Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), in a letter sent today, is calling on the Obama administration to adopt the Missouri National Guard's model to stabilize Afghanistan.
According to the missive, sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the National Guard Agriculture Development Teams have been extremely successful in Afghanistan. Though the Missouri Guard sent the first ADT team to Afghanistan in February 2008, there are now 10 other states with teams of their own, Bond writes.
"It makes sense to utilize further this already successful National Guard model to serve as a vital bridge between the military capabilities of the Department of Defense and the civil capabilities of the State Department," he adds.
Furthermore, Bond attaches a proposal from the Missouri National Guard's adjutant general that backs establishing a "civil branch" of the National Guard as a pilot program and supports establishing the Missouri Regional Training Institute at Ft. Leonard Wood to serve as a "center of excellence" to train civilians, among other recommendations.
The proposal "uses existing, proven, and cost-effective National Guard assets to achieve stability in troubled areas based on the successful State Partnership Program and the Agriculture Development Team concept," Bond concludes, urging Gates and Clinton to review the proposal.