DOD / NGO Relations and Stability, Security, Transition and Reconstruction Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa [open pdf - 171KB]
"Following the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the context of today's warfare has changed dramatically. The US finds herself engaged in struggles against nebulous enemies with no concept of or desire to 'fight fair'. On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda aptly demonstrated their lack of restraint in warfare by turning civilian planes full of innocent people into guided missiles directed at civilian institutions. On a smaller scale, they have regularly recruited and indiscriminately employed suicide bombers against local populations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Terror tactics are a weapon of the weak used to bring attention to a perceived injustice or cause. The attention generated aids in the recruiting of like-minded followers to that cause until its support gains enough parity with its opponent to meet force with force. For instance, terrorists like Al Qaeda are prepared to wage a long war against the West in an attempt to establish a new Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East. This type of asymmetric threat arguably represents the nature of warfare for Department of Defense (DOD) forces for the foreseeable future. DOD personnel must now equip, train, and organize to fight against a threat which does not respect state boundaries and shows no compunctions against indiscriminant use of violence (i.e. terrorism) to achieve their goals against a superior conventional power. In this long war, Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations tend to recruit and draw support from disenfranchised youths throughout the Muslim world. DOD forces can significantly decrease the recruitment base of terrorist organizations through strategic public health partnerships with NGOs [Non-Governmental Organizations] in unstable or failing Muslim states."
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College: http://www.cgsc.edu/