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Military not agency for reconstruction

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Reconstruction and stabilization missions should not be the main task of the U.S. military, according to a report from the Rand Corp.

Rand, a U.S.-based non-profit research organization, released a report saying that while the U.S. military is capable of transporting resources and personnel to quickly support stabilization operations, it is trained to fight wars -- not to conduct civilian-based reconstruction activities, Rand reported.

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Nora Bensahel, lead author of the study and Rand senior political scientist, said the handling of post-conflict environments is critical for U.S. national security and for preventing future terrorism, but the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are the agencies best suited for post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization work.

"The military isn't the best agency for reconstruction and stabilization missions, even though it can get personnel and resources to a location quickly," Bensahel said in a statement.

"The military isn't trained to take on what are inherently civilian tasks. It does it now, by default, and it does a decent job. But the broader consensus is that we need a greater ability to assign these responsibilities to civilians."

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