Train Like You Fight . . . The Need for an Institutionalized Exercise Program for United States Interagency Reconstruction and Stabilization Capabilities
AIR FORCE FELLOWS PROGRAM MAXWELL AFB AL
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On 7 December 2005, in response to concerns about the ability of the United States US to effectively conduct Reconstruction and Stabilization activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, President George W. Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 44, Management of Interagency Efforts Concerning Reconstruction and Stabilization NSPD-44. The directive explicitly tasks the US State Department to lead the US Government USG interagency in planning, preparing for, and conducting Reconstruction and Stabilization RS efforts. As with any large-scale activity, success in planning, preparation, and execution is often contingent upon an institutionalized exercise program to ensure the readiness and appropriateness of personnel, equipment, and procedures. In the four years since President Bush signed NSPD-44, however, the State Department has yet to establish a formal exercise process for interagency RS efforts. This paper evaluates USG interagency RS exercise activity to answer the following question Are USG RS exercise activities adequate to ensure an effective interagency RS capability The paper begins with an overview of USG RS capabilities, including a summary of the mission, agencies involved, governing directives, and key processes or RS. It then reviews the exercises in which USG RS capabilities were exercised since the State Department established its office for RS. Based on that review, the paper identifies shortcoming in the RS exercise process and then offers recommendations to resolve these shortcomings. Ultimately, the paper concludes that in order for the USG to develop and maintain effective RS capabilities, the State Department must lead the interagency in developing an institutionalized RS exercise program.
- Administration and Management