Evaluating the Impact of the Department of Defense Regional Centers for Security Studies

Evaluating the Impact of the Department of Defense Regional Centers for Security Studies

Larry Hanauer
Stuart E. Johnson
Christopher J. Springer
Chaoling Feng
Michael J. McNerney
Stephanie Pezard
Shira Efron
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 186
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  • Book Info
    Evaluating the Impact of the Department of Defense Regional Centers for Security Studies
    Book Description:

    The five U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Regional Centers for Security Studies have been helping partner nations build strategic capacity for almost 20 years. They are high-impact components of U.S. security cooperation and engagement efforts, despite their relatively small budgets. This study analyzes the centers’ contributions to DoD policy priorities and the ways in which they assess their programs.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8649-5
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxvi)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxix-xxxiv)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The five Department of Defense (DoD) Regional Centers for Security Studies are key tools for building strategic capacity among partner nation security establishments, establishing professional networks and communities of interests, and promoting U.S. values and policies among senior- and mid-level officials from partner nations. The centers work to advance policy priorities stated by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and security cooperation objectives identified by the regional combatant commands (COCOMs). They are prominent and high-profile components of overall U.S. security cooperation and engagement efforts, despite their modest budget of $84.2 million for the entire enterprise in fiscal year...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Regional Center Missions and Histories
    (pp. 7-18)

    This chapter provides a brief history of each of the RCs, including the policy imperatives for founding them, the roles they have played in supporting U.S. policy, and adjustments that have been made in response to changes in both the security environment and in U.S. policy.

    The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, followed in 1991 by the breakup of the Soviet Union. Free from control of Moscow, a number of Central and Eastern European countries set out to form democratic governments and to become part of the Euro-Atlantic community. NATO member nations supported these broad strategic goals but felt that...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Regional Center Management and Guidance
    (pp. 19-38)

    The governance structure for the regional center enterprise and the policy guidance given to the centers have changed a number of times in the past decade—sometimes reflecting changes in the national security environment and sometimes reflecting a desire on OSD’s part to clarify its priorities. OSD has issued a series of DoD Directives (DoDDs) and memos from senior policy officials that have changed the centers’ command structures, altered their relationships with their key stakeholders, and in some cases caused a measure of confusion over whether the centers are primarily educational institutions, security engagement resources, or policy tools. OSD has...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Regional Center Activities
    (pp. 39-52)

    In 2004, OSD Policy updated its formal management of the RCs, directing them to accomplish their mission “through education, exchanges, research, and information sharing” and to do this “by assisting military and civilian leaders in the region in developing strong defense establishments and strengthening civil-military relations in a democratic society.”¹

    By contrast, the proposed revision to DoDD 5200.41 develops a broad framework for the ways in which the RCs are to accomplish their mission. According to the most current version of the draft, the RCs are to “[d]evelop and implement activities consistent with guidance from the USD(P), in coordination with...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Regional Center Business Practices and Management
    (pp. 53-78)

    All of the RCs undertake similar management and administrative efforts, such as developing course curricula, selecting students, and reaching out to alumni. The centers manage these processes differently because they operate in different political and cultural environments. An examination of the centers’ varied approaches can help identify best practices that could be more widely applied.

    In accordance with the annual DSCA Guidance for Program Planning, RC staff and faculty at all of the centers develop concept papers for each academic program in which they describe each program’s objectives, target audiences, topics, expected accomplishments, and indicators of success. These papers also...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Regional Centers′ Impacts
    (pp. 79-108)

    Interviews with RC stakeholders throughout OSD and the COCOMs revealeduniversalagreement that (1) the centers make positive contributions to U.S. interests, and (2) they are cost-effective ways of advancing DoD security cooperation and engagement objectives. Indeed, one senior OSD official, referencing APCSS in particular, stated that the center “is a prime example of an innovative, low-cost, small-footprint approach to implementing our defense priorities,”¹ echoing the strategy for building partner capacity that is called for in the January 2012Defense Strategic Guidance.² Not surprisingly, RC directors and staffs wholeheartedly agreed.

    For reasons that will be discussed in detail in a...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Improving Measurement of Impact
    (pp. 109-124)

    The RCs are charged with shaping the ways partner nation officials think about national security challenges, building relationships, and promoting systemic but subtle reforms in partners’ security establishments. These outcomes are difficult to measure and even more difficult to attribute directly to RCs’ efforts. So it is not surprising that the centers have had difficulty measuring their success.

    This chapter examines some of the obstacles to evaluating the long-term impact of programs like those undertaken by the RCs. In an effort to identify potential lessons learned from other program assessment efforts, it describes some of the ways in which other...

  15. CHAPTER EIGHT Maximizing Future Impact
    (pp. 125-144)

    The five RCs have a strong track record of running a wide range of programs that are well-received by participants, valued by stakeholders, and operated at a modest cost. The vast majority of people familiar with the RC enterprise offer praise for its contributions to U.S. national security objectives, though few have been able to measure those contributions with fidelity. A rigorous performance measurement process can help the centers enhance their programs, magnify their impacts, and, should cuts be necessary, identify which programs can be eliminated or curtailed to generate the greatest savings with the least adverse effects.

    This chapter...

  16. References
    (pp. 145-152)