The Nature of the Planning Environment: And the Effects of Guidance, Organization and Authority
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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In early 2001, it became clear to the Bush administration that the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq were beginning to fail and the U.S. military faced unacceptable risk in the enforcement of the North and South no-fly zones. In the midst of the administrations debate over possible actions that could be taken against Iraq, terrorists attacked the United States on September 9, 2001. This event hardened the belief among many in the administration that Iraq had to be dealt with as soon as the Taliban were removed from Afghanistan. Various levels of planning for the removal of Saddam Husseins regime began throughout the interagency in late 2001 and continued throughout 2002. This monograph focuses on the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance ORHA, an organization created within the Department of Defense to operationalize the planning that had already been accomplished. Specifically, the monograph focuses on the nature of the planning environment and the obstacles faced by Lt Colonel Robert Polk, a School of Advanced Military Studies SAMS graduate, and lead planner for the organization. As we recognize the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it is important to study the lessons learned by the men and women who faced almost insurmountable odds in trying to plan for and execute the rebuilding of Iraq after major combat operations. The monograph argues that the Bush Administration did not provide those charged with post-conflict planning clear guidance, proper organizational structure, or the authority needed to accomplish their mission. While SAMS graduates can do little to change the structure of the U.S. government or the problems that lead to a lack of guidance, structure, and authority, they can better prepare themselves to operate in these environments by sharpening their skills in appreciative intelligence, social intelligence, and sense-making. It is these skills that allowed the planners in 2003 to overcome insurmountable odds.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics