January 26, 2013

America's History of Military Training Blunders

Steve Coll, New Yorker

AP Photo

The Pentagon has yet to meet a military in a desperately poor or hopelessly corrupt country that it does not believe it can train and equip to a professional standard. Pentagon training has in fact strengthened and stabilized professional militaries in many developing countries. Yet some of the militaries that the United States has mentored in North and West Africa are best understood as criminal organizations that happen to wear pressed uniforms and epaulets. The better that some of these students learn to shoot while at Fort Benning, and the better the equipment they receive as favored clients, the more effective they become at their enduring vocations—drug smuggling, coup-making, and profitable collusion with pirates and terrorists.

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TAGGED: Algeria, Africa, Mali, United States

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