Ties That Bind

Stimson Spotlight

From Afghanistan to Mali to Iraq, training and equipping other countries' militaries has a terrible track record. Why would we want to make it a permanent part of U.S. strategy?

This is an urgent memo to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees: Making Section 1206, a DoD program that trains and equips militaries around the world, a part of permanent law is a bad idea. Stop now, before it is too late.

You'll see what this is and why it is important in a minute. But first: This column is not about the bombing of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. I have my doubts about the effectiveness and the long-term consequences of the Obama effort to "ultimately destroy" IS. Thirteen years of U.S. military operations, including the training and arming of indigenous forces in Afghanistan did not eliminate the Taliban. And, clearly, 10 years of training and equipping forces in Iraq failed; they ran for it as soon as IS moved in.

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Photo credit: DVIDSHUB via flickr