What Is 'Building Partner Capacity?' Issues for Congress [December 18, 2015]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Since 2001, successive U.S. administrations have increasingly prioritized efforts to build foreign security forces--particularly in weak and failing states--arguing that doing so advances U.S. national security objectives. In turn, the Department of Defense (DOD) has invested billions of dollars in 'Building Partner Capacity,' a term that refers to a broad set of missions, programs, activities, and authorities intended to improve the ability of other nations to achieve those security-oriented goals they share with the United States. As a consequence, these efforts and programs have been a growing focus of Congressional attention. […] The increasing emphasis that the U.S. government is placing on BPC [Building Partner Capacity] as a means to achieve strategic goals, combined with the paucity of the literature on this subject, prompted CRS to explore the historical track record of BPC efforts to help determine whether they produced outcomes consistent with U.S. strategic objectives. […] Given that U.S. leaders often argue that a BPC effort could help accomplish more than one of the above goals, determining what constitutes the 'primary' strategic objective for a given BPC effort required analytic judgment. CRS organized the cases according to public statements at the time, with particular attention paid to how leaders described the purpose of the BPC effort. Effectiveness was judged based on two criteria: whether the strategic goal was achieved, and whether the effort produced unintended consequences that were obviously and meaningfully damaging to U.S. national interests."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44313
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
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