WPS in the Military News Round Up: April

The Women, Peace and Security in the Military News Round Up for April is out now. Highlights include articles on applying a gender perspective to space portfolios, cyber security, and the military recruiting crisis. Stay updated on the latest WPS news at the link below.

Note: The WPS in the Military News Round Up from PKSOI provides the U.S. Army WPS community of interest with a monthly round up of articles to raise awareness and knowledge of WPS. The articles in the WPS News Round Up are provided for your situational awareness, only, and are not endorsed by DOD, the Army, CAC, or PKSOI.

Click on the links below to view or download.

WPS in the Military News Round Up: March

The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) in the Military News Round Up for March highlights include the ARSOUTH WPS Symposium, as well as upcoming WPS events for Women’s History Month. Stay updated on the latest WPS news at the link below.

The WPS in the Military News Round Up from PKSOI provides the U.S. Army WPS community of interest with a monthly round up of articles to raise awareness and knowledge of WPS. The articles in the WPS News Round Up are provided for your situational awareness, only, and are not endorsed by DOD, the Army, CAC, or PKSOI.

Click on the links below to view or download.

WPS in the Military News Round Up: January

The News Round Up from PKSOI, the U.S. Army Office of Primary Responsibility for WPS implementation, provides the U.S. Army WPS community of interest with a monthly round up of articles to raise awareness and knowledge of WPS. The articles in the WPS News Round Up are provided for your situational awareness, only, and are not endorsed by DOD.

Stay updated on the latest WPS current events at the links below.

WPS in the Military News Round Up: December


U.S. Army 1st Lt.Audrey Griffith, left, points to an area of interest while standing guard with Spc. Heidi Gerke during a force protection exercise at Forward Operating Base Hadrian in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, March 18, 2013. Both women are members of the 92nd Engineer Battalion. (U.S. Army courtesy photo/Released)
URUZGAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
03.18.2013
Courtesy Photo
102d Public Affairs Detachment

The WPS News Round Up is a new monthly initiative from the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), the U.S. Army Office of Primary Responsibility for WPS implementation, that will provide the U.S. Army WPS community of interest with a monthly round up of articles to raise awareness and knowledge of WPS efforts and initiatives. The articles in the WPS News Round Up are provided for your situational awareness, only. The contents do not reflect the official views of, nor are they endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, or PKSOI.

To read or download this months WPS News Round Up please click on the links below.

If you would like to be added or removed from the monthly WPS News Round Up distro list, please email: antonieta.rico.ctr@army.mil. Please forward the email to other members of the US Army WPS community who might find the content valuable.

DEFENSE SUPPORT TO STABILIZATION (DSS)
A GUIDE FOR STABILIZATION PRACTITIONERS

This framework, Defense Support to Stabilization (DSS): A Guide for Stabilization Practitioners, was developed over the past two years by PKSOI in cooperation with the Office of the Secretary of Defense—Counternarcotics and Stabilization Policy (OSD-CNSP), and in coordination with a wide-ranging planning team involving members from across the joint force and the interagency.

Created in fulfillment of Task 1.1.5 of the December 2020 Secretary of Defense’s Irregular Warfare Implementation Plan, this framework serves as a reference guide that outlines how the Department of Defense, in support of U.S. Government (USG) strategy and interagency partners, supports USG stabilization efforts, missions, and activities.

As this is a DoD framework, it begins by highlighting DoD policy for DSS outlined in DoD Directive 3000.05 Stabilization, before providing an overview of US strategy including the 2022 National Security Strategy, 2018 Stabilization Assistance Review, 2022 National Defense Strategy, 2020 Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability, and 2019 Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security. Following a review of other pertinent policy and doctrine, this framework outlines how the US Government in general, and DoD in particular, is organized to achieve US stabilization goals. The framework then details how the USG implements, and DoD supports, stabilization efforts.

Two appendixes detail the law governing Defense Support for Stabilization Activities (DSSA) and DoD implementation guidance for this important Security Cooperation program. Finally, there are twenty-three annexes of the U.S. strategies, policies, programs, and doctrine that comprise the USG and DoD framework for stabilization.

PKSOI, in coordination with OSD-CNSP, is committed to periodically updating this DSS Guide for Stabilization Practitioners as key strategies, policies, and doctrine are published.

To read or download this guide please click on the links below:

DSS-Guide-for-Stabilization-Practitioners-with-full-annexes-420-pages-8.7MB

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

On MAY 25, 2022, PKSOI and the U.S. Army War College celebrated the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

Speakers for the event included Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, Deputy Commanding General for Reserve Affairs at the Army War College, as well as former peacekeepers — all highlighting the history, challenges, and future of UN missions.  “I am proud of the number of International Fellows in the Army War College Resident Class of 2022 who have served in UN Peace Operations….Half of our 80 International Fellows have served in at least one peacekeeping mission,” said Birckhead.

On this International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honor and remember those who have fallen:  over 4,197 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the cause of peace – including 79 Americans.  We also honor those who currently serve in peacekeeping missions, representing the best intentions of their nations, and who selflessly dedicate their lives to enable sustainable growth in the war-torn spaces around the world. Their shared determination and unified efforts will bring a greater chance of achieving peace than any single country could attain alone.

Did you know?

•The US Army has been engaged in peace operations since 1948  and currently is deployed in six UN operations, the Multinational Force Observers in the Sinai, and Kosovo.

Did you know?

•The United States is the largest contributor to military and police capacity building efforts in support of international peacekeeping, contributing more than $1 billion since 2005

Sunsetting SOLLIMS – Stability Operations Lessons Learned & Information Management System

Photo: Tim Holem, “Post-Hurricane Dorian Sunset at Canaveral Lock and Dam,” 5 Sep 2019, Brevard County, FL, DVIDS Photo ID: 5725010 (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5725010/post-hurricane-dorian-sunset-canaveral-lock-and-dam) accessed 11 Mar 2020.

The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) will sunset the Stability Operations Lessons Learned & Information Management System (SOLLIMS). The system will not be available after Friday, March 13, 2020. The lessons and resources archived in SOLLIMS have been moved to the Joint Lessons Learned Information System (JLLIS). JLLIS serves as the system of record for all lessons learned across the joint force.

The decision to sunset SOLLIMS was made in coordination with the US Army Combined Arms Center, the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and the Joint Staff J7 Joint Lessons Learned Division to eliminate the redundancy between the two systems.

Leveraging JLLIS, PKSOI will continue to serve as the integrator of joint lessons learned for P&SO in its role as the Army and TRADOC lead for Joint Proponent of Stabilization and Peace Operations.

Members of the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations (P&SO) community of practice/interest who possess a DoD Common Access Card (CAC) can now query the JLLIS system for P&SO related observations and document files previously archived in SOLLIMS. The website is https://www.jllis.mil.

Those members of the P&SO community who are not CAC holders can “Ask PKSOI” for assistance at the PKSOI website, http://pksoi.armywarcollege.edu/.

All members of the P&SO community can still submit lessons. CAC holders can contribute new P&SO lessons directly in JLLIS. All others can submit lessons directly to PKSOI by emailing usarmy.carlisle.awc.list.pksoi-operations@mail.mil. Lessons should be in Observations, Discussion, and Recommendation format, and if needed can also include Implications, Comments, and Event Description.

PKSOI will continue to produce a quarterly lessons report–formerly called SOLLIMS Sampler–with select lessons that are now resident in JLLIS. PKSOI posts all of its quarterly lessons reports on their website at http://pksoi.armywarcollege.edu/index.cfm/resources/pksoi-publications/pksoi-lesson-reports-sollims-samplers/.

PKSOI created SOLLIMS in 2009 as a web-enabled database to provide a repository for observations, insights and lessons pertaining to P&SO. SOLLIMS was an unclassified, open-source system available to a larger P&SO community that spanned joint, interagency, inter-governmental, multinational, and non-governmental organizations. SOLLIMS has served that community for more than a decade holding over 750 P&SO lessons and more than 7,700 resources. All of those lessons and records were transferred to the JLLIS database on March 6, 2020, and PKSOI will continue to produce new lessons directly in JLLIS

Questions regarding the sunsetting of SOLLIMS can be directed to PKSOI by phone at (717) 245-3031 or by email at usarmy.carlisle.awc.list.pksoi-operations@mail.mil.

USAWC sponsors academic workshop on Women in Peace & Security

  • USAWC Commandant addresses DoD equities in Women, Peace and Security
  • USAWC’s WPS lead’s war college education motivated and guided her work with WPS
  • PME representatives share best practices for WPS integration

As an Army critical care nurse, Col. Veronica Oswald- Hrutkay has instructed at the Army Trauma Training Center and deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm; UN Protection Force Mission Provide Promise in Zagreb, Croatia; and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was always about saving lives – then, and now at the strategic level of human security, said the Army War College lead for Women, Peace and Security.

The first of a planned annual series, the Women, Peace, and Security Join Academic Forum Workshop is a two-day virtual collaboration among those in planning and policy roles and those in professional military education. For two days, Aug. 25 – 26, 2020, the participants focused on opportunities within PME to integrate WPS principles into the strategic mindedness of faculty and student.

“Within the Defense Department, WPS actions are force multipliers,” said U.S. Army War College Commandant Maj. Gen. Steve Maranian, opening the workshop. To read more of this USAWC article please CLICK HERE.

Stabilization during Epidemics

Photo credits: DVIDS, photo ids: 6137637, 6170623, 6151774, and 5163332

3 April 2020

By Dr. Raymond A. Millen and the PKSOI Team

Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.

Executive Summary

Since recorded history, disease has beleaguered mankind and at times precipitated epidemics and pandemics. As such, epidemics have ravaged dense population centers due to close communal association. Epidemics alone have never caused the demise of a great power, though disease did contribute to the failure of some military campaigns. While states have occasionally used disease to gain a tactical advantage, in no instance has any used epidemics as a grand strategy. In actuality, the international community of nations has frequently rendered assistance to countries afflicted by disease, epidemics and other disasters. From the late nineteenth century onwards, scientists and doctors have eradicated the great majority of diseases that once scourged mankind. Within the last fifty years, developed countries have established sophisticated medical services and public health sectors to withstand diseases and attenuate epidemics. Despite modern advances, disease and epidemics continue to cause calamity, so stabilization activities during such crises are imperative. To mitigate the effects of an epidemic, government authorities need to project optimism and confidence, as well as safeguarding the economy.

Introduction

While epidemics have been a recurring feature of civilization, the effects over time have lessened for developed countries. Throughout history the effects of plagues, famine, and war have weakened nations. In antiquity, great powers were hardest hit because their heavily populated urban centers were the most susceptible to epidemics. Over time, all countries with dense population centers also became susceptible to epidemics. Until the twentieth century, epidemics and endemic diseases diminished populations, disrupted essential services, undercut governance and civil control, and caused socio-economic change (e.g., accelerating the end of the feudal system in Europe). While epidemics certainly caused domestic adversity, the fate of great powers was decided by other factors, mostly strategic in nature. Minor attempts to exploit epidemics have likely occurred, but they were largely irrelevant. For example, at a recent press briefing, President Donald Trump warned of “malign actors” attempting to exploit Coronavirus epidemic for their own purposes, but he iterated that US vigilance remained undaunted. Historical footnotes are of little use to decision makers. This paper touches on the historical background of diseases/epidemics, the medical advances combating disease from the late nineteenth century onward, and stabilization actions a government should take during an epidemic.

Historical Background

The fate of the Roman Empire is instructive for modern states. Like Globalization, all roads led to Rome and along them came epidemics. Military campaigns, increased commerce, and imperial expansion exposed citizens to new diseases, many of which became epidemics. The most significant effect was on large population centers due to close communal association. Peripheral tribal societies lived in smaller, relatively isolated communities, so epidemics were less severe. However, whenever they mounted invasions against the Roman Empire, their massed armies were susceptible to disease and epidemics. Of note, Romans (as well as Greeks and Byzantines) practiced good personal hygiene and were keenly attentive to clean water, with the superb aqueduct system as a prime example. The early Romans had no medical profession in the modern sense. Instead, the patriarch was responsible for the care of ailing family members, using home remedies. While episodic epidemics wreaked havoc on population centers, the Romans always recovered—with the exception of malaria. From 1 BC to 400 AD, endemic malaria stunted population growth, diminished immunity systems, and created listlessness among the populace. More than any other disease, malaria weakened the Roman labor force, deprived the military of hale manpower, and fatally undermined the national will to resist invasions. The depletion of economic wealth, continual military campaigning and defeats, and unrelenting incursions of migratory tribes led to the collapse of the Roman Empire—but this took centuries. Incidentally, the destruction of the Roman aqueduct system in 541 AD dissociated the importance of clean water and personal hygiene with subsequent generations of Europeans, which led to centuries of squalor and impure water.

Although the temptation exists to attribute epidemics as the cause of a great power’s demise, disease is just one factor and by no means the deciding one. Ancient Athens experienced a plague in 430 BC, but military blunders during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), such as the Sicilian Campaign, had a greater impact. The Byzantine Empire experienced Bubonic plague from 542 to 590 AD, but centuries more of warfare continued, with some spectacular military defeats, until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. Hernando Cortez’s invasion of Mexico in 1518 introduced smallpox into the native population, but it took three additional years of fighting (and reinforcements) before Cortez conquered the Aztecs. Typhus fever ravaged Napoleon’s army during the invasion of Russia in 1812, but France recovered and fought for another two years against the Grand Alliance of powers. A more significant factor was the poor health of Napoleon, which left him lethargic and indisposed during the fateful battles of Borodino, Leipzig, and Waterloo. During the US Civil War, two-thirds of all deaths were attributed to disease and infections (around 450,000). However, a better strategy and hard fighting ultimately decided the Union victory.

There are a few instances of countries or armies making tactical use of pathogens against enemies during conflicts, but the results were inconclusive. Since endemic disease abounded already, it was difficult to determine whether such attacks triggered the intended epidemic or not. Imperial Japan, but not Nazi Germany, conducted research, testing, and some minor attacks with biological agents in China during World War II, but their use proved indecisive. The Soviet Union, and the United States did conduct extensive research, experimentation, and testing of biological weapons despite international conventions, but both discontinued the programs and entered into treaties. Nevertheless, if countries are determined to develop biological weapons programs, little can be done. Verifying such programs is difficult since disease prevention research and biological weapons research are practically indistinguishable.

Medical Advances

History reveals that warfare, trade, and exploration were responsible for the spread of disease, epidemics, and pandemics (i.e., global epidemics). Of interest, most epidemics died out with no apparent explanation. Viruses either mutated into a nonlethal form or became dormant, reemerging later in another, sometimes more virulent, form. Further, afflicted survivors became immune and checked the spread of the disease. The Black Death (1346-1361) and Black Plague (1665) are instructive examples. While doctors and scientists began experimenting with inoculations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was not until the late nineteenth century that they understood the link among pathogens, vectors, and disease. They became fervent disease detectives, using both inductive and deductive reasoning. Basic personal hygiene, clean water and food, the cleansing of wounds, and sterilization of surgical equipment were remarkable breakthroughs. But it was not until the twentieth century that the targeting of vectors (e.g., mosquitoes, lice, tsetse flies, and fleas) and the provision of vaccinations and inoculations eradicated most diseases that plagued mankind. By World War II, the US military practiced disease prevention and possessed robust medical services. Additionally, the US military prevented the spread of disease in occupied territories. By the end of the twentieth century, developed countries possessed sophisticated medical services, infrastructure, and research. Further, they have devoted significant resources to the monitoring and study of diseases, notably the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lastly, the information age has increased awareness of outbreaks and preventative measures.

There is no historical instance of a state deliberately creating or exploiting an epidemic to weaken or attack another state prior to a conflict. Given the advances in medicine, research, and monitoring of diseases, potential aggressors would find little profit in such attempts. Disease does not recognize national borders, so starting an epidemic is akin to mutually assured destruction. Any attempt to wage biological warfare would require, beforehand, mass inoculations or immunizations, which are incredibly expensive, impossible to keep secret, and unlikely to immunize the entire domestic population. In view of UN prohibitions on biological weapons, any country using them would become a global pariah. Regardless, rational actors would balk at throwing the iron dice against a developed country with a robust health sector. However, underdeveloped countries remain vulnerable to epidemics and natural disasters. Aside from humanitarian reasons, the United States would need to assist affected countries which provide strategic resources or are of geostrategic value.

Minor attempts probably occurred, but their historical impact was negligible. For example, at his 1 April 2020 Coronavirus White House press briefing, President Trump mentioned that “cartels, criminals, terrorists and other malign actors will try to exploit the situation for their own gain, and we must not let that happen.” Since international and domestic criminal organizations never cease their activities (e.g., trafficking, cyberattacks, and smuggling), irrespective of disasters, the president was merely signaling US vigilance. Decision makers, like historians, must not be consumed by minor events when drawing on historical lessons learned.

Contrary to mankind’s affinity to warfare, epidemics and disasters (manmade or natural) bring out a humanity that transcends enmity. Global media swiftly alerts the world of disasters, and it is common for other nations and organizations to render humanitarian assistance and provide moral support to afflicted countries. A few examples underscore this point.

While Iran remains a demonstrable threat to the Middle East and is an intractable enemy to the United States, no country ever took advantage of the numerous earthquakes which have plagued Iran in the last thirty years: 1990 (50,000 killed), 2003 (26,000 killed), and 2017 (600 killed). In each instance, several countries (including the United States), international organizations, and NGOs dispatched aid personnel and humanitarian assistance. The 2020 COVID-19 epidemic is no exception, with the EU and international organizations dispatching medical experts, humanitarian assistance, and medical supplies to the stricken country.

Despite Cold War tensions, Europe and NATO did not take advantage of the Soviet Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in April 1986, which affected around 7 million people. Instead, international organizations responded with humanitarian assistance and emergency response personnel, evacuating millions from the radiation zone.

Countries of little geostrategic value vis-à-vis great powers have also received humanitarian assistance/disaster response in the aftermath of natural disasters or epidemics. The 2004 tsunami which struck Indonesia killed over 200,000 people; the 2010 earthquake which devastated Haiti killed over 200,000 people; and the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa killed over 11,000 and threatened millions more. In each case, several countries, international organizations, and NGOs rendered immediate assistance, saving millions from starvation, incidental diseases, and the elements.

Stabilization Activities during Epidemics

During an epidemic, the government must safeguard government structures at all levels, essential services (i.e. energy, medical sanitation, water, and food), the economy, constitutional rule of law, police services, and the military. At the same time, the government must pay particular attention to psychological factors.

While the lethal impact of diseases and viruses today is demonstrably lower than historical antecedents, news and social media awareness is extraordinarily high. Increased awareness has a tendency to cause panic, which can cause instability. Fear of an epidemic can paralyze society, overwhelm medical services, and disrupt the economic vitality of a state. Accordingly, senior policy makers must analyze nascent epidemics/pandemics without succumbing to false analogies. Richard Neustadt’s Thinking in Time provides a practical analytical framework for assessing the similarities and differences between a current crisis and a past, analogous crisis, as well as conducting a trend analysis leading up to a current crisis. Of note, Neustadt discusses the Carter administration’s overreaction to the Swine Flu virus in 1977 due to faulty analysis of the 1919 Spanish Flu. Early analysis provides a plan of action before a crisis becomes acute.

National counter-epidemic plans should be measured and graduated. Authorities at all levels should have systems in place to prevent the paralysis of medical services and infrastructure. Accordingly, both federal and state governments should identify the most vulnerable people and advise them to self-quarantine. Local governments should establish several small inspection stations (e.g., clinics, shelters, and tents) to check people for viral symptoms. The issuance of self-testing kits will further ameliorate strains on medical services. Only those people testing positive should enter hospitals or other designated facilities for care and quarantine. Graduated military support (i.e., Reserves, National Guard, and Active Duty) should respond to most affected areas as back-up. As a general observation, people who are the least vulnerable to the virus should continue daily activities. Experience suggests that exposure to a virus creates immunity, thereby checking the spread of the disease.

Police services are the first responders for civil order. Community oriented policing strives to inform and calm local communities. The local government and police should remain vigilant to the hoarding of commodities in order to prevent black market activities. Anti-hoarding placards and policies at stores will deter most citizens, but information gleaned from community oriented policing will uncover hoarding, price gouging, and black market gangs. Governors and mayors should only implement curfews and more stringent measures in communities where the breakdown of civil order is imminent.

The US president’s use of the bully pulpit is a powerful instrument of power. Projecting optimism and confidence has a remarkable calming effect on a nation under stress. Reminding the country of robust medical capabilities, vaccine research and testing, and preventive measures sustains confidence. While a presidential administration should encourage similar assurances from congressional representatives, governors, and the media at large, the president’s use of departments/agency officials, news conferences, interviews, and public addresses is the most effective form of national communication. Nonetheless, government officials should avoid speculations on infection rates, particularly mortality, since such talk only heightens uncertainty. Lastly, encouraging the assistance of the private sector creates a sense of national community and innovative solutions to epidemics.

Since economic vitality is largely psychological, an administration must take measures to stimulate employment and wealth creation in the private sector. As President Dwight Eisenhower once observed, a bankrupt country is a defenseless country, so economic vitality and national security are intimately linked. A robust economy is fundamental to stability and hence national security. Without it, people lose hope in the political-economic system, and national will falters.

Federal and state governments must avoid the development of a siege mentality due to irrational fears of epidemics. National security should never equate to complete assurance against potential epidemics. Such an attempt will eventually erode democratic institutions, the free market economy, and the national spirit. The most damaging development is the creation of a police state in pursuit of absolute security. While a degree of social distancing may be necessary, the government must establish a definitive timeline for its termination. The preservation of civil rights and free enterprise is the principle mandate of a democracy. Without it, the national will to resist national security threats will erode.

Conclusion

Disease and epidemics are common occurrences and need no sinister actor to propagate. No historical evidence exists in which a state has used an epidemic to pursue a foreign policy objective. In reality, countries and aid organizations have not hesitated to render assistance to afflicted states, even when they are adversaries. Except in the realm of fiction, scientists and medical professionals have been successful in mitigating the deleterious effects of disease. Fear of the unknown can paralyze a country, and the media will always engage in speculation and rumors. Since democracies treasure freedom of expression among all others, government leaders can most effectively counter unwarranted fears with optimism and confidence. The greatest danger to stability is economic depression, with untold calamity. If economic vitality is eviscerated, an epidemic will be the least of a country’s woes.

Recommended Reading

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/.

Edmond Hooker, “Biological Warfare,” eMedicineHealth (October 2019), https://www.emedicinehealth.com/pictures_slideshow_cold_and_flu_13_germiest_places/article_em.htm.

Frederick F. Cartwright, Disease and History (New York: Dorset Press, 1972).

Friedrich Frischknecht, “The History of Biological Warfare,” EMBO Reports, no. 4 (June 2003), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1326439/.

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999).

John M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (New York: Penguin Books, 2005).

Richard A. Muller, Physics for Future Presidents (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, reprint, September 21, 2009).

Richard Neustadt and Ernst May, Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers (New York: Schuster & Schuster, Inc., 1986).

US Foreign Police Advising: The Case of Vietnam

Foreign assistance in policing is not a new phenomenon, but often we fail to consider the past, while planning for the future. Since 1989, the role of the US in several stability operations has increased, such as: Panama (1989), Somalia (1992), Haiti (1994, 2004), Bosnia (1995), Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2003). Additionally, US military and civilian organizations have been used to rebuild military and police forces and to provide logistics to international forces (El Salvador, 1991; East Timor, 1999). With the intention of avoiding past mistakes in future stability activities, we have endeavored to capture the lessons from Vietnam policing development. The operational environment in Vietnam was similar to Afghanistan and Iraq, in that police development was initiated during the conflict, in a dangerous environment that was difficult for civilian development actors to work in, thus requiring a large military police advising contingent. Police advising in what was then RoV also incorporated USAID and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) advisors, as well as those from other countries, but that is beyond the scope of this anthology of lessons learned. The lessons derived from the US intervention in Vietnam have important implications for foreign advising today and in the future.

The genesis of this project stemmed from a unique opportunity to connect with the highly respected Colonel (COL) Charles Nguyen Tan Cuon, a retired police administrator from Vietnam. COL Nguyen was born in 1925 in Saigon, the son of the former Vietnam Minister of Security. With public service and safety in mind, he quickly rose through the ranks of the police force, holding several highly esteemed positions throughout his career and commanding over 5,000 police.

COL Nguyen’s policing experiences are unique. First, COL Nguyen was a police leader during peace and war times. He commanded a police force during the Vietnam War, where police were the first line of defense against insurgents, fighting and collecting intelligence for the military in addition to their regular duties of keeping order and responding to crimes. Second, COL Nguyen engaged with multiple foreign entities who were either fighting the Viet Cong, offering police assistance, or both. While managing his police units, he also negotiated with Australian forces in his district and worked with police advisors from the US, among other nations providing service to South Vietnam, officially known as the Republic of Vietnam (RoV) at that time. COL Nguyen developed a close relationship with some of his advisors, including Mr. Frank Clark from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). When Saigon fell, COL Nguyen fled with his family to the US, settling in Rockville, Maryland.

With his breadth of experiences leading various aspects of a police force during peace and war times, COL Nguyen has much to contribute to our understanding of policing, especially foreign police advising. His wealth of knowledge is particularly applicable to US foreign police advising today, given the US contribution to rebuilding police forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as service to policing agencies in various other countries. Thus, the US Army War College organized a series of interviews with COL Nguyen and his USAID advisor, Mr. Frank Clark. Their experiences are interwoven with academic literature in the chapters to follow.

To read more click on the link or the download button below.