No More Adhocracies: Reforming the Management of Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations
SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION ARLINGTON VA ARLINGTON United States
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There now exists a golden hour for repairing the U.S. approach to stabilization and reconstruction operations SROs. The past 8 years of rebuilding efforts in Iraq, fraught as they were with painful and expensive challenges, yielded numerous hard lessons that provide a clear basis for comprehensive systemic reform. The Iraq experience exposed the truth that the United States is not well structured to carry out overseas contingency rebuilding operations. Although the programs failures forced the government to develop and implement remedies, these exigent amendments did not fix what was and still is a broken system. As discussed further in this article, the current evolution in SRO planning and management as found in the Department of States Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations does not necessarily promise the kind of interagency integration essential to SRO success. Wise reform would concentrate the SRO mission into a single structure, pulling the scattered pieces of the current inchoate system together under a single roof. This integral structure, which could be called the U.S. Office for Contingency Operations USOCO, should be given a clear interagency mandate to command and carry out contingency relief and reconstruction operations. To succeed, it would need sufficient capabilities and capacities to oversee the kind of programs and projects that arise during SROs. Equally important, it must be held accountable for results.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Government and Political Science