I sit at my desk staring at a picture collage of Somalia. A family crowds around a soldier, who seems to be asking them questions or directing them somewhere. Military personnel gather together to receive orders. Somalis work together to carry bags of rice. To me, this is a false pretense of what truly happened in Somalia. Today, Somalia is still broken. Rifts between clan leaders, warlords, and faction leaders make it difficult to reconcile and unite. The United States and the international community have utterly failed in Somalia.
The US Army is known for its pugnacious nature. It is extremely effective in infiltration and lethality. But once the dust settles and the bullets stop, the US Army stands bewildered and uncertain of their next step. This is often the case when the US Army deploys into places. I’ve been told at the US Army War College (AWC) that the US Army does not lack in its pugilistic techniques but rather in its remedial techniques. The remedial terms used at the AWC are Stabilization and Reconstruction. There are many manuals on Stabilization and Reconstruction. The issue lies in the subservience and application of these manuals in the field. The elites in the Army know this.
Strife exists between the US Army and other governmental organizations. Known as the Big Dog, because of its distinguished budget, the US Army thinks it is in charge. Yet, the Army has no expertise, no experience, and no finesse in Stabilization and Reconstruction. It is debated that such delicate procedures should be left at the hands of organizations with the like of USAID and such.
This problem is alike to the bully at the playground or the know-it-all in the group project. Progress will be halted if the bully is allowed to bully and if the know-it-all takes command and restricts everyone’s participation in the project.
It is disturbing to see that such basic communicative problems still occur at such an important level of the global community.