Dr. David Fouse recently published a new brief analytical paper entitled: Japan’s Dispatch Of The Ground Self Defense Force To Iraq: Lessons Learned.
The paper discusses the challenges and learning opportunities gained by Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) during their deployment to Iraq. All previous missions for humanitarian aid and reconstruction had been carried out under a UN peacekeeping operations framework.
New challenges included interagency coordination, the use of legal and political advisors, and working with the media.
According to Dr. Fouse, “The GSDF had to overcome a number of issues in their interactions with Iraqi citizens, including high expectations regarding Japan’s reconstruction efforts, poor communication, a lack of local intelligence and sometimes working around Japanese government-imposed restrictions to accomplish their mission.”
“With the Japanese Defense Agency recently upgraded to the Ministry of Defense, the head of that ministry will now be an equal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” stated Fouse. “It will therefore be especially crucial to the success of future overseas operations that coordination between these two ministries be streamlined.”
The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of APCSS, the U.S. Pacific Command, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.