Clear, Hold, and Build: The Role of Culture in the Creation of Local Security Forces   [open pdf - 553KB]

"In Stability and Reconstruction Operations (SRO), the United States requires large and inexpensive forces that can operate effectively in protracted, low-intensity environments. Instead, the United States has developed its land forces so that they are optimized for operational maneuver and deployment from strategic distances. They are small, expensive, fast moving, firepower-intensive, and intended for short-duration engagements that seek to shatter similar enemy formations. The GWOT postulates successive campaigns for the foreseeable future; this will require the disengagement and reconstitution of forces between campaigns. If these campaigns are seen as large-scale counterinsurgent "clear and hold" operations, then the counterinsurgent principle of holding cleared areas to prevent re-infiltration of enemy forces becomes a concern. A third component, "build," is necessary to fill the vacuum left when U.S. forces depart. Local security forces are the key to holding these areas. These forces must be built to be culturally acceptable if they are to survive in the absence of their sponsor. Therefore, designing successful local security forces requires an in-depth understanding of the local culture. This monograph focuses on internal security formations that are categorized as "constabularies." The monograph defines the problem, examines the historic roles and elements of constabularies, identifies the elements common to successful constabularies, and lists cultural principles for establishing constabularies. It then illustrates these constructs by examining two case studies, Haiti in 1915-1934 and Morocco in 1907-1919. It concludes by discussing how successful constabularies allow sustained SRO operations over time at reduced political cost."

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Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
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