A Building Partner Capacity Assessment Framework
Aug 21, 2015
Strategic imperatives sometimes compel the United States to work with partner nations that lack the characteristics that favor success in building partner capacity. This report explores what the United States can do in such contexts to maximize prospects for success by specifically looking at potential challenges and workarounds and deriving recommendations for future engagements.
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For both diplomatic and national security reasons, security cooperation continues to be important for the United States. The needs and existing capabilities of various nations differ, however, as will results. In previous research, RAND identified a series of factors that correlate with the success of building partner capacity (BPC) efforts. Some of these are under U.S. control, and some are inherent in the partner nation or under its control. Strategic imperatives sometimes compel the United States to work with PNs that lack favorable characteristics but with which the United States needs to conduct BPC anyway. This report explores what the United States can do, when conducting BPC in challenging contexts, to maximize prospects for success. The authors address this question using the logic model outlined in a companion report and examining a series of case studies, looking explicitly at the challenges that can interfere with BPC. Some of the challenges stemmed from U.S. shortcomings, such as policy or funding issues; others from the partner's side, including issues with practices, personalities, baseline capacity, and lack of willingness; still others from disagreements among various stakeholders over objectives and approaches. Among the factors correlated with success in overcoming these challenges were consistency of funding and implementation, shared security interests, and matching objectives with the partner nation's ability to absorb and sustain capabilities.
Insights from Building Partner Capacity in Four Contextually Challenging Cases
Contextual Challenges, Disrupters, and Workarounds
Catalog of Identified Disrupters
This research was sponsored jointly by the Joint Staff J5, the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and was conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
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