"Military partnerships today are more important than ever before. America’s current national strategy, coupled with global fiscal and political problems, makes it unlikely Americans will deploy unilaterally to address the security challenges of the 21st century. Yet, we consistently seem surprised by the presence of partners. These partnerships may be with individual allies or host nations, or as part of a military coalition or alliance within a broader interagency group. While we pay lip service to ‘partnership’, the US military is still used to being the dominant player… the 600 pound gorilla in the room that expects everyone else to conform to how we do business, use our terminology and commit to our priorities. This ‘reality’ is changing. Increasingly, we fall in on someone else’s operation; no longer is it a given that we will be the lead nation. More and more, our role today is to provide a unique niche or support capability that our partners lack, such as our intelligence support, aerial refueling and strategic lift in the Libya and Mali interventions. How we do business with our partners must mature and evolve to be effective in this environment. We must learn to be better partners."
James Howcroft is a former Marshall Center professor. He is also a DIA-certified master educator assigned to the United States European and Africa Commands’ Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility (RJITF) located in the United Kingdom. Mr. Howcroft recently retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 30 years service as an Intelligence Officer. He served in a wide range of Marine Corps tactical and operational Intelligence billets, from Infantry Battalion up to the Marine Expeditionary Force level. His combat tours included service with the 2nd Marine Division in Operation Desert Storm and service with both the 1st Marine Division and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq. He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Collegeand a Master’s of Science degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.