Winning the Peace: The Strategic Implications of Military Civic Action

Winning the Peace: The Strategic Implications of Military Civic Action

Winning the Peace: The Strategic Implications of Military Civic Action

Winning the Peace: The Strategic Implications of Military Civic Action

Synopsis

A group of experts debates the future role of Military Civic Action as a way to retain an American military presence around the world, bolster emergent democracies, assist other militaries in their transition to "democratic military professionalism," reinforce the humanitarian efforts of USAID and private volunteer organizations, train U.S. units for worldwide flexible missions, and protect the world from environmental degradation and the scourge of drug abuse. Special emphasis is placed on Latin America as the ideal focus for Military Civic Action during the 1990s.

Excerpt

The chapters of this volume were assembled during 1989 and early 1990. This was a time when commentators were discussing the "peace dividend," and Congress was planning for force reductions. Citizens at every level of U.S. society were questioning the need for a large military force after the so-called liberalization of the "Evil Empire." This question guided us in the choice of authors.

Two unifying threads run through this volume. One is the notion that the United States can never be at peace until the world community addresses the disparity between the rich and poor nations. Another is that in order to maintain U.S. security, selected and trained Reserve and National Guard components, such as Civil Affairs units, will be needed to serve in the construction of peace as well as in the destruction of war. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the aftermath of the 1991 military action in the Persian Gulf -- Desert Storm. The list of experts drawn from the Reserves and National Guard who worked with the Kuwaiti government, armed forces, and citizenry to restore order ranged from those in the more traditional engineering and medical disciplines to less obvious, such as those in the judicial sciences and art preservation. Active-duty military and Department of Defense civilians worked to assess and clean up the environmental damage; combat units, assisted by engineer and logistics units, worked with the Turkish military to protect, house, and feed Kurdish refugees. Such a concerted effort in military civic action had not been seen since the rebuilding of South Korea (discussed in Chapter 2).

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