Understanding Law Enforcement Support to National Security Problems and Prospects   [open pdf - 692KB]

"This paper explores law enforcement as an element of national power, defines its contributions, limitations, and challenges, and provides recommendations to maximize interagency competencies and unity of effort to strengthen foreign rule of law functions. The thesis of this research is as follows: U.S. strategy and organizational approach to conducting foreign law enforcement assistance indirectly limits the effectiveness of overseas programs. Enhancing the capacity of U.S. foreign partners to maintain law and order within their own borders reduces the potential impacts of transnational crime in the United States. The lack of operational-level planning and an organizational construct to implement complex national security foreign law enforcement assistance strategies has resulted in ad-hoc coordinating mechanisms that don't capitalize on the synergistic potential of the national and international law enforcement communities or other elements of national power. The study is a comparative analysis of the ends, ways, and means of the national and departmental strategies relating to foreign law enforcement assistance and the effectiveness of overseas law enforcement capacity-building programs. The research expands upon the 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report Combating Terrorism: Law Enforcement Agencies Lack Directives to Assist Foreign Nations to Identify, Disrupt, and Prosecute Terrorists. The author concludes that the overall effectiveness of law enforcement assistance programs has been limited by a lack of overseas coordination and oversight. The long-term solution will require new organizational concepts that fully integrate civilian and military competencies."

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