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Policy and Research Papers

Defence White Papers in the Americas

In preparation for the October 2000 Defense Ministerial of the Americas (DMA) in Manaus Brazil and at the request of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) studied the global trend toward the creation of Defense White Papers. The study aimed to understand the nature of these documents in order to prepare the U.S. delegation to discuss the tendency in Latin America and the Caribbean during the DMA. The INSS study team found no agreement about what constitutes a 'white paper' other than each is a consensus statement on a topic. The team examined 15 defense documents worldwide and interviewed participants in the development process and independent analysts. The results suggest that the formative, often difficult, process through which governments must move to solidify their approach to national security defense policy, and the structure to implement it and build consensus for it is the essential part of a 'white paper,' providing a constructive experience that benefits the country. Governments tended not to want a template for this process, although at the working level there is some interest in the experience of other states. Defense White Papers become highly stylized nationalistic documents that reflect a state's unique domestic circumstances and international geopolitical situation. The attached chart provides an overview comparison of the Defense White Paper processes of Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Past efforts by U.S. agencies to design templates have failed.

Paper

Lessons from MoDA Continuing the Conversation on How to Advise Institution-building

This article highlights the lessons learned of the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) program. The MoDA program was based on a thorough needs assessment and extensive consultations with US, coalition, and Afghan stakeholders as well as possible support and service providers. The goal of the program is to help transform the key security ministries into more efficient, effective, and professional institutions, capable of inheriting and executing the overall national security mission by 2014.

Publication:

PRISM, Vol 3, No 3

Paper