State Department/Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization: Inception, Challenges, and Impact on U.S. Reconstruction and Stabilization Capacity (Interagency Paper, Number 4, April 2011)
COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FOUNDATION INC FORT LEAVENWORTH KS ARTHUR D SIMONS CENTER
Pagination or Media Count:
Of the many existing threats to U.S. national security, weak and failed states are one of the gravest. In his book Wars, Guns, and Votes Democracy in Dangerous Places, Paul Collier asserts that countries with an annual per capita income of less than 2,700 are more likely to incur political upheaval, insurgencies, civil war, and coups. Around the world, there are 53 countries whose average per capita gross domestic product is less than 2 per day. The sheer number of states that fall into this category and their caustic emanations make dealing with weak and fragile states both daunting and impossible to ignore. In its 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the State Department admits the U.S. Government suffers from a lack of diplomatic and development personnel and an inability to apply its existing departments and agencies in a unified, complementary, and coherent manner in response to such states. In the development-promoting realm alone, the United States has 33 different established goals, 75 priority areas, and 247 directives, stretched over 12 departments and 25 agencies, with no national strategy linking them together. Two of the most notable Bush administration and congressional efforts to integrate U.S. capability in addressing weak or failed states were the establishment of the Office of the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization SCRS within the State Department to lead and coordinate conflict prevention and responses and making stability operations a core U.S. military operational task. While both actions seem appropriate, the following examination will indicate that neither has resulted in an optimal level of capacity to stabilize weak, failing, or failed states. Additional measures are needed to develop fully the means necessary for this purpose. These measures include greater funding and staffing of SCRS and establishing Congressional Reconstruction and Stabilization Oversight Committees in both houses of Congress.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare