Sunday, June 10, 2007

Marshal(l) Corps?

John Edwards has posted an interesting idea for counter-terrorism. While much of it has been deservedly trashed on the blogosphere, I think he may have a point.

"Marshall Corps": Weak and failing states create hotbeds for terrorism and create regional instability that creates security dangers for the U.S. and our allies. As president, Edwards will create a "Marshall Corps" of 10,000 professionals, modeled on the Reserves systems, who will work on stabilization and humanitarian missions. He will also implement new training for future military leadership and create a undersecretary for stabilization and a new senior stabilization position within the Joint Staff.

I think the Marshall Corps could work, if it was well-administered. This would be a force of police, reconstruction specialists, and emergency response personnel. All of these people would receive training to prepare them for hostile, lawless landscapes like Iraq... or post-Katrina New Orleans. This unit would be a deployable, non-military force that could operate inside or outside of the United States. They would also cross-train with current contractors and military personnel who have reconstruction related roles.

I'd like to see him actually detail it further. If he neglects the security element, it would be a waste of time. Does he mean Marshall as in Marshall plan or as in US Marshals? The latter would be more useful.

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