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Milstein gets $100K to study U.S. military economic development

CSGE Director Mark Milstein CSGE Director Mark Milstein

The U.S. military's presence in such war zones as Iraq and Afghanistan involves more than combat operations. It must also play a role in supporting economic stability, promoting private enterprise and fighting poverty.

To study the U.S. military's approaches toward promoting economic development in conflict zones, Mark Milstein, director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, was recently awarded $100,000 from the Social Equity Venture Fund.

Milstein, who is also a lecturer of strategy, innovation, and sustainable global enterprise, will work closely with the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) in Carlisle, Pa., which trains soldiers and other government workers on different aspects of peacekeeping. He plans to compare the military's approaches to promoting private enterprise with those in the private sector and among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Milstein says the Johnson School center's goals of promoting responsible and sustainable business practices are directly related to what the military is trying to do in its peacekeeping operations.

"In some cases you have units deployed in neighborhoods that are working with the local populace, and they are trying to figure out what is going to lead to a more stable economic situation," Milstein explained. "If people have an economic stake in the future, they are less likely to pick up a gun or create a bomb."

"If people have an economic stake in the future,they are less likely to pick up a gun or create a bomb." – Mark Milstein, director, CSGE

Milstein believes the military's efforts to promote private enterprise and alleviate poverty are not clearly understood. Meanwhile, other government sectors and NGOs are seen as significant players in development.

Col. John F. Agoglia, director of PKSOI, says he expects Milstein's study to "provide insights for our partners who are involved in enterprise development, including the military, government agencies, NGOs, multilateral institutions, and the private sector."

– Anne Ju
This story was originally published in Cornell's Chronicle Online

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