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Old 01-03-2020, 02:25 PM
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What about having a branch of the military specifically devoted to nation building?


This sentence posted by Bump got me thinking.

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That's been the general problem- politicians look at the military as a general-purpose tool, when in fact, it's a tool with very specific applications- i.e. fighting other militaries. But since it's quickly deployable, accountable and mobile, they tend to like to send it to do stuff that it's not really trained or intended to do.
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.

Thoughts?

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a dig at the current military. They have a very tough job and are playing the best they can with the hand they are dealt.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:33 PM
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USAID is the main source of money for helping out developing countries. They spend $27 Billion per year . Pretty sure they don't want any help from the military.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...al_Development
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:58 PM
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I'm imagining a branch that includes people specifically trained in diplomacy, sociology and anthropology, as well as emergency response and relief.
Why not have civilian diplomats, sociologists, anthropologists, and emergency responders work in their own agencies alongside the military? They work together all the time. For example, when Ebola broke out in West Africa a few years ago, civilians from NIH and other agencies worked alongside military personnel to provide treatment, move medicine and supplies, and so on. It worked about as well as one could possibly expect. I can't see how having everyone in a uniform might have made that better.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:18 PM
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Yeah I agree with the OP. In the 21st century the US has undertaken massive nation-building missions without the right capabilities which is why they have struggled so much in both Iraq and Afghanistan. What they have needed was a hybrid of the Peace Corps and the Marine Corps.

These units would have people who are fluent in multiple languages and can quickly learn more. They would be skilled at navigating different cultures and gaining the trust of powerful locals. They would have the technological skills to quickly deliver material benefits in remote places: improving crop yields, generating electricity etc. They wouldn't be doing the heavy fighting but they would need to survive in a warzone and defend themselves when necessary. They would also gather military intelligence through the sources they have cultivated.

Why has the US not developed such capabilities? I suspect because of the cultural gap between the military and civilian agencies and the sense that nation-building is best left to the latter. The problem is that in places like post-war Iraq and Afghanistan there is no clear separation between the war and nation-building. The nation-building is at once a target for the insurgents and a tool for defeating them.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:20 PM
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Yeah I agree with the OP. In the 21st century the US has undertaken massive nation-building missions without the right capabilities which is why they have struggled so much in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Oh, no way. The problem with Iraq and Afghanistan isn't that there was a flawed execution of the plan to bomb the shit out of a couple countries, and then pour money in to make them like us.

The problem is the whole idea that we would bomb the shit out of a couple countries, and then pour money in to make them like us.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:26 PM
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We have one. It’s called the State Department and USAID.

Right tool for the right job. The military is not the right tool.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:33 PM
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What percentage of State Department and USAID employees would be willing and able to work in ,say, a war-torn Afghan province under regular Taliban attack? Would they be able to defend themselves from such attacks? Would they be able to gather useful military intelligence on a regular basis?
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:42 PM
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:45 PM
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State building (which is separate from nation building even if we tend to use them interchangeably) should have Department of State as the lead. It generally requires involvement of capabilities across the entirety of the US government outside DOS but they should have the lead. When the security situation is poor DOD obviously has some pretty critical supporting tasks to create a situation that allows state building. Frequently people only apply the terms of nation or state building to times when

DOD has often gone wayyyyyy beyond their role simply because they could while the
State Department couldn't and didn't really want to assume the lead. DOD also retains dual use capability that is needed for large scale conventional operations but also useful for humanitarian assistance and state building. It is just efficient to not duplicate capabilities. That doesn't make it a good plan to intentionally build up single use capability in an organization like DOD that is not primarily responsible for the task at hand.

If you are looking to build state building specific capability that doesn't have a direct use in DODs mission, my opinion is don't give it to DOD IMO. Fix State. Maybe build additional state building capability into the Peace Corps ( they are an independent agency not under State.)
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:45 PM
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Also, how much ability does USAID have to influence military strategy. I want someone who can stand up in a meeting and say, "No don't plan your offensive for such and such a date, that is the anniversary of the death of his holiness, and will be seen as a grave insult to everyone in the region", or "I need a fleet of Apache helicopters to support my convoy of food and water into this disputed territory."

Last edited by Buck Godot; 01-03-2020 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
Also, how much ability does USAID have to influence military strategy. I want someone who can stand up in a meeting and say, "No don't plan your offensive for such and such a date, that is the anniversary of the death of his holiness, and will be seen as a grave insult to everyone in the region", or "I need a fleet of Apache helicopters to support my convoy of food and water into this disputed territory."
That person would be the Secretary of State, a cabinet-level official, on par with the Secretary of Defense. The one to make the call to listen to one cabinet-level official over another would be the President. One department or agency could be directed as the supporting agency, the other as the supported.

ETA: I’m also just going to throw out these terms, as something you might want to look into: Civil Affairs, Joint Interagency Task Force, and Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-03-2020 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:28 PM
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Thoughts?
What you're describing is not a military. Why, then, should it even be called a military branch? A government organization specifically devoted to nation building would not be a military organization. As mentioned in previous posts, there are civilian government agencies and NGOs devoted to these types of things. There are also branches within the military (not separate military branches) that are devoted solely to these types of missions such as the US Army Civil Affairs.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:31 PM
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Maybe some sort of Corp dedicated to Peace.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:57 PM
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What you're describing is not a military. Why, then, should it even be called a military branch?
Because that's how the military has been used for the last 30 years? Seriously, did you not notice how much military involvement was the base of US "on the ground diplomacy" in Iraq and Afghanistan?
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:11 PM
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I am not an expert on any of this stuff, but what is the difference between today and the late 1940s?

Why did the US military work so well with Japan?
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:01 PM
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What percentage of State Department and USAID employees would be willing and able to work in ,say, a war-torn Afghan province under regular Taliban attack? Would they be able to defend themselves from such attacks? Would they be able to gather useful military intelligence on a regular basis?
I’m pretty sure it is still the case that if you join the State Department or USAID as a foreign service officer, your first overseas tour will be to a war zone. So, I’d say close to all new hires are willing and able to work in a war zone.

Foreign service officers depend on experts to provide security. I’m not sure why you expect people who know how to provide security to be equally expert in diplomacy, nation building, sociology, etc.

Foreign service officers of course collect intelligence, though it isn’t really called that. They talk to people and report back what they learn. Then others read those cables and analyze them.

Glad I could dispel some misconceptions.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:02 PM
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I am not an expert on any of this stuff, but what is the difference between today and the late 1940s?

Why did the US military work so well with Japan?
Sorry, forgot to multiquote.

Japan capitulated, and people followed their leaders. That didn’t happen in Iraq or Afghanistan. That says more aniut those countries than about our military.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:12 PM
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Na

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Old 01-03-2020, 06:19 PM
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CarnalK, please explain how creating a solely non-combatant organization still qualifies as a "military"? My point earlier to the OP was the fact that being military and being non-combatant are mutually exclusive based on definitions alone, and would create legal issues on top of everything else. Can this new non-combatant military be targeted by enemy forces? Or are they offered special protections like NGOs or USAID? If the latter, then in what way are they actually a military?

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Old 01-03-2020, 07:05 PM
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Maybe some sort of Corp dedicated to Peace.
That idea is so crazy, it just might work.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:06 PM
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Maybe some sort of Corp dedicated to Peace.
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That idea is so crazy, it just might work.
The so-called "Peace Corps" is more about putting American teachers into classrooms overseas (even if the locals have no shortage of teachers of their own) for "reasons" than anything like what the OP describes. It’s certainly not an organization equipped to go into an active war zone. Nor should it be.

The use (with mixed or questionable results) of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan fits very close to what the OP has in mind, but like other posters I don’t see that as something that necessitates (or even would benefit from) creating a stand-alone branch of the military just for that.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:42 PM
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How about some sort of Corp of Engineers then?
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:15 AM
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The provincial reconstruction teams are an interesting model along the lines of what we are talking about. Apparently they did have some successes but it was an adhoc solution on far too small a scale where they struggled to find adequate numbers of civilian personnel.

This is a good analysis:
http://resmilitaris.net/ressources/1...fghanistan.pdf

Quote:

The second factor affecting the capacity of PRT’s to do development work was the inability of the civilian interagency –in particular the State Department, the Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) –to support the teams with enough civilian development experts.During the first several years, many positions simply went unfilled, and those that were filled were usually filled by junior personnel without much relevant experience or expertise. They also had no authority to commit agency funds, and lacked the institutional knowledge to competently represent the interests and capabilities of their parent agencies (McNerney,2006; USIP,2009c). Additionally, civilian agencies often lacked operational funding to support their people, so team members were reliant on the military for all of their critical life support, including accommodations, food, transportation, and body armour.
The idea of a nation-building corps would be to do what the PRTs did but on a much larger scale and with access to the right experts with the relevant language and regional skills. Also a dedicated corps would preserve the institutional knowledge of what works and doesn't unlike adhoc teams with a rapid turnover of personnel.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:34 AM
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Who has experience building nations lately? Why not ask them how it's done?

BTW the US military's job is dismantling nations, not building them. Iraq was dismantled successfully but the rebuild hasn't gone too well. The US Dept of Defense was more honestly named the Department of War. Invading nations that haven't attacked the US or allies is not defense; it's war by choice.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:36 AM
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How about some sort of Corp of Engineers then?
Exactly. Was very confused by the OP and some of the replies. “Blowing shit up” has never been the sole or main job of the US military. Or other militaries.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:38 AM
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Sorry, forgot to multiquote.

Japan capitulated, and people followed their leaders. That didn’t happen in Iraq or Afghanistan. That says more aniut those countries than about our military.
Most Japanese military ages males the autumn of ‘45 were either dead, crippled or in prison camps......
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:02 AM
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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. .
a) This is a fairly ignorant view on the US military and its capabilities. The military isn't just SOCOM units fast-roping out of helicopters. They have units specifically designed public relations, engineering, and other activities you described. And the National Guard routinely assists with things like disaster recovery. But really one of the main "nation building" capabilities of the US Military is, as you indicated, its massive logistics network.

b) The decision to "nation build" or not is a political one, not based on whether we have the capabilities to do so. Post World War II, the United States and our allies spent a great deal of money, time and effort rebuilding Europe and Japan.

c) You don't need military forces to build soccer fields, build houses or deliver food. Civilian contractors can perform these tasks easily enough.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:11 AM
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Exactly. Was very confused by the OP and some of the replies. “Blowing shit up” has never been the sole or main job of the US military. Or other militaries.
Well the Nationbuilding Corps would have a much wider range of skills: language/cultural knowledge, improving agriculture, building education and health facilities, supporting local government etc. There would be some engineering projects too but probably on a smaller scale, e.g. building a solar micro-grid in an Afghan village.

Plus the Army Corps of Engineers already has a huge role supporting the rest of the military and, in the US, running a lot of domestic infrastructure projects. They don't really have the capacity to do large nation-building projects. Still they do provide a relevant template; the nationbuilding corps would need to be of similar scale and have a mix of military/civilian employees.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:47 AM
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Again, WTF? The US Army Corp of Engineers has built some huge infrastructure projects all over the US and overseas.
The Royal Engineers pretty much built infrastructure of the British Empire. From Canada to India, they built dams, roads,canals, bridges, railway lines. They also built in the UK itself.
The French did so in N Africa.

Hell, even the Roman Military Engineers (Architecti) built roads, aqueducts canals and maintained wetlands.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:16 AM
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How about some sort of Corp of Engineers then?
How about we abolish nations altogether because ffs instead ?
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:07 AM
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Oh, no way. The problem with Iraq and Afghanistan isn't that there was a flawed execution of the plan to bomb the shit out of a couple countries, and then pour money in to make them like us.

The problem is the whole idea that we would bomb the shit out of a couple countries, and then pour money in to make them like us.
And also that you can force them to be exactly like you while at the same time completely dependent on you (because perish the thought that they have different priorities), all while treating them as if they were a tabula rasa with no previous structures, relationships or history. [Note: while in this case the "you" refers basically to the American military and their allies, and the people organizing the money-pouring, it applies to anybody who's got that kind of ideas.]

Those places already were nations, seems to be the humongous point some people are missing by several planetary diameters. If what you want to build isn't nations but infrastructure, then there is no need for any kind of new branch. Or to use an expression which is actually kind of insulting to the people you're trying to "help".
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Last edited by Nava; 01-04-2020 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:18 AM
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Why are we building up other nations at all, while eliminating the minuscule social safety net we have back home, slashing food stamps, not addressing healthcare or homelessness, it's time America addressed the problems of its own people and stop trying to interfere all over the world to the detriment of everybody.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:39 AM
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The idea of a nation-building corps would be to do what the PRTs did but on a much larger scale and with access to the right experts with the relevant language and regional skills. Also a dedicated corps would preserve the institutional knowledge of what works and doesn't unlike adhoc teams with a rapid turnover of personnel.
Why would a highly skilled sociologist join the military but not the State Department?
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:59 AM
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How about we abolish nations altogether because ffs instead ?
Seems like a non sequitur, but sure, as long as we still get infrastructure.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:23 AM
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Why has the US not developed such capabilities? I suspect because of the cultural gap between the military and civilian agencies and the sense that nation-building is best left to the latter.
That, and because, in effect, you'd have to re-create something like the imperial civil services of the past, but the US doesn't like to see itself as an empire.

"Nation-building" is about so much more than infrastructure and technical development. In the post-WW2 examples cited above, the military did not have a leading/directing role for very long. The political context and objectives were clear, agreed with a broad international coalition, led by home government representatives and implemented with the active (sometimes pre-eminent) participation of local governments with a reasonably clear popular legitimacy - whether we're talking the re-fashioning of Germany and Japan, or the economic reconstruction processes in other countries attendant on the Marshall Plan.

When it comes to the likes of Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, those pre-conditions don't apply. Other external actors have their own objectives and favoured local clients, local political culture provides a weak form of popular legitimacy for government, and basically you'd be facing a modern form of the same problems as the imperial civil services faced in, say, India and Africa - who defines the "nation" that is being built? Existing traditional rulers and power centres, or newer, younger leaders and movements with different ideas of what constitutes a modern nation?

Then again, once you've created such an operation, it will be looking for jobs to do. How long before that tail starts to wag the dog?
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:25 AM
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Why would a highly skilled sociologist join the military but not the State Department?
I think the issue is whether the State Department sociologist is actually prepared to work on the ground in ,say, rural Afghanistan in the face of Taliban attacks. Everything I have read suggests that there was a massive shortage of such civilian experts and that many of them ended up in bases writing reports and making presentations rather than working with Afghans on the ground where they were needed. The US needed tens of thousands of experts in Afghanistan to do nation-building properly and there is nothing to suggest that the State Department and USAID had anything close to that capacity.

For example this is an interesting book review by a Navy reservist on Rajiv Chandrashekaran's book which itself has many examples of problems with development efforts in Afghanistan:
Quote:
Never in my life have I experienced such an asinine allocation of human resources as I witnessed in southern Afghanistan in 2010. Before I deployed to Afghanistan I was director of strategy and corporate development at a multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley software company. Our team had about 15 highly educated professionals running strategic projects for a company with nearly ten thousand employees. Most employees were focused on the roll-up-your-sleeves type of work necessary for us to succeed in the market: that is, they coded our software and marketed our products. The paradigm in Afghanistan, however, was inexplicably inverted. There were strategists and consultants everywhere; would-be Edward Lansdales and David Galulas with pens-in-hand were forever cycling through our office: congressional delegations, academics with specialties in counter-insurgency or Afghan culture, international journalists, NSC officials, staff officers from ISAF command in Kabul, project leaders from non-governmental organizations, etc. Honestly, for every one guy on the ground in a development role in the districts around Kandahar or Helmand we probably had 25 people writing strategy documents and conjuring up new measure of effectiveness. It was insanity.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:56 PM
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I must not be asking the question clearly, because I think I’ve asked it like three times.

Let’s say Joe is a sociologist. The proponents here are suggesting that he serve his country. It’s implied that if he joins the State Department, he will not be effective as he could be. Or, that Joe just won’t join the State Department at all.

But, if there were a military service that was an option for him that isn’t the Army (since there are sociologists in the Army), he would be both more likely to join the military than the State Department, and he would be more effective. I don’t understand why this is being argued.

Odds are that Joe would probably be more inclined to join a civilian agency (for a multitude of reasons, such as having more choice on his career and family) and I don’t see why putting him in a uniform would make him more effective.

Last edited by Ravenman; 01-04-2020 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:16 PM
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And I am also confused as to what it is you are asking. I don't deny that the State Department may be able to hire better sociologists than the hypothetical nation-building corps but the point isn't to recruit the best sociologists to the government. The point is to recruit people who can carry out effective nation-building projects in dangerous places like rural Afghanistan. A logical way of doing this is to create a large well-funded agency whose core task is to do nation-building especially in warzones. The evidence in Afghanistan suggests that neither the State Department nor USAID possesses these capabilities to the required scale.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:07 PM
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Oh, no way. The problem with Iraq and Afghanistan isn't that there was a flawed execution of the plan to bomb the shit out of a couple countries, and then pour money in to make them like us.

The problem is the whole idea that we would bomb the shit out of a couple countries, and then pour money in to make them like us.
I'm sorry, but this is wrong. It's about control, control of the resources of the world. The goals are clearly laid out in the PNAC study, they say it point blank.

I've tried for years to warn you all, we are still falling for the same playbook 20 years later
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:19 PM
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And I am also confused as to what it is you are asking. I don't deny that the State Department may be able to hire better sociologists than the hypothetical nation-building corps but the point isn't to recruit the best sociologists to the government. The point is to recruit people who can carry out effective nation-building projects in dangerous places like rural Afghanistan. A logical way of doing this is to create a large well-funded agency whose core task is to do nation-building especially in warzones. The evidence in Afghanistan suggests that neither the State Department nor USAID possesses these capabilities to the required scale.
Fee free to substitute any profession you wish. Why do you think that there are people skilled in nation building (which include sociologists, ffs!) that will sign up for the military, but won’t work for civilian agencies?
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:24 PM
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I'm sorry, but this is wrong. It's about control, control of the resources of the world. The goals are clearly laid out in the PNAC study, they say it point blank.

I've tried for years to warn you all, we are still falling for the same playbook 20 years later
Unless you are arguing that it was a good idea to invade Iraq, you have completely missed my point.
  #42  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:35 PM
split p&j is offline
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I'm not arguing that of course. I may have missed your point. I thought you were saying the goal of the US was to have other countries be like them socially like Freedom and all that bs.

I'm saying the true goal is to destroy other countries and take over their resources, and then profit on the backside by "rebuilding" them.

Last edited by split p&j; 01-04-2020 at 02:37 PM.
  #43  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:40 PM
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Well, the idea that Trump is following the PNAC playbook (which you seem to be implying) is pretty weird. PNAC, for the most part, was run by folks who would go on to be Never Trumpers (like Bill Kristol, the founder). Plus, PNAC dissolved 15 years ago.
  #44  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Fee free to substitute any profession you wish. Why do you think that there are people skilled in nation building (which include sociologists, ffs!) that will sign up for the military, but won’t work for civilian agencies?
I think an agency dedicated to nation-building is more likely to attract and produce people who are good at nation-building than one dedicated to some other task. Why would it be otherwise?

As to whether that nation-building agency should be part of the military, that is a separate issue but I do think it makes sense:
a) It would do a lot of its work in very dangerous areas so it makes sense to provide their personnel with some military training rather than be completely dependent on the military.
b) Military agencies have more authority over their personnel which is often necessary in a warzone.
c) Nation-building and war cannot be easily separated in places like post-war Iraq and Afghanistan. The point isn't to build schools and clinics only for their own sake but also as a tool to fight the insurgency and gather military intelligence which is easier if the nation-building agency is part of the military.
  #45  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:55 PM
split p&j is offline
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Well, the idea that Trump is following the PNAC playbook (which you seem to be implying) is pretty weird. PNAC, for the most part, was run by folks who would go on to be Never Trumpers (like Bill Kristol, the founder). Plus, PNAC dissolved 15 years ago.
It's called the long game. I don't think Trump is following anything, he's a known idiot.

The goals that PNAC set are happening, disbanded or not. This was their vision of the future and it is happening. They couldn't predict every little thing that may happen, but the had an overall goal that they truly believed in.

The fact that its taken nearly 25 years doesn't matter.

Last edited by split p&j; 01-04-2020 at 02:56 PM.
  #46  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Well, the idea that Trump is following the PNAC playbook (which you seem to be implying) is pretty weird. PNAC, for the most part, was run by folks who would go on to be Never Trumpers (like Bill Kristol, the founder). Plus, PNAC dissolved 15 years ago.
Trump is arguably following the foundations of Geopolitics, a book written to promote Russian hegemony.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founda...litics#Content
  • Germany should be offered the de facto political dominance over most Protestant and Catholic states located within Central and Eastern Europe. Kaliningrad oblast could be given back to Germany. The book uses the term "Moscow–Berlin axis".[9]
  • France should be encouraged to form a "Franco-German bloc" with Germany. Both countries have a "firm anti-Atlanticist tradition".[9]
  • The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe.[9]
  • Finland should be absorbed into Russia. Southern Finland will be combined with the Republic of Karelia and northern Finland will be "donated to Murmansk Oblast".[9]
  • Estonia should be given to Germany's sphere of influence.[9]
  • Latvia and Lithuania should be given a "special status" in the Eurasian–Russian sphere.[9]
  • Poland should be granted a "special status" in the Eurasian sphere.[9]
  • Romania, Macedonia, "Serbian Bosnia" and Greece – "Orthodox collectivist East" – will unite with "Moscow the Third Rome" and reject the "rational-individualistic West".[9]
  • Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible.[9]
  • Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke "Afro-American racists". Russia should "introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics".[9]

Some east european nations are moving towards fascism while others are moving towards the west. Germany is the head of the EU now (and arguably head of the free world), the US has developed more racist and isolationist tendencies, the UK has left the EU, Ukraine has been invaded, etc.
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  #47  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:11 PM
split p&j is offline
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This is interesting.
  #48  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
I think an agency dedicated to nation-building is more likely to attract and produce people who are good at nation-building than one dedicated to some other task. Why would it be otherwise?
And USAID is the nation-building agency of the US Government.

Quote:
a) It would do a lot of its work in very dangerous areas so it makes sense to provide their personnel with some military training rather than be completely dependent on the military.
b) Military agencies have more authority over their personnel which is often necessary in a warzone.
c) Nation-building and war cannot be easily separated in places like post-war Iraq and Afghanistan. The point isn't to build schools and clinics only for their own sake but also as a tool to fight the insurgency and gather military intelligence which is easier if the nation-building agency is part of the military.
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?
  #49  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:20 PM
Ravenman is offline
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Trump is arguably following the foundations of Geopolitics, a book written to promote Russian hegemony.
Your point falls apart when it comes to Trump being familiar with a book that he didn’t “write” and that Trump can follow through on any kind of plan. When a toddler is using crayons to draw on your kitchen walls, one need not search for hidden symbology in the scribble-scrabble.
  #50  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:48 PM
split p&j is offline
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No one is saying Trump is the leader of anything. It's quite clear he is weak minded and all you have to do is appeal to his vanity to bend him to your will.

The US is at fault for putting him in a position of real power. He serves as an useful idiot.

Last edited by split p&j; 01-04-2020 at 03:50 PM.
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