BECAUSE I ATTEND graduate school in the 1990s, it was not unusual that I studied democratization in Eastern Europe and Latin America like many scholars of my generation. After all, the democratic transformation movements of the 1990s were the most significant events in comparative and international politics. Although good governance and transformation politics is an important field, changes in foreign policy in the 2000s highlighted the effects of weak states on international security. So while I took a “governance first” approach in my early work, my recent work has been focused on security first. This book is a comprehensive effort to understand why security has become a more important export from the United States than democracy is. Simply put, without security, democratization and development are not possible.
With a strong background and a deep belief in the importance of good governance, universal human rights, and democracy, I am also keenly aware of the dangers of arming repressive regimes, training militaries that are not grounded in civilian control, or upsetting regional balances of power that could lead to war. Like my critics, I too worry that the military's role in national policy has been changing. Yet, as insurgents, pirates, terrorists, gangs, and organized crime networks in once faraway lands challenge United States' partners and threaten regional stability, promoting partners' militaries has become essential for U.S. national security. Different from direct action or counterinsurgency, security assistance programs attempt to strengthen the partner to provide for its own security, thus enabling political and economic development. To export security, the United States military is gradually shifting from a combat force designed for major war against external threats to a mentor force engaged in cooperation.
As a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, I have learned of how the U.S. military is changing from my military officer students and my own efforts to work with similar colleges around the world. In many ways, the U.S. military's strategy is catching up with U.S. allies such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)