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Extending the Thin Blue Line: Constabulary Police Development in Phase Zero Operations

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2014,16 May 2015

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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After more than a decade of a war on terror, the United States Department of Defense has aggressively built foreign armed forces in an attempt to prevent the failure of struggling states, which often become safe havens for insurgent networks. In this quest to establish rule of law and legitimacy, the US government often focuses on strengthening host nation armies to promote internal and external security. Armies, however, do not experience the same degree of personal contact with a society, as does a police force. Ironically, police development is often an after-thought in nation building activity, in both preemptive and post combat stability operations. When proactive police development does occur, intergovernmental agencies or Special Operations Forces who lack practical policing experience and expertise often perform this task. In counterinsurgency operations, the support of a local population is the enemys center of gravity. In order to contain evolving terror and criminal networks in a Phase Zero environment, US statesmen and military leaders could deploy expeditionary US Army Military Police assets in conjunction with Special Operations Forces SOF, the US Department of State, and other intergovernmental agencies to train and develop constabulary police forces in unstable states. This combined effort would result in capable and robust police forces that are able to offer local populations security and safety. More importantly, foreign police would earn the trust and confidence of vulnerable local nationals, who tend to seek protection from insurgent networks in volatile states. Building constabulary police forces in a peacetime atmosphere is a way to deter internal conflict and insurgency before a state fails and requires the deployment of combat arms organizations and subsequent rebuilding.

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