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The use of money as a weapon in the current conflicts is a contentious issue and one that is gaining more attention. This case can be used to generate thought, analysis, and discussion to fit an array of courses in a foreign-policy-related curriculum. The case can be tailored through classroom discussion to highlight issues as desired by the instructor or determined by the syllabus. The questions and background resources that follow are supplementary material that may help guide classroom instruction and discussion. They are not all inclusive but serve as a tool to guide instruction according to specific learning objectives.

The purpose of this case is to discuss the pros and cons of using monetary incentives, either directly or indirectly to increase popular support for counterinsurgency or nation-building efforts. The use of money in the post-9/11 counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines came under increased scrutiny by members of the U.S. Congress as signs of corruption became more evident. This case is designed to illuminate the numerous decision-making dilemmas presented through the utilization of money to attain popular support in counterinsurgencies with the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP). There are two primary objectives of this case that force students to think critically about the use of money in warfare: (1) whether popular support can be purchased and, if it can, (2) whether popular support should be purchased. Further, consideration of all the ancillary factors involved in CERP reconstruction presents numerous dilemmas that could have long-term policy implications.

Skills such as multivariate decision-making, critical thinking, analysis, teamwork, statistical analysis, and problem-solving will all be stressed through review of this case study. This case will also provide an opportunity to gauge students’ attitudes concerning the relevance of their studies in the broader policy and security environment.

The case presents an opportunity to assess student sensitivity to other cultures; foreign aid; and the relationship between the government, the military, and civilian organizations. Given a knowledge base of the public policy, economics, and international relations principles and theories, the primary and secondary learning objectives of this case are outlined as follows.