Revisiting a School of Military Government: How Reanimating a World War II-Era Institution Could Professionalize Military Nation Building
Rebecca Patterson, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
In the last decade, the United States has found itself fully immersed in nation building, despite its alleged distaste for such endeavors. U.S. military forces in particular have been at the center of these efforts, building schools in Iraq, staffing Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) throughout Afghanistan and training soldiers in Mozambique. U.S. Army platoon leaders hand out micro grants to small business owners and help stand up city councils. Civil servants who once trained for peacetime development work now find themselves mediating tribal disputes in remote mountain provinces. Regardless of the efficacy of such efforts, public statements by both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggest that nation building and related activities are preferred solutions in the war against terrorism. Yet despite the enormous complexity and ambition of such efforts, there remains a gap in the training and education for nation building.