gone in guns blazing and killed several thousand people. US military doctrine should be to go in, do what's needed to remove the enemy's military capabilities, and get out. So I disagree with the premise that your proposed branch should exist in the first place.
Old 01-05-2020, 08:27 AM
Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,436
Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
In particular USAID had little experience in post-war reconstruction and state-building in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan before they actually went to those countries with very limited success.
Ok, if you donít think USAID had been active in Kosovo, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia, East Timor, and God knows where else, then we are in a thread that is rejecting reality in order to defend a half-baked idea.

Good luck with your thread.
Old 01-05-2020, 09:08 AM
Lantern is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,013
OK I am sure USAID has run development projects in all those places. Have they had the primary responsibility for re-building state institutions, particularly in places racked by insurgency ? Please pick any one of these countries where you feel USAID successfully carried out a nation-building mission comparable to what the US faced in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Old 01-05-2020, 09:55 PM
Sitnam is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,168
Originally Posted by split p&j View Post
He serves as an useful idiot.
Intermittently. A fool in considerable power is a danger at some point to everyone.


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