The Paradox of Police Development: Community Policing for High-Threat Environments

Over the past decade, the U.S. military gained significant experience training civilian police in Iraq and Afghanistan; yet, many military professionals still lack a clear operational understanding of how police serve society. Ask military leaders, including those with extensive counterinsurgency and Foreign Internal Defense experience, what it means to police and the most common answers are tactical generalizations (e.g., “Policing is urban dismounted patrolling”) or oversimplifications (e.g., “Policing is what police do”). If pressed to apply an operational term, most equate policing with civil defense or offensive crime fighting; however, neither analogy is complete.