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Strategy is Not Enough: Why Bush Administration Efforts Failed to Integrate the Interagency

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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For President George W. Bush and his team, the solution to interagency integration issues was presidential guidance. His administration produced legions of strategic and Presidential guidance. Yet, in the eyes of the Government Accountability Office, Bush efforts to integrate the interagency had failed. Why did President Bush and his team fail To determine why, it was first necessary to identify what actions were taken by the administration. The next step was to review and compile the White House, agency and congressional actions in response to the published directives and strategies. Since many actions taken by the departments were internal, it was next necessary gain insight into those internal activities using the memoirs of senior administration members, academic journals discussing the presidency, Congressional Research Service reports, and reputable books. By comparing the accounts from these sources, a plausible list of obstacles to interagency integration emerged. The research identified three primary obstacles to interagency integration during the Bush presidency. First obstacle was competition due to the United States governments constitutional organization and related authorities. This competition led to the second obstacle to integration, namely, unclear priorities and misallocated resources. Finally, the relationships between key leaders within the White House and the departments undermined the efficacy of organizational structures. Thus, in and of themselves, overarching national strategies were unable to mitigate these obstacles to integration in the labyrinth of overlapping authorities, disparate resourcing procedures, and departmental personalities and independence.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Government and Political Science

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