Accession Number:



Converting Tactical Action into Strategic Success by Resolving Principal-Agent Problems

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Advancing US interests within modern conflict requires the United States military to operate alongside and support partnered forces with differing motivations, goals, and attitudes toward risk. Consequently, US military leaders must overcome the challenges of influencing partnered forces to act within US interests, without dissolving the cooperative relationship. Agency theory explains these challenges through principal-agent problems and describes a framework toward resolving their disruptive effects within partnered relationships. Recent research illustrates agency theorys relevance within counterinsurgency, but its application within dynamic large-scale combat remains untested. Utilizing the 1973 Arab-Israeli War as a historical case, this study increases understanding of the casual mechanisms that resolve principal-agent problems, enabling conventional forces to translate tactical actions into strategic success. Deductively testing prescribed incentive approaches, incentive application techniques, and evaluating attitudes toward risk throughout the conflict, this study argues that successful strategies resolving principal-agent problems expand beyond recommended dichotomous solutions. The studys findings support the conclusion that the application of incentives across a spectrum of techniques not only increases the probability of desirable outcomes, but ensures the longevity of a compatible partnered relationship.


Subject Categories:

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

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]