Facing an Impossible Situation?
This case describes first lieutenant Mike Dawson’s experience during his U.S. Army 2011-2012 tour in Afghanistan as an engineer advisor attached to an Air Force unit advising Afghans in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His primary responsibility was to coordinate an on-the-job training (OJT) program providing the Afghan military with the skills needed to maintain base facilities under construction and scheduled to be turned over to the Afghans. The key issue in the case is that Dawson faces a stoppage in the OJT program for which he is responsible, a situation created when an Afghan military intelligence officer named Colonel Farhim failed to sign passes permitting the Afghan OJT trainers to enter the base. Dawson, a young and lower ranking U.S. Army officer in an advisory position, must convince the older and much higher ranking Afghan Air Force officer to sign paperwork to keep Dawson’s OJT program running.
- Critique the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of the approaches to Mike’s decision that were identified in the case.
- Analyze the cultural factors that help to explain why Colonel Farhim resisted cooperating with NATO on programs that were potentially beneficial.
- Compile planning issues for Mike to consider in approaching his conversation with Colonel Farhim as a negotiation.