The partner predicament: US building partnership capacity, the War on Terrorism and what the US cannot overlook

Lt Col Michael C. Veneri, PhD

Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy 2011; 2:G7-17

This paper explores factors the United States should use to assess potential partners under its Building Partnership Capacity (BPC) endeavor used in the fi ght against terror. This paper examines two broad variable categories on which to base such evaluations: compliance and capability. In this context, this paper will focus upon guidelines and policy-based process to maximize scientifi c, technical and socio-cultural resource sharing, in building partnerships in the war on terror. A poor choice of partner has ramifi cations that cascades through US strategic, operation and tactical efforts. This paper explores the justifi cation for BPC and attempts to identify the minimum factors the US must examine prior to partnering with a country. This paper advocates more thoughtful consideration prior to committing signifi cant US government resources to another country. In order to avoid strategic mistakes, the US needs to evaluate potential partners carefully so that it does not fi nd itself mired in endless commitments and continuous counterinsurgency operations. Building partnership capacity requires strategic thinking by policymakers so the US does not fi nd itself partnered with a country that it cannot influence or simply lacks the capability to be an effective partner.


Key words: building partnership capacity, host nation, governance