Relying on the Kindness of Others: A Risky Partner-Building Strategy

In a recent Stimson Center blog post on national security spending, Laura A. Hall and Gordon Adams examine military and civilian roles in a variety of areas such as post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction and conflict prevention.

GAdams_Portait_5164Below are some highlights from the post. Please click here to read the entire entry.clip_image002

“Temporary authorities in the last few years (1206, 1207, CERP) have been devised and implemented, driven by two wars and a global counter-terrorism strategy.  DoD’s ability to get funding for these efforts on a large enough scale trumped concerns about the appropriate roles of State and USAID.  These short-term authorities should not be the long-term pattern.”

“In a world of limited budgets, continuing to concentrate funding at DoD risks crowding out the development of civilian capabilities.  Once created, DoD programs and missions are nearly impossible to downsize.  The lack of civilian resources begets lack of management capacity and predictably undermines the requests for resources.  This vicious cycle ultimately precludes the development of capabilities that are needed far beyond the scope of DoD’s areas of operation.”

“DoD should be continuing efforts to build civilian capacity and supporting increases in the international affairs budget instead of continuing to creep into mission areas for which it claims to have no interest or expertise.  Greater civilian capacity is the best way to mitigate the risk that DoD will be called to respond to a conflict that threatens us.”

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