Though Politically Attractive, U.S. ‘Train and Equip’ Missions Often Disappoint

Afghan army soldiers get shooting instructions at a training facility in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2013 (AP photo by Anja Niedringhaus).
Afghan army soldiers get shooting instructions at a training facility in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2013 (AP photo by Anja Niedringhaus).

It seems the default policy recommendation of much of the U.S. foreign policy community these days to the outbreak of any sort of violence in another part of the world is for the United States to “train and equip” local forces. It is not difficult to see why this option is so attractive to Washington policymakers. It allows the U.S. to be seen as “doing something” to respond to far-off crises, but without having to cross the momentous political line of putting “boots on the ground.” Instead, “train and equip” pairs advanced U.S. military technology with non-Americans who are willing […]

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