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Why Training Fails

By Nardisoero – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47203354

My latest at 1945 touches on a topic that I’ve been working on since grad school:

Can the United States build an army in a foreign country? Recent experience in Afghanistan suggests that the answer is a resounding “no,” and experiences in Iraq and South Vietnam did not offer much more promise. And yet the United States spends an enormous amount of time and money interacting with foreign militaries, and there are plenty of examples from history in which armies and navies have successfully trained foreign partners in new kinds of fighting. Under what conditions can foreign influence successfully build an army?

Studying vicarious learning among military organizations is something that I’ve been doing since late antiquity (that is, graduate school). Along the way there were a couple of stillborn projects on the US military and the Afghan security forces that will probably now never get revisited in any kind of detail. Nevertheless, obviously interesting and important stuff, and there’s some good work out there on the subject.

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