National Business Corps to the Rescue – FP, 23.11.20
In the United Kingdom, an obscure partnership between business leaders and the military pulled the country back from the brink. The United States and other countries should replicate the model now. By Elisabeth Braw
- The Staff Corps’ members are all commissioned officers in the British Army, but they’re only nominally military. In their day jobs, they lead engineering, logistics, technology, and energy companies. They volunteer their time for the British Army, just as their predecessors did starting in the 1860s, when the staff corps was first created by a group of railway executives who felt it was their duty to help the Armed Forces get around their newly railway-powered country. Since then, the members of the corps have quietly put their logistics skills and networks at the disposal of the Armed Forces.
- A program inspired by the Staff Corps and war placement could be done on a voluntary basis. Governments in NATO member states and partner nations should invite key businesses to join their national industry corps, where participants would pool experts for use during nationwide crises. Participating businesses would benefit though access to mutual assistance during crisis, and so would the country. Governments could further encourage participation by offering specialized crisis training to participating companies’ staff. And governments would, of course, need to define what constitutes a crisis.