A Building Partner Capacity Assessment Framework
Aug 21, 2015
How can the U.S. Department of Defense increase the effectiveness of its efforts to help partners build the capacity of their military and other security forces? To form a base of evidence to inform policy discussions and investment decisions, a RAND study collected and compared 20 years of data on 29 historical case studies of U.S. involvement in building partner capacity.
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The United States has a long history of helping other nations develop and improve their military and other security forces. However, changing economic realities and the ongoing reductions in overall defense spending related to the end of more than a decade of war will affect the funding available for these initiatives. How can the U.S. Department of Defense increase the effectiveness of its efforts to build partner capacity while also increasing the efficiency of those efforts? And what can the history of U.S. efforts to build partner capacity reveal about which approaches are likely to be more or less effective under different circumstances? To tackle these complex questions and form a base of evidence to inform policy discussions and investment decisions, a RAND study collected and compared 20 years of data on 29 historical case studies of U.S. involvement in building partner capacity. In the process, it tested a series of validating factors and hypotheses (many of which are rooted in "common knowledge") to determine how they stand up to real-world case examples of partner capacity building. The results reveal nuances in outcomes and context, pointing to solutions and recommendations to increase the effectiveness of current and future U.S. initiatives to forge better relationships, improve the security and stability of partner countries, and meet U.S. policy and security objectives worldwide.
Introduction: Find the Right Ladder, Find the Right Rung
U.S. Department of Defense Efforts to Build Partner Capacity
Hypotheses and Factors: What Works Best for Building Partner Capacity, and Under What Circumstances?
Historical Cases and Case Selection
Analyses and Results
Conclusions and Recommendations
Subordinate Factors for the Modified DSART BPC Objectives
The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
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