Female Engagement Teams: Making the Case for Institutionalization Based on U.S. Security Objectives in Africa
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
The U.S. military first began using Female Engagement Teams FET in Iraq in 2009 as a means to balance security concerns with cultural sensitivities form rightly followed function. Eventually it was recognized that FETs could be employed beyond conducting searches of the local female population, and their responsibilities grew to include activities such as community relationship building and connecting Afghan families to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. While it is clear that FETs can uniquely support a myriad of security objectives, the efficacy and effectiveness of their engagements rest on the assumptions that the teams are properly recruited, trained, and professionally incentivized. Moreover, their employment assumes that FETs actions support a well-articulated and well-understood strategy about how and why engaging female populations are good for the U.S. military, the women themselves, and the partner nation. Utilizing three case studies from the African continent, the author demonstrates the way in which FETs could and should be used to help accomplish U.S. security objectives in Africa. However, to ensure that future FET employments are as efficient and effective as possible, the FET capability needs to be institutionalized within the services -- the FET needs to be uniformly understood as a critical enabler versus a mandated tasking.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics