Friday, 25 February 2011

Good unit climate

What is the essence of a 'good climate' that promotes esprit and gives birth to 'high performing units'? It is probably easier to feel or sense than to describe. It doesn't take long for most experienced people to take its measure. There is a pervasive sense of mission. There is a common agreement on what are the top priorities. There are clear standards. Competence is prized and appreciated. There is a willingness to share information. There is a sense of fair play. There is joy in teamwork. There are quick and convenient ways to attack nonsense and fix aberrations in the system. There is a sure sense of rationality and trust. The key to the climate is leadership in general, and senior leadership in particular.

- Lt Gen Walter Ulmer

H/t The Best Defence

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse

David Nyheim, author of Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse explains that new early warning systems and greater political will are necessary to head off violent conflict.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Measuring aid impact

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

What is foreign aid for?

Strategic investment. Foreign aid helps countries whose interests align with our own increase their capacities. The United States gives money to help select countries -- not the entire world -- improve specific abilities, like their ability to provide public security, defend their borders, or buy and sell goods.

The U.S. is not trying to change people's heart or minds, contrary to the bribery view. It is only trying to change their capacity. Additionally, this view helps the U.S. prioritize which countries should get aid, and what kind, contrary to the charity view.