Search for the Philosopher's Stone : Improving Interagency Cooperation in Tactical Military Operations

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Modern War Institute

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Modern War Institute

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The United States National Security Strategy and Department of Defense (DoD) joint doctrine recognizes that the complexity of the contemporary operational environment requires the United States to pursue whole-of-government solutions that integrate civil-military interagency cooperation. In particular, the military requires the expertise of interagency partners in stability operations. Army doctrine recognizes that interagency synchronization occurs at all echelons, although it has yet to fully institutionalize interagency integration at tactical levels. This paper examines two historical case studies where interagency integration was essential to tactical mission success: DoD—Interagency response to Ebola in West Africa, and DoD—Interagency coordination for Africa Command (AFRICOM) Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF). The conditions that led to successful implementation of these programs are highlighted with an analysis across a Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership-Education, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF) framework. Both case studies provide valuable lessons on how the United States Army may better integrate interagency at the tactical level of stability operations. The author based on his analysis also proposes several recommendations across the DOTMLPF framework for more effective interagency integration in future DOD tactical operations.

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