Determining A Doctrine Road-Ahead
by Major Derek C. Jenkins, Small Wars Journal
There is confusion and a disconnect between Security Force Assistance (SFA) and Foreign Internal Defense (FID). It is unclear how or if they support an overarching theme. For years the US Armed Forces have used the FID construct to describe how the military element of US foreign policy supports internal security assistance to friendly nations. Recently, the Secretary of Defense (SecDEF) promulgated a newer, larger construct called SFA. Many in the military view SFA as when U.S. and partner forces rebuild security infrastructure during stability, security, transition, and reconstruction operations.
The new paradigm comes from a realization as spelled out in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), that the U.S. must train partner forces rather than just provide security for them. This grew out of a void in our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. No secret here, the QDR states that we need "multipurpose forces to train, equip, and advise" and "deploy and engage with partner nations" . As a result the SecDEF created the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance (JCISFA) in 2006. This center is the U.S. Armed Forces focal point for SFA.
This paper will frame the basics for comparison between the current paradigm (FID) and the new one (SFA). Then it will describe why both of these elements fit under a Building Partnership (BP) framework. This framework should be clearly and appropriately described in one doctrinal theme.