Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
The State of Military to Military Intellectual Cooperative Programs
Mr. Lester W. Grau
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
the System of European Security" in May 1995.
It is indeed encouraging that, despite the budgetary problems of the past few years the climate for fostering positive military to military cooperative programs remains. The Foreign Military Studies Office, National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies, and a host of military research organizations in central and eastern European states have initial steps to develop appropriate cooperative programs. Many of these programs are based on formal written agreements; others on unwritten understandings reached between organizations whose official position precludes formal agreement at this time. Whether formal or informal, these agreements are producing definite positive results. In my view, however, these results fall far short of what can be or needs to be done. Unfortunately, what has been achieved to date represents only a beginning. Much of what has transpired has been in word and on paper rather than in deed.
There are many causes for our failure to convert theory into practice. Some are practical and result naturally from the diverse and often difficult conditions which characterize our time. Others reflect the circumstances in which we have to work. The most vexing and frustrating are those political and budgetary restrictions which limit our cooperative activity. More understandable, but nevertheless equally frustrating, are the limitations which the restrictive size of our organizations have imposed on our activity. And since our organizations are part of shrinking national military establishments, this state is likely to endure. These harsh realities impel us to work that much harder to make our efforts a success and to prevail in our goal to achieve positive and productive cooperation despite the many impediments in our path. Despite this somewhat negative introduction, during the past years much has been proposed and much has been achieved. But there is also much that remains to be done.
Over the course of the past three years, the Foreign Military Studies Office, its researchers, and those of cooperating organizations have traveled extensively throughout central and eastern Europe, carrying an ambitious proposal for the creation of cooperative links with foreign military research organizations. We have been joined in that effort by INSS. The U.S. Army is also engaged in a variety of cooperative programs which range from visits to joint peacekeeping exercises and student exchanges. Our collective hope was that these links would ultimately produce a network of cooperating organizations, which could then jointly discuss those key military security issues which characterize our times and will shape our future. Subsequent publication of the results of this research and discussion would then inform the general public and policy makers alike of the nature of these key issues and the varying perspectives on them. The presumption was that a better educated population and political and military leadership could deal with the many problems which confront us in more enlightened fashion. We believe that this assumption remains valid.
To achieve these ends FMSO has spent virtually the entirety of its limited budget on travel to implement this ambitious, but essential, program. When moneys were inadequate to fulfill the task, we borrowed money from others. Through those efforts we were able to carry our proposals to a modest number of key states in central and eastern Europe, Latin America, Japan and South Africa.
The proposals we made were modest in terms of scope, but ambitious in terms of execution. Originally described as simple forms of communication, these proposals, arranged in order of increasing comprehensiveness and complexity, were as follows:
* sharing of materials: archival, narrative, and analytical;
* conduct of joint conferences and symposia;
* exchange of written products (for publication);
* joint sponsorship of book projects (official or commercial);
* publication of articles (in official or commercial venues);
* networking of editorial boards (journals);
* joint research on unique or common themes for joint or individual use;
* exchange of lecturers;
* exchange of researchers (fellowships);
* conduct of staff ride exchanges battlefield tours);
* reciprocal exchanges of students and instructors (fellowships).
We originally described these measures as easily definable and achievable, provided the will and resources were available to achieve them. While the will was ever present, the resources have not always been.
FMSO's original cooperative program, prepared and circulated in 1992, ended with the following ambitious proposals:
1. Identification of military and civilian research organizations, individuals, and journals which wish to cooperate.
2. Exchange of correspondence and conduct of liaison visits between potential cooperating organizations.
3. Formation of a standing committee made up of the heads or representatives of cooperating organizations and designate points of contact.
4. Development of a list of subjects suitable for joint research, discussion, and publication and initiate joint research and publication projects.
5. Immediate exchange of editorial board members of appropriate participating military journals (the FMSO-sponsored Journal of Slavic Military Studies, European Security, and Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement) and commence an exchange of articles for publication.
6. Investigation and development of publishing conduits for the research work (articles and books, joint or individual) of cooperating organizations.
7. Organization of a series of annual conferences or symposia to focus cooperative efforts.
8. Development of a list of researchers and establishment of a "fellows" program for research exchanges between cooperating organizations on a reciprocal basis for a negotiated period (3-12 months) in pursuit of specific research aims agreed upon by cooperating organizations.
9. Organization of a "speakers exchange" program of candidates drawn from participating organizations for the benefit of these or other organizations.
As a measure of our commitment and to underscore the importance of the cooperative program, we recommended a timetable be established as a guide for its implementation.
At this juncture it would be worthwhile to examine how much of that program has been realized.
While the bulk of the cooperative program has not been achieved, many positive measures have been undertaken. The best way to measure the relative success of the program is to evaluate the success of each of the proposals, the problems we have encountered with each, and how we can best circumvent or overcome the problems.
We did have major success in identifying organizations and individuals who wished to cooperate, and we have conducted liaison meetings with those organizations. Most have designated appropriate points of contact to develop subsequent cooperative projects. We have not, however, developed a mechanism for effecting joint research planning and coordination of mutual research efforts.
One of the most positive developments has concerned the use of FMSO's journals as a conduit for materials produced by our joint efforts. The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, the journal European Security and the journal Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement now include editorial board members from many of the cooperating organizations. These journals have published numerous articles by authors from many nations on a wide variety of military security issues. In particular, the article exchange program with Polish military research organizations has evolved extremely well thanks to the constructive work of Colonel K. Sikorski and his colleagues. We have been able to publish numerous Polish articles in Military Review. We also published Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Indian, Sri Lankan, Peruvian and El Salvadorian articles in our journals and look forward to publishing many more. Translation remains a limiting factor, but so far we have been able to overcome translation difficulties.
Book publishing remains a problem. Due to budgetary problems, many of the presses affiliated with military schools, colleges and universities are out of business and the surviving are struggling to survive. Commercial publication is a problem since most publishing houses will not absorb translation costs. Despite this, FMSO is publishing a joint Frunze Academy-FMSO book on Soviet Tactics in Afghanistan in October 1995. FMSO is currently preparing another Frunze book on the principles of tactics for publication next year and is working with the Russian author on commercial publication of an operational history of the 40th Army in Afghanistan.
This conference, itself, represents the hope of our efforts to conduct international conferences on key military security themes. The Garmisch Conference of April 1992, the Prague Conference of 1993 and this conference stand as models of what can be achieved. Creation of the Marshall Center with its major conference facility should foster greater emphasis on such conferences in the future.
Our failure to organize of an active "exchange fellows" program of visiting researchers in our respective states has been frustrating. Although we have organized initial researcher trips and planned for such exchanges, lack of requisite funding has thwarted implementation of the program. Thus we have had to satisfy ourselves with short term exchange visits only. On the other hand, the "speakers exchange' program has evolved in healthy fashion because of effective support from and cooperation between FMSO and INSS.
In summary, we have achieved something in each area of the proposed program. Each area now needs refinement and greater attention so that tentative beginnings can be transformed into solid ongoing programs.
The problems we face in implementing this cooperative program are probably universal in that they affect every military research organization in the U.S. and abroad. In general, they reflect the combination of a lack of will, personnel, or funds to realize these joint cooperative projects. Political change has affected all nations. Although much of this change has been positive, in some cases adjustment to post-Cold War realities has been difficult and has had negative connotations. On the one hand, there are those who view eastern European states through the old Cold War prism and, hence, look askance at cooperation. Others have been gripped by post-Cold War euphoria and deny the necessity of any further military spending, even if it is in the spirit of understanding and cooperation. Set against the backdrop of diminished military establishments, these tendencies have starved those few organizations in the military seeking to implement cooperative programs.
In 1991 FMSO spent its entire meager travel budget on cooperative ventures. In 1992 it spent its entire travel and contract budget on similar efforts. In 1993 FMSO borrowed money to survive. 1994 and 1995 have been a continual battle for survival. FMSO's future efforts to pursue cooperation, and even analytical work will depend directly on the Army's ability to invest shrinking resources and the government's willingness to continue to sponsor and support such efforts. Personnel problems are also vexing. The decrease in Army strength has decimated trained analytical personnel and linguists and unless drastic measures are taken to solve this problem, there will be no organizations or personnel available to manage, conduct, and develop the cooperative program.
In this regard, we have actively promoted the idea of international research cooperation to the Army leadership and anyone else who would listen. it may be time for those with whom we cooperate to add their voice to our appeal lest the program itself suddenly disappear.
Other problems have been primarily technical, involving such difficulties as poor telephonic and electronic communications; the slowness of the mails, which inhibits prompt exchange of written materials; and physical limits on travel to effect various elements of the program. These are problems which can be overcome if the more fundamental challenges addressed above can be mastered.
First and foremost, to endure, the cooperative program must receive official sanction from above, namely from our military and political masters. Clearly this sanction and support is essential for us to receive the fiscal and manpower resources necessary for the program to survive. With that support the prospects for success are immense; without it they are bleak indeed.
If the necessary support is forthcoming, major elements of the initial proposal should be strengthened. This includes:
- continued identification of organizations which wish to cooperate,
- continued and even expanded regular liaison visits,
-identification of points of contact where they do not already exist,
- building of foreign editorial board membership for FMSO journals,
- continued organization and conduct of annual conferences,
-broadening of the "speakers exchange" program, and
-expansion of the exchange program for journal articles.
In addition, it is time to move on unrealized projects from the initial proposal and new projects which now seem to have merit. These include:
-exchange of organizational research plans and negotiation of joint and
complementary research, and
-initiation of the 'visiting follows' program for research and/or teaching.
With proper support all of these projects are possible. The need clearly exists. Only the will and resources are necessary to bring them to fruition.