National Guard State Partnership Program: Element of Smart Power   [open pdf - 424KB]

From the thesis abstract: "As the nation confronts its current economic crisis, the Department of Defense faces budget reductions between four hundred billion and one trillion dollars over the next ten years. Yet in spite of constrained resources the United States must continue to meet National Security challenges in this 'era of persistent conflict'. The strategy to meet these challenges and overcome diminished capacity will rely more heavily than ever on security cooperation, engagement and building partner capacities. Gaining security cooperation and aiding partner nations to develop themselves is a way to shape the environment, deter conflict and assure access and assistance in the event of conflict. For nearly two decades, the National Guard State Partnership Program has done all of this and more. Since long before the term 'smart power' was coined, the State Partnership Program has evolved, almost imperceptibly, as a means to employ a 'whole of society' approach to building partner capacity. This paper will demonstrate that the State Partnership Program is an effective and economical tool that facilitates a bridge between military engagement and civilian diplomacy in support of the National Security Policies of the United States."

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