Accession Number:



Organizing for Victory

Descriptive Note:

Journal Article

Corporate Author:

RAND Arlington United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Since the end of the Korean War, all of Americas conventional campaigns have ended in a matter of weeks, sometimes even days, with overwhelming victories and few if any friendly casualties. Nation-building, counterinsurgency, and postconflict reconstruction, on the other hand, have always proved much more time-consuming, expensive, and problematic. One reason for this disjunction is that the U.S. Government is well structured for peace or war, but ill adapted for missions that fall in between. In both peace and conventional war, each agency knows its place. Coordination among them, while demanding, does not call for endless improvisation. By contrast, nation-building, stability operations, counterinsurgency, and irregular warfare all require that agencies collaborate in ways they are not accustomed to. These missions are consequently among the most difficult for any President to direct precisely because administrations are not structured for that purpose.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: