Archive for October 22, 2010
Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Victor Arroyos fires the Navy’s Dazzler on the fantail of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to familiarize himself with the device. The Dazzler, a non-lethal weapon that can temporarily blind and disorient an assailant. It is also used for signaling.
The dazzler is a directed energy weapon that uses intense, laser-generated light that can temporarily blind or disorient people approaching a ship, base or checkpoint. Believed to first be employed by the British in the Falkland Islands War, dazzlers have been used by U.S. forces in Iraq to stop cars racing towards checkpoints.
The master-at-arms is a U.S. Navy rating or specialty focused on security, force protection, anti-terrorism and law enforcement duties. Oddly enough, the Navy’s master-at-arms school is located at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas – now known as Joint Base San Antonio.
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th fleet area of responsibility. To see a video of master-at-arms training, click here.
Food for Thought
This week 4GWAR made the rounds of the Washington policy institutions – think tanks – where reports were issued and discussions held on improving U.S. relations with the world’s biggest democracy and how to create police and law enforcement systems in under-developed countries in extremis. Details on each study will be appearing on 4GWAR next week.
A new Passage to India Urged
In advance of President Barack Obama’s planned state visit to India in November, a Washington think tank is urging the U.S. to strengthen ties with India, the world’s largest democracy.
One way for Washington to do that, says the Center for a New American Strategy (CNAS) is to “commit publicly and explicitly” to working with New Delhi to admit India as a permanent member of an enlarged United Nations Security Council.
The CNAS report, A Blueprint for the Future of India-U.S. Relations, also recommends seeking a broad expansion of bilateral trade with India, including a Bilateral Investment Treaty; increasing the security relationship between the two nations and liberalizing U.S. export controls to make it easier for India to purchase high tech weapons platforms and defense equipment.
Written by two former U.S. diplomatic troubleshooters – ambassadors Richard Armitage and R. Nicholas Burns – along with CNAS Senior Fellow Richard Fontaine, the report grew out of an eight-month review of U.S.-India relations by a 22-member non-partisan working group.
While the two countries are unlikely to ever become formal defense treaty allies, the security relationship has been growing between Washington and New Delhi for the past decades – especially since the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 – the report notes that the U.S. now holds more military exercises with India – one of the world’s nuclear-armed countries – than with any other country.
The 15-member U.N. Security Council includes five permanent members with veto powers: the U.S., China; Russia, Britain and France.
Creating Police Under Fire
A retired U.S. Army general, who oversaw programs to build law enforcement systems in Haiti in the 1990s and in Iraq during the 2007 “surge” in U.S. counter insurgency efforts says recruiting, training and deploying new police officers in a vacuum is a recipe for failure.
“Creating police is not a numbers game. Numbers are important but they do not determine effectiveness,” Lt. Gen. James Dubik (Ret.) writes in a new report in the Best Practices in Counterinsurgency series issued by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Dubik says creating a law enforcement system in a strife-torn nation is a multi-dimensional effort that should also include development of a prison system and a judiciary. “Police are only part of a nation’s law enforcement structures,” Dubik writes, adding: “Rule of law requires both courts and prisons. Efforts to establish an adjudication system and a confinement system must take place simultaneously with the police and law enforcement systems.”
But he acknowledges that development of those three entities won’t follow a uniform timeline – especially in countries where they either haven’t existed or have been weakened by corruption.
Dubik, who has visited Afghanistan annually since 2008 to study military and police programs there, says it’s also important to realize that in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, getting law enforcement up to the standards of developed countries will take time – a lot of time in some cases. But assisting entities like the U.S. or NATO countries shouldn’t allow those standards to delay progress that is “good enough for now, given the circumstances.”
Creating a national police force requires embedding advisors and assigning a partner unit, the report urges. That has often been hit or miss in Iraq and Afghanistan. Training Afghan police has been fragmented within the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTMA). The U.S. does not have a national, uniformed police force, so police training has been assigned to nations with a national gendarmerie like Italy and Germany.
One way to measure a police force’s improvement is feedback from those it is policing, the ISW reports says. It urges polling citizens as soon as possible to establish a baseline and measure progress.
Numerous officials from NTMA have told 4GWAR and other bloggers that Afghanistan’s police are not trusted by the local populace and don’t have a clear idea of the concept of serving and protecting the public.