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Defense Science Board 2004 Summer Study on Transition to and from Hostilities

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Final rept.

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It is clear from recent experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq that the United States must expect to encounter significant challenges in its future stabilization and reconstruction efforts -- efforts that seek to ensure stability, democracy, human rights, and a productive economy in a nation of concern. Achieving these ends will require effective planning and preparations in the years before the outbreak of hostilities, as well as employment, in the period following hostilities, of capabilities that are not traditional to U.S. Armed Forces. The Defense Science Board DSB was asked to consider the transition to and from hostilities to enhance U.S. effectiveness across this spectrum of activities from peacetime through stabilization and reconstruction. They considered what activities should be undertaken in peacetime with the objective of avoiding large-scale hostilities by better orchestrating all the instruments of U.S. power. And, failing in that aim, what activities should be undertaken in peacetime to be more successful in the stabilization and reconstruction operations that commonly follow large-scale hostilities operations critical for achieving U.S. political goals, not just military goals. The task force vision for enhancing U.S. effectiveness in the transition to and from hostilities has two dimensions. The first dimension is management discipline. The management discipline used by the military services to plan and prepare for combat operations must be extended to peacetime activities, to stabilization and reconstruction operations, and to intelligence - not only in DOD, but across the government. The second dimension is building and maintaining certain fundamental capabilities, now lacking, that are critical to success in stabilization and reconstruction. These capabilities are stabilization and reconstruction strategic communication knowledge, understanding, and intelligence and identification, location, and tracking for asymmetric warfare.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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