Nov. 20, 2017

14. Partnership: The Colombia-U.S.Experience

Strong security partnerships are not born overnight. They must be built on a foundation of shared goals, mutual respect, and understanding. The Colombia-U.S. security partnership is built upon just such a relationship, one that evolved over generations and spans multiple sectors. Although, in common with all Latin American countries, Colombia’s historical and cultural roots can be traced to the Iberian colonization of the Western Hemisphere, trade, diplomatic, and military relations with the United States date back to the early 19th century. The United States was among the first countries to recognize Colombia when it declared independence from Spain, receiving a diplomatic representative in Washington in 1822 and establishing its first diplomatic mission in Cartagena and Santa Marta in 1823. The first commercial treaty between the two young countries was signed in 1824, followed by a treaty of friendship and commerce in 1848.2 The Colombia-U.S. relationship has not been without its ups and downs historically, but it has led to familiarity, and in recent years a common understanding of shared security challenges in the Western Hemisphere.

Nov. 20, 2017

13. Insights from the Development Sector

Development is big. It encompasses economic growth, but also social development through civil society, state-building (improving the capacity of the state to deliver services), and political institutions, including rule of law.1 New Institutional Economics (NIE) has changed how development practitioners think about growth and development over the past 15 years.2 NIE has shown that “how” people manage their relations through formal and informal institutions affects the efficiency and distribution of service delivery and the provision of public goods.

Nov. 20, 2017

15. Transforming Defense in Guatemala

In April of 2012, in response to an earlier request by Guatemala’s Minister of Defense, then U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs Frank Mora offered the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense (MOD) support in developing a national defense policy and broadly improving the Ministry’s budgeting processes. Within four years the MOD had published a National Defense Policy (NDP), produced program budgets, altered the military force structure, and introduced greater transparency and accountability in its financial management systems. These results were made possible by the establishment of a governance system that afforded the Minister a management platform, which allowed him to make strategic decisions about defense contributions, including weapons programs, required military capabilities, future force design, and budgets. The transformation of the MOD from an organization still shaped by the legacy of past civil wars into an institution operating on the principles of good governance—efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, and based on the rule of law and respect for human rights—is an exemplar of successful defense institution building (DIB).

Nov. 20, 2017

16. Lessons from Afghanistan

Shortly after the fall of the Taliban in December 2001, the United Nations hosted Afghan and world leaders in Bonn, Germany, to discuss and develop an agreement that would form the basis for international support to establish a representative form of government in Afghanistan. On December 5, 2001, the conferees adopted the Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-establishment of Permanent Government Institutions, or “The Bonn Agreement.” This agreement included the framework for drafting a new constitution for Afghanistan, established the interim authority for governance, and created the Afghan Supreme Court.

Nov. 20, 2017

17. Lessons from Iraq

The initial performance of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) against the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was not encouraging, neither from an operational nor an institutional perspective. With few exceptions, the ISF was unable to beat back the advances of ISIS without considerable U.S. assistance.1 In some cases, units of the ISF completely collapsed and disintegrated in the face of the enemy.2 These failures caused the Obama Administration to revisit the commitment of U.S. forces to assist the ISF in defeating ISIS and making itself more effective and self-sufficient.

Nov. 20, 2017

A Vision for the Future of Defense Institution Building

As the United States faces the increasingly complex security challenges of the 21st century, it must be able to rely on its partners and allies to share the burden of preventing conflict, ensuring lasting peace, and maintaining long-term stability. Assisting partners in their efforts to develop sustainable defense capacity is therefore vital to U.S. national security interests. In the case of security cooperation, however, traditional approaches have proven insufficient to achieve sustainable reforms. Defense institution building (DIB) is an innovative approach to security cooperation, emphasizing the importance of governance and management to the sustainability of partner capacity.

Nov. 20, 2017

About the Contributors

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Nov. 17, 2017

About the Editors

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Oct. 19, 2017

Lecture Notes: Leviathan Redux: Toward a Community of Effective States

Viable, effective states are the only form of collective governance that has a proven ability to contain illicit networks. Weak states can pose as great a danger to our national security interests as strong states. Only recently, however, have we begun to examine how the convergence of terrorist, insurgent, and criminal networks contribute to state weakness and failure.

Oct. 19, 2017

Lecture Notes: Weapons Trafficking and the Odessa Network: How One Small Think Tank was Able to Unpack One Very Big Problem, and the Lessons It Teaches Us

Weapons Trafficking and the Odessa Network: How One Small Think Tank was Able to Unpack One Very Big Problem, and the Lessons It Teaches Us