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Saturday, 24th November 2007

The Pentagon and Global Development: Making Sense of the DoD's Expanding Role

The Pentagon and Global Development: Making Sense of the DoD's Expanding Role
Source: Center for Global Development

In this new working paper, CGD research fellow Stewart Patrick and program associate Kaysie Brown look at the budget numbers to see what foreign policy and development activities DoD is engaged in, and where. They find the overwhelming bulk of ODA provided directly by DoD goes to Iraq and Afghanistan, which are violent environments that require the military to take a lead role through instruments like Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and the use of Commanders' Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds. The authors argue that this funding surge is likely to disappear when the U.S. involvement in both wars ends. However, they also find that beyond these two conflicts, DoD is expanding its operations in the developing world to include activities that may be more appropriately undertaken by U.S. civilian actors, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Department of State. These initiatives include the use of Section 1206 authorities to train and equip foreign security forces, the establishment of the new Combatant Command for Africa (AFRICOM), and the administration's Building Global Partnerships Act. The authors caution against a growing DoD aid role outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, for fear that a short-term security agenda will exacerbate the longstanding and glaring imbalance between the military and civilian components of the U.S. approach to state-building in the developing world, and may undermine long-term U.S. foreign policy and development objectives to advance security, good governance and growth.

+ Full Paper (PDF; 307 KB)


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