Peacekeeping: Another Good Deed No Longer Punished


June 24, 2008:  For U.S. Army officers, spending time training foreign soldiers, as part of some peacekeeping operation, will no longer be career suicide. Until recently, such duty did not count towards promotion, as much as time spent commanding a unit.


But one of the most important peacekeeping tasks is training the locals to take care of their own security. For the U.S., normally, the Special Forces takes care of this sort of thing. Such training duty is simply one of the jobs that Special Forces operators are prepared to take care of. But when there's a really big operation, like Iraq or Afghanistan, regular army officers are sent off on these training missions as well. This is important work, as the sooner the locals can deal with security problems, the quicker American troops can leave. But until the recent change, army officers saw such training chores as another example of "no good deed goes unpunished." But with a simple change to the formula used to determine eligibility for promotion, trainers get rewarded for their efforts, even though most would rather be commanding American troops.



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