Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

US needs to make allies, not kill lists  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 03/02/2013

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - Arab News) Viewers of Thursday's confirmation hearing of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel can be forgiven for thinking they were watching a years-old C-SPAN rerun. The importance of America's intercontinental ballistic missiles dominated initial questioning. Then the war in Iraq was debated. In the end, the issue that most concerned senators from both parties was Hagel's loyalty to Israel.

During an eight-hour hearing, the difficult decisions that the US military now faces received scant attention. Vast budget cuts loom. Suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder rates are appallingly high. Diverse security threats ranging from Iran to cyber-attacks to Al-Qaeda in North Africa must be countered.

Overall, a more nimble, modern and smaller American military is needed, but you heard little of that in Thursday's marathon hearing.

The senators would have benefited from a conversation with a retired American Green Beret whom I interviewed earlier this week. After serving in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali, he has a unique view on the strengths - and limits - of US military power. His advice was simple. Long-term training of foreign military forces is more effective and less costly than deploying large numbers of American ground forces.

"It's the cheapest and the best solution in the long term," he told me.
Failures, of course, happen. Seth Jones, an analyst at the RAND Corporation, points out that billions of dollars have been spent on a largely failed effort to create a professional police force in Afghanistan. Peter Singer, an expert at the Brookings Institution, correctly argues that the key issue is our relationship with foreign governments, not how much military training we provide.

"We need to move beyond the assumption," Singer said in an e-mail "that training someone in our system somehow creates any perfect alignment between our geostrategic interests and their local political interests. It wasn't true during the Cold War and isn't true today." I agree. But as Congress debates harsh Pentagon cuts, it is important to look at new forms of military power. In a December article in Foreign Affairs, journalist Linda Robinson described Washington's unprecedented reliance on Special Operations Forces.

As identifying, locating and attacking suspected terrorists and insurgents has grown, US Special Operations budgets have soared from 2.3 billion in 2001 to 10.5 billion in 2012. The number of Special Operations Forces fielded by the US is 63,000 and rising.

Robinson argues that American policymakers have become too reliant on "kill and capture" raids and drone strikes known as "direct action." She said there is a "misperception" in Washington that pinpoint attacks "avoid prolonged, messy wars." "In fact, raids and drone strikes are tactics that are rarely decisive and often incur significant political and diplomatic costs for the United States," Robinson wrote.

"Special operations leaders readily admit that they should not be the central pillar of US military strategy." Robinson called for more training of local forces, known in military parlance as "indirect action." She cited long-term Special Operations Forces training missions in the Philippines and Colombia as success stories. In 2001, American Special Forces began training the Filipino soldiers who targeted the Abu Sayyaf militant group. American soldiers were barred from engaging in combat, but they played a central role in a raid that freed some kidnap victims and killed the group's leader.

Fifteen years after the Clinton administration launched its 7.5 billion "Plan Colombia," the effort has helped Bogota weaken the country's FARC guerrillas, who have forsworn kidnapping, released many prisoners and begun peace talks. Violence is down and cocaine production has dropped by 72 percent since 2001, according to Robinson. Today, Colombian commandos trained by US forces are training counter-narcotics units in Central American and Mexico.

Some American training efforts, though, have gone badly wrong. Last year, Human Rights Watch issued a detailed report documenting systematic abuses of pro-democracy activists in Yemen by local security forces, some of whom had received US training. The International Federation for Human Rights reported last week that soldiers from the Malian Army - which also received US training - had executed at least 11 people in Sevare after retaking the town from Islamists forces.

More broadly, an American-trained Malian Army captain carried out a coup last year that destabilized the country and opened the door for Islamists to gain control of the north. Skepticism of the Malian Army's ability to gain public confidence or simply become an effective fighting force against militants is rampant.

The former Green Beret, who spent extensive time in Mali training local soldiers, said the training effort was too limited. He said US Green Berets on average trained Malian units for six-week sessions. High turnover in the Malian units and lack of basic items for soldiers - from vehicles to weapons to food - made progress difficult.

In neighboring Chad, American Special Operations Forces lived with Chadian military units for six-month periods and achieved better results.

"You need that 365, 24-hour-a day presence if you want to make a difference," he said.

 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Qatar- HH Sheikha Moza Meets Mayor of Kobe Visits RIKEN Research Institution ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kobe April 24 - Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF) today held a meeting with the ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Sidra-BMC Event Boosts Biomedical Research Publishing ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - A symposium organised jointly by Sidra Medical Research Centre and BioMed Central (BMC) mulled trends in research and on open access publishing here ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Mannai Corp Q1 Net Profit up 73% to QR 150.1 Million ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Exchange listed Mannai Corporation (QE: MCCS) net profit is up 73% to QR 150.1 Million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ending March 31 ...

Apr 24 2014Bahraini firms forecasted to grow 10 pct ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) In a report based on a study of over 650 companies across GCC, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) forecasts a growth of the Bahraini companies' earnings by 10 percent in 2014, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Army Storms Deir Samit Village West of Hebron ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) bron April 24 - Israeli army forces stormed at dawn Thursday Deir Samit village southwest of Hebron city in the West Bank. The Israeli forces conducted raid and search ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Airways to add more seats on Doha-Vienna route ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways plans to offer more 1.700 seats on its Doha-Vienna route beginning from September 2014, according to Gulf News. The company aims to expand the growing passenger demand from ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- QFC Authority Five-a-Side Football Tournament Kicks Off ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority's first Five-a-side Football Tournament is displaying dribbling skills of executives from Doha's financial ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Stock Exchange Down 0.05% ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - The Qatar Exchange ended in the red area when trading closed Thursday at 12954.93 points (0.05%) down 6.63 points from the previous closing of 12961.56 ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Border area ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Gaza April 24 - Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip witnesses said. The tanks crossed into Gaza in an area called ...

Apr 24 2014President Salva Kiir Relieves his Chief of the General Staff ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Juba April 24 -South Sudanese President Salva Kiir relieved Chief of the General Staff of south sudan army James Hoth Mai. This came in a presidential decree aired ...

Apr 24 2014Georgian Justice Minister Leaves Doha ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - HE Minister of Justice of Georgia Tia Tsulukiana left Doha on Thursday morning wrapping up a two-day official visit to the country. An agreement on ...

Apr 24 2014Egyptian Premier Off to Chad ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib left cairo on Thursday for Chad the first leg of a three-day two-state trip that will also take him to Tanzania ...

Apr 24 2014Australian Federal Parliament Deputy Speaker Meets HE Qatari Ambassador ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Canberra April 24 - Australian Federal Parliament Deputy Speaker Bruce Scott met here Thursday with HE Qatar's Ambassador to Australia Yousef bin Ali Al ...

Apr 24 2014Afghan Guard Shoots Dead 3 Foreigners in Hospital ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kabul April 24 - Three foreigners including a doctor were shot dead and their colleague wounded when a guard of a private Cure Hospital opened fire on them in the ...

Apr 24 2014Omani non-oil exports to enter African markets ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the Sultanate is seeking expansion in new African markets, in a time it is looking forward to reduce its ...

Apr 24 2014US Secretary of State Meets Egyptian Intelligence Chief ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) shington April 24 - US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the Egyptian Intelligence Chief Major General Mohammed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami who is currently ...

Apr 24 2014Egypt's Interim President Receives Phone Call from South African President ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour has received a telephone call from President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma in which they discussed ...

Apr 24 20143 GCC countries among top 30 on network readiness index ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) According to an annual global technology survey for network readiness index for 2014, three GCC countries have made it to the top 30 list for the third year in a row, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Morocco Admitted As Observer Member to SICA ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) La Romana Dominican April 24 - Morocco has been admitted as an observer member in the Central American Integration System (SICA) which also includes each of Belize ...

Apr 24 2014Sharjah Ladies Club organizes "Sharjah Ladies run" at the University City ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Sharjah Ladies Club gears up to launch "Sharjah Ladies run" at the Sharjah University City. With over 250 participants, the activity aims to encourage women and enable them to ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help