Small Wars Journal

advisors

The Case for Maintaining an Advisory Presence in Afghanistan

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 9:35am
Barring an unforeseen event or shift in policy, it seems likely that by May 2021, the United States will remove its military forces from Afghanistan. Despite claims of progress, the United States and its allies have undeniably made many mistakes over the past two decades. Some commentators have argued that Afghanistan has been an “undeniable failure.” While many commentators and policymakers have focused on getting out of Afghanistan, the past shows the potentially devastating consequences such actions could bring. Instead, the United States and its NATO allies should consider leaving a small presence of advisors to support institutional development at the ministries and institutions.

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Enabling the Success of the Army’s Security Force Assistance Brigades

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 11:10am
It is our responsibility to establish and foster a new culture unique to military advisers. A culture built around the small unit construct present in special operations units but ultimately unique. A culture that can enable joint operations, build capacity by identifying indigenous solutions to indigenous problems and who are confident working with partners outside the norm of typical combat operations.

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Tactical Advising is Not the Problem: How to Get Security Force Training Right SWJED Thu, 09/12/2019 - 1:29pm
Advising foreign forces is hard, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing it. Since the inception of the Military Transition Team (MiTT) early in the Iraq war people who were disgruntled by the fact they had to serve on one or didn’t understand how they worked would rail against their existence.
An Advisory Capacity: The Wider Ramifications of Security Force Assistance Brigades in Afghanistan SWJED Fri, 02/15/2019 - 5:15am
The long-term deployment and regenerative capabilities of SFABs creates an opportunity to capitalize on situations short of conflict. According to USAID, premature attempts at democratization resulted mainly from failures to “develop the political and social infrastructure to a level that could absorb (manage, resolve or transform) the conflicts that arose” prior to hosting elections.
Strategic Advising: Should it be Transactional or Transformative? SWJED Wed, 12/12/2018 - 6:35pm
The purpose of this paper is to offer some thoughts and, hopefully, stimulate debate about the Department of Defense’s collective advising efforts over the last fifty plus years; of which I have been a witness from Vietnam to Afghanistan.
The Definition of Advisor: Comprehending the Mission to Advise Foreign Security Forces SWJED Tue, 12/04/2018 - 9:18am
Military writing requires that the bottom line be stated up front. Here is the bottom line: an advisor is a person lawfully tasked and employed to provide expert advice and counsel to Foreign Security Force officials, representatives, and influencers; through the establishment or continuance of interpersonal relationships founded on mutual trust and respect.” For some reading this, that definition may seem obvious; for others it may seem almost counterintuitive. Our considerably diverse comprehension of what an advisor actually is was the motivation for writing this article.
Afghan-Born Soldier Returns Home to be Advisor with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade SWJED Thu, 11/08/2018 - 11:23am
Now based at the New Kabul Compound in the middle of the country's capital city, SGT Zabi Abraham is one of the most impactful advisors within the brigade's 5th Battalion. Often, he is at the battalion commander's side, translating conversations between him and senior Afghan leaders.
The Ministry of Defense Advisors Training Program: Preparing Advisors to Have Strategic Impact SWJED Wed, 09/26/2018 - 1:00am
For those in “the advising business,” this is an exciting time. During the past year, beginning with the Secretary of Defense, leaders throughout the Defense Establishment have articulated the compelling need to best prepare the advisors – civilian and military – that we deploy to theaters of operation and distant countries worldwide.