Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The American Military Advisor: Dealing with Senior Foreign Officials in the Islamic World
Although the role of the military advisor to senior foreign officials is honored in political history, it became almost a forgotten art when it was needed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whatever the past, the American military services are now fully engaged in nation-building in the Iraqi and Afghan conflict zones, and the advisory responsibility seems certain to be needed elsewhere as well. Advisors have become an invaluable part of the nation-building process, and whether they are assigned to counsel and work with governors, generals, or Cabinet Ministers, their role has decided impact on America’s overall political and military strategy. This guidebook draws on the experiences of diplomats and military officers who have served in such advisory roles, and whose work with senior foreign officials was carried out in conflict zones at critical times. Although the examples are drawn from life in the Islamic world, the precepts have widespread application, and the examples will be an important part of any advisor’s--be he military or civilian--preparation for his mission.