Ad hocery and Successful Intervention
Senator Lugar, in
coordination with others concerned with the haphazard manner in which
interagency coordination in post-conflict scenarios is presently handled, has called
for the creation of The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and
stability and support operations. Funding for the organization, which is proactively being stood up in testament to its great need, is pending passage of the Lugar-Biden bill, or The Civilian Management Reconstruction and Stabilization Act, introduced by the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Secretary of State’s proactive establishment of the office hopefully bodes well for the passage of the bill and is indicative of the nature and extent of the problem. Although much, undoubtedly, remains to be worked out as to implementation details, the effort will fill a much needed void in regards to coordination of stability and support operations in Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) if successful. Additionally, and hopefully, it will help to clarify and accelerate the transformations necessary in our national command structures to effectively deal with these types of operations. Lastly, such efforts will help in the further demarcation the boundary between combatant and non-combatant operations and responsibilities, a boundary that has become increasingly blurred.
Recent operations, as well as those not so recent, have highlighted the need for major modifications in our government’s structure for dealing with unstable regions. DoD efforts to create collaborative information environments which fuse national capabilities into a coherent whole to deal with the seeds of instability are laudable, if unrealistic, as such a fusion is essential but cannot occur within the confines of the DoD establishment, attempting to affect political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, and informational domains without the requisite authorities or capabilities to do so. As well, a DoD effort alone is, on the face of it, inappropriate as many of the related activities have nothing to do with the application of force, but are rather applications of “soft power,” relying more on persuasion through the satisfaction of real social needs. Although the Department of Defense should be complimented on their recognition of the problem and attempts to solve it, it is critical to the success of our efforts that such attempts be relegated to appropriate departments in order that the skills of each may be both maximized in dealing with the problem as well as preserved in dealing with problems more specifically in their domain of expertise.
exists for the application of force under the direction and control of the
national government. The fact that
military force alone is often insufficient to solve the problem should not lead
us to relegate by default to the military establishment the coordination of all
other elements of national power in the prevention or resolution of a crisis
situation. The establishment of the
Military transformation is really a misnomer as what is actually needed is a transformation in our national focus and our methods for dealing with instability. Such a transformation necessitates an integration of our national capabilities heretofore unparalleled. It is both necessitated as well as enabled by social and technological changes. The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) has positioned us as a unique power in the realm of military force. Such a change has been substantially technology driven. The uni-polar nature of the balance of military power, as well as the competition to get there, has resulted in asymmetric threats and the uncovering and resurgence of ancient destabilizing forces. Without the means to stabilize the international environment alone by force, we are finally recognizing the ultimate futility of such an attempt. By attempting to characterize all such instabilities as war, we are furthering the progression of that activity to its unlimited, unsustainable, and gruesome conclusion, and also predisposing ourselves to attempting to solve them all by military means. The recognition by Senators Lugar and Biden of the larger transformation issue is both timely as well as critical to our effectiveness in dealing with both the current as well as predictable future instabilities that will occur.