Battles within : the U.S. civilian capacity deficit in post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Although the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are the designated U.S. government leads for stabilization and reconstruction, recurrent capacity gaps prevent them from fulfilling this role. This study seeks to explain the predominant reasons why State and USAID have a persistent capacity deficit in post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. This paper tests three internal and three external factors to determine which best explain the deficit. The analysis emphasizes ongoing stabilization and reconstruction missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, given the direct impact of these cases on the status quo today. The internal factors examined are bureaucratic conflict, organizational culture and approach towards Congress. Interagency processes, the role of the Department of Defense and Congress' approach towards State and USAID comprise the external factors. The findings indicate that internal factors are the dominant barriers to capacity development. Organizational behavior and interdepartmental strife stymie efforts to coordinate with the interagency writ large and encourage the military to compensate in absence of civilian leadership. While Congress plays an important external role, neither resources nor Congress alone are sufficient to explain gaps; rather, influences within State and USAID would continue to hinder capacity even under optimal external conditions.
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