Building better Armies

Building Better Armies: An Insider’s Account of Liberia By: Matthew Redding | SSR | Nov 20, 2013

Among the costly and drawn-out statebuilding projects in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, are few examples of security sector reform success stories. However, Liberia represents a qualified success in which it was able to rebuild its army “from the ground up” with the outside assistance of the United States and the private contracting firm DynCorp. This report, published by the Strategic Studies Institute and written by Sean McFate – Professor at the National Defence University and one of the architects of the security sector reform program in Liberia – provides a detailed case study of how success was achieved.

Through a merging of theory and practice, the publication explores disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform in Liberia, as well as the merits and disadvantages of privatizing these programs. Ultimately, McFate identifies a series of twenty-eight recommendations for practitioners, and an additional six for the U.S. Army in particular, on how to “build better armies” in the future.

The publication can be downloaded here