Interagency Operations Centers: An Opportunity We Can't Ignore

THOMAS GIBBINGS, DONALD HURLEY, and SCOTT MOORE


From Parameters, Winter 1998, pp. 99-112.


Few of the challenges facing America's expeditionary forces match that posed by the US government's interagency process for developing and conducting armed interventions. This is not to say that we have lacked opportunities to improve our system for planning and conducting military or military-supported contingency operations, both during the Cold War and since. US armed forces twice intervened in Lebanon (1957, early 1980s). In the Western Hemisphere they have been to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, and Panama, and more recently to Haiti. They have supported a variety of interventions in Africa since 1989, and sustained the Kurds in Northern Iraq after ejecting the Iraqi army from Kuwait through its defeat in 1991 by a US-led coalition. Our operations in the Balkans will not end any time soon.

Recent US intervention operations have ranged in size and scope from heavy force combat in 1990-91, to support for humanitarian relief in Rwanda in 1994, to unfinished peace enforcement tasks in Bosnia under the terms of the Dayton Accords.[1] The size of the force and the nature of the intervention may change the degree of difficulty of each operation, but size is not the issue here. Whenever the United States commits its armed forces to an operation in any part of the world, the same elements of the US government are energized to develop policies and guidance for the theater or operational commander of those forces. They are also involved continuously during peace operations, reacting to (if not anticipating) initiatives of coalition partners or other participants in the operation as well as those of friendly and hostile elements in the operational area.

This article briefly examines the US government's interagency culture, looks at how the military anticipates or reacts to civil-military operational requirements, and proposes a change to standard practices in such matters. Our proposal involves establishing a full interagency team within the headquarters of each US regional commander-in-chief. The teams eventually could be empowered to have primary responsibility for planning, coordinating, prosecuting, and sustaining US interagency responses in their regions. The goal would be to improve reaction time to such requirements and to reduce, if not eliminate, the effects of communication stovepipes that exist between civilian agencies in Washington and their members operating abroad. This is more than an exercise in communication technologies, however, for it could involve devolution of a measure of authority from Washington to the representatives of federal agencies assigned to the headquarters of the regional commanders-in-chief. It suggests a permanent cultural change within the Washington bureaucracy.

The Challenge

America's National Security Strategy requires civil and military agencies to work together to accomplish cross-agency tasks of unprecedented complexity, and as a rule to do more with less.[2] Whether nation-building, providing assistance to budding democracies, combating transnational crime, countering asymmetrical threats to world order, or supporting humanitarian assistance or peace operations, nearly every significant security undertaking demands interagency teamwork. But no US national government civilian organization currently is structured internally or empowered regionally to coordinate interagency activities within US combatant commands in peacetime or in a crisis.

Interagency planning and crisis responses are difficult under the best of circumstances. They become especially so when they require government civilian agencies to coordinate their activities with military hierarchies and international volunteer organizations. Personalities, organizational cultures,[3] and competition for scarce resources further complicate the problem. As noted in a 1995 work titled Interagency Cooperation: A Regional Model for Peace Operations, "Turf issues will continue as a dominating factor in the quest for interagency cooperation and integration, but they can be overcome by civilian and military leadership."[4] Members of the large bureaucratic structures, private and government, frequently mistrust one another for various historical reasons.[5] As a result, contemporary ad hoc approaches to interagency coordination and policy development are generally inadequate, if not sometimes detrimental to mission success. The problem is that very few military or civilian agencies have established the means and ways to conduct interagency coordination.[6] Instead, US bureaucracies have often paid little more than lip service to interagency coordinating bodies by forming on their own ad hoc boards, centers, "floating" organizations,[7] and working groups.

Interagency requirements usually flow from an ad hoc, national-level Interagency Working Group (IWG) to the departments and agencies tasked to fulfill them. If the IWG reaches a consensus in Washington, each participating agency passes guidance directly to its respective operators outside of Washington, who must then meet in the region where the military is being committed to organize and develop the basis for cooperation with representatives of other US or international agencies.[8] Presently there is no regional or operational-level body charged with supporting and coordinating the various mandates generated in Washington and passed to the field for coordination and execution.

The need for interagency solutions to national security policy issues is well understood, and this discussion does not challenge civilian control of the military. Rather, it seeks ways and means for increasing the prospects for success in interventions and peace operations. Organizational publications and lessons learned from recent operations indicate that without the right people, structures, and emphasis, effective policy integration will not take place within the affected region or the subordinate operational area. At issue is whether it is more appropriate for the civilian agency representatives on the scene or those of the military to coordinate and integrate into executable policies and plans the many separate flows of guidance and advice from Washington.

Whether it is the responsibility of the civilian agencies or of the military to ensure that guidance from the center is complete, coherent, coordinated, and executable, no organization would voluntarily attack such murky issues, especially since the prescription for effective integration might entail considerable cost.[9] But when stability is threatened, the US military is invariably called upon to act and restore order. In these cases, the problems of coordinating, integrating, and fielding a coherent national effort fall squarely upon military leaders, specifically on each regional military commander-in-chief (CINC).[10]

The military solution to the problem of managing interagency affairs during an operational deployment has taken form as the civil-military operations center (CMOC). The concept originated during Operation Provide Comfort, the 1991 civil-military mission to feed the Kurds in Northern Iraq and Southeastern Turkey.[11] From that beginning, regional commanders-in-chief or the commanders of joint task forces have, based on mission requirements, established one or more ad hoc operations centers to support humanitarian assistance, contingency, or crisis response operations.[12] The decision to use such centers is generally influenced by requirements for interaction with allies, with the local civilian populace, and with other government and nongovernmental agencies operating in the area.

Civil-military operations centers have come to be staffed with civil affairs personnel and rely heavily upon reservists to conduct their business. These "just-in-time" centers require considerable setup time to be effective, particularly when interacting with governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) already working in the area. Military personnel in these centers do not command or control civilian interagency players, nor can they use methods other than persuasion when dealing with nongovernmental organizations of whatever national origin. The centers rely upon perceived levels of trust, shared visions, common interests, and communication capabilities to obtain the interagency coordination and international cooperation needed to meet mission objectives. The myriad agencies involved will coordinate their activities only if they feel it is in their best interest to do so.[13]

One source holds that the civil-military operations center concept may reflect US culture: "There is still an unavoidable feeling that some force commanders, particularly from NATO nations with a short-term war fighting view of their role, tend to use the civil-military staff to sideline rather than expand civil-military cooperation."[14] Each misuse of the civil-military operations center coordinating capability can polarize participating military and civilian agencies, and reduce the effectiveness of interagency integration and international relief efforts.

The ad hoc approach to coordination and integration of diverse policies in an operational deployment represented by the civil-military operations center should give way to a full-time interagency operations center (IOC).[15] The headquarters of the regional commander-in-chief is the most logical permanent place to establish and support an empowered interagency operations center. Its composition would be agile, professional, personality-dependent (as are most civilian agencies), and sized to fulfill mission requirements. The IOC's mission would be to train and incorporate all potential interagency participants through routine planning and special exercises, and to provide an initial coordinating cadre during crises. The cadre could be tailored to accommodate regional and crisis-specific requirements, and representatives would deploy to a crisis area having already established their bona fides in day-to-day operations within the regional headquarters. Members of the interagency operations center should eventually be empowered by the CINC to obligate resources and involve interagency participants in exercises, doctrine development, and conferences. This organization would work to overcome civil-military prejudices, develop trust among participants, and improve teamwork within the US crisis response team. It would be well-suited to initiating coordination with representatives of other governments and nongovernmental organizations upon deployment. The justification for establishing a permanent regional entity is well supported by organization and interagency theory,[16] military doctrine, and lessons learned from a wide range of intervention operations.

Interagency Culture

It is reasonable to ask why it has been so hard for US government agencies to work together. Organizational behavior studies help to answer these questions by modeling general patterns of behavior and known organizational characteristics that can facilitate or impede interagency coordination and teamwork. Graham Allison developed three conceptual models (or viewpoints) that help explain and predict organizational behavior:

Allison's models help explain why agencies may at times appear to be reluctant to pool their efforts and assets in support of a stated US policy. From a Model II perspective, it is irrational for an agency to be altruistic at the expense of turf, longevity, or power. Organizations tend to protect themselves by distributing power and responsibility for making decisions among various internal mini-bureaucracies. When standard procedures are not followed and routines break down, bureaucracies are susceptible to paralysis. Therefore, bureaucracies routinely avoid change and uncertainty. According to Model III, adaptability to new and changing circumstances rests with the people who constitute the organizations. Individuals breathe life into the bureaucratic process. They may enable workarounds to meet a common goal, to enhance their feelings of power, or to cope when they conclude that the stakes warrant nonstandard behavior. This realization highlights an area of interagency coordination worth developing: the pursuit of vetted working relationships and frequent sharing of perspectives.

Knowing how each organization coordinates its activities is also important to interagency operations. According to organizational theorist James Q. Wilson, "An organization is not simply, or even principally, a set of boxes, lines, and titles on an organizational chart."[18] If an interagency coordinating body is to have any hope of succeeding in the complicated and ever-changing game of intervention operations, then it must dedicate itself to getting beyond organizations as they exist on paper. The values and cultures of competing agencies need to be dissected, faces and personalities identified, and personal relationships pursued and maintained. James Colvard believes government organizations should learn from the better parts of the private sector, namely "a bias toward action, small staffs, and a high level of delegation which is based on trust."[19] Of course, making changes to an existing bureaucratic structure comes at a cost, as Wilson reminds us:

If the organization must perform a diverse set of tasks, those tasks that are not part of the core mission will need special protection. This requires giving autonomy to the subordinate tasks sub-unit (for example, by providing for them a special organizational niche) and creating a career track so that talented people performing non-mission tasks can rise to high rank in the agency.[20]

The interagency operations center is well described by Wilson's summary.

The theory is interesting and probably applicable to parts of the problem at hand. In the final analysis, however, it comes down to leadership, commitment, and a capacity to adapt at least part of many federal agencies to new tasks derived from the environment in which US military forces have been operating for years. Particularly within the last decade, such operations have become the norm.

Documenting the Interagency Process

Military operations are based upon doctrine, which is intended to serve as a guide to conducting them. In contrast, private and other nongovernmental relief agencies typically lack formal doctrine, though they may have some written standard operating procedures. The lack of doctrine is not an impediment to successful cooperation, but it does make anticipating requirements and coordinating responses more difficult for military staffs.

Some civilian government agencies, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have established formal doctrinal systems. Field agents of USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team use a "Field Officer's Guide," for instance. Inasmuch as military doctrine tells civilians how the military can be expected to operate, familiarity with civilian "doctrine," whatever its form, can help to synchronize and support interagency operations.

Although interagency integration problems are outlined in joint military doctrine, most such documents leave it up to each regional commander-in-chief to decide how best to focus interagency activities within his region. Joint Pub 3-07, Joint Doctrine for Military Operations Other Than War, states that the Department of State will normally take the lead in coordinating military operations other than war by working through an established country team under the leadership of a US Ambassador or special Presidential Envoy.[21] It also states that memoranda of agreement between civilian and military organizations may improve coordination, as will the establishment of a civil-military operations center. But the publication lacks definitive guidance for handling interagency problems.

Better interagency doctrine is contained in Joint Pub 3-08, Interagency Coordination During Joint Operations, Vol. I.[22] Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright opines: "By melding the capabilities of the military and the NGOs and PVOs [private voluntary organizations] you have developed a force multiplier."[23] Few will dispute the importance of civil-military "melding," yet Joint Pub 3-08 concedes, "The connectivity between NGOs, PVOs, and the Department of Defense is currently ad hoc, with no statutory linkage. But while their focus remains grassroots and their connections informal, NGOs and PVOs are major players at the interagency table."[24] The goal of interagency coordination should be to enable and bolster the capabilities of all nonmilitary agencies, whether private or governmental, rather than have the military perform their tasks. In the end, all agencies will be better served by such integration.

Presidential Decision Directive 56 (PDD-56) is the latest document advocating improved planning and coordination practices among US government agencies and international organizations engaged in complex contingency operations.[25] In particular, the directive emphasizes the need to create "coordination mechanisms at the operational level."[26] The scope of PDD-56 is limited, however, by defining complex contingency operations as "peace operations," such as the peace accord implementation in Bosnia; "humanitarian interventions," such as Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq; and "foreign humanitarian assistance operations," such as Operation Support Hope in Somalia.[27] This directive has the potential to influence future US government interagency procedures and joint military doctrine. Once it is fully implemented, however, it seems reasonable to expect that interagency coordination procedures described in PDD-56 would be applied to contingency operations beyond those presently specified in the document.[28] There is no clear and compelling reason to limit application of the concepts in PDD-56 to those kinds of operations.

Military doctrine is largely developed from the collection and analysis of lessons learned. Three recent (and diverse) interagency experiences involving civil-military operations centers (or comparable organizations) occurred in Somalia, Haiti, and Rwanda.

Somalia

Operation Restore Hope in Somalia proved to be one of the most diverse humanitarian operations undertaken by US military forces; it quickly highlighted the need for better interagency coordination. According to Kenneth Allard, in Somalia the military was challenged to coordinate the activities of "49 different UN and humanitarian relief agencies--none of which were obligated to follow military directives."[29] As expected, relief agency personnel tended to be suspicious of the military peacekeepers. The military commander formed a civil-military operations center to coordinate military support for convoys of relief supplies and to allocate port and pier space in Mogadishu harbor to the humanitarian relief organizations that were bringing in the food needed to prevent starvation in the country. The center worked closely with the UN Humanitarian Operations Center to coordinate and exchange information with the humanitarian relief organizations.

The Somalia CMOC was kept small so its participants would not be tempted to take on more than they could handle. In fact, for the first time, several "mini-CMOCs" were set up throughout the country where international organizations, NGOs, government organizations, and PVOs could coordinate their activities.[30] Ambassador Robert Oakley, the President's Special Envoy for Somalia, was sold on the tactical contributions of civil-military operations centers during that intervention:

The center [CMOC] was an effective innovative mechanism, not for operational-level coordination, but to bridge the inevitable gaps between military and civilian perceptions. By developing good personal relationships, the staffs were able to alleviate the concerns and anxieties of the relief community.[31]

Haiti

Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti provided additional evidence of the importance of interagency integration and coordination. Strategic-level interagency coordination and planning for the operation were deemed more successful than during any previous operation, but for several reasons deficiencies at the operational and tactical levels produced complications after the military arrived in Haiti.[32] Most significantly, the links between the strategic and operational levels were deficient.[33] Early in the process, compartmentalized military planning effectively precluded interagency coordination.[34] Once security concerns allowed, United States Atlantic Command attempted some operational-level interagency coordination by holding two meetings during the summer of 1994.[35] However, participants essentially briefed only what their respective agencies were doing, which produced little of value by way of coordination--a case of too little, too late.[36] Consequently, according to one source, the coordination required during the interagency process to achieve the goals of both the civil and military aspects of this operation never emerged as part of a comprehensive, integrated civil-military plan.[37]

Mutual ignorance of organizational cultures and capabilities also contributed to interagency problems.[38] Non-DOD agencies did not have the same robust planning and expeditionary capabilities that the military possesses, a condition that probably will always characterize such operations.[39] Another key factor affecting interagency coordination was that not all agencies reacted to agreed fundamental goals with the same sense of urgency. This led military planners to make some incorrect assumptions about mutual progress toward those goals.[40] Military planners envisioned a scenario in which objectives would be met, missions completed, and military forces subsequently withdrawn. Some agencies did not share that vision; others lacked performance standards by which to measure progress.[41] Personnel from several agencies arrived in Haiti expecting the military to provide them a full range of support, such as food, shelter, transportation, and communications. In many cases the military eventually was able to meet some of these needs, but the lack of interagency understanding as well as poor planning and coordination produced delays.[42] In the end, as usual, the absence of detailed operational coordination and planning was in many respects offset on the ground by the drive and initiative of operators working in harm's way.[43]

Rwanda

In the final case to be considered, Operation Support Hope in Rwanda, the combined joint task force established several ad hoc civil-military operations centers, each different in its structure and mission. One served as the joint task force's focal point for assessing and supporting relief agencies, while another was responsible for the airlift function of the operation. These CMOCs served as the key coordination elements for interagency participants, including USAID's Disaster Assistance Relief Teams, UN agencies, international organizations, private voluntary organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in the operational area as well as for host nation agencies.[44] Unfortunately, firm rapport was never established among those agencies, a situation that was aggravated by their proliferation (more than 100 by the end of the operation).[45] Lack of effective working relations among the many participants complicated the mission.[46] Although the commander of the combined joint task force, Lieutenant General Daniel R. Schroeder, recognized the importance of integrating these organizations into the operation, he observed that the coordination process took valuable time from the JTF's other tasks.[47]

Learning from Experience

There is a clearly defined need for an efficient, reliable, civil-military integrating agency in each geographic combatant command, with the mission of actively pursuing interagency coordination at the operational level. Experience with ad hoc civil-military operations centers suggests why this need is urgent.

Whenever established, the centers have quickly become the focal point for humanitarian assistance operations. Conversely, in most instances the permanent joint task force staff has had little experience and less knowledge of the purpose and capabilities of a civil-military operations center. Those staffs generally are not trained to appreciate the magnitude of the interagency process and the challenges inherent in dealing with dozens of other organizations in the operational area. At the same time, some US government civilians involved in the operation have seemed to not understand the benefits of coordinating their activities with the military. Since most civil-military interagency participants met for the first time on the ground in the crisis area under pressure to perform, they too often did not trust each other, did not know what to expect, nor even knew what questions they could ask to find out. They did not have previously established working relationships such as would develop in the daily activities of a permanent interagency operations center under the command of the regional commander-in-chief or the commander of a combined joint task force.

There is an obvious lack of input from US government civilian agencies during the initial planning phase of an operation, which tends to complicate the efforts of military planners and commanders to coordinate interagency matters late in the planning process. The situation can be aggravated when civil-military operations centers do not deploy with the first military units, and when they lack the communication systems required to support the center's austere structure and staffing. This results from customary ad hoc approaches to forming, staffing, and employing CMOCs. A permanent, mature interagency operations center in each US regional headquarters--one that has been organized for some time, whose personnel have trained together, and which has been equipped with appropriate communications means--could overcome such obstacles. These kinds of operations tend to become so logistically intensive that a logistics expert often has had to be added after the fact. A permanent interagency operations center could better anticipate such requirements, would institutionalize lessons from previous deployments, and could train participants to prepare for probable interagency scenarios.

All of these recurring complications support the recommendation in Joint Pub 3-08 that there needs to be long-standing and deliberate interagency coordination at the level of the regional commander-in-chief:

The geographic combatant commander and combatant command staff should be continuously engaged in interagency coordination and establishing working relationships with interagency players long before crisis action planning is required. In many cases, the combatant commander's organization for crisis is well established and functioning far in advance of such an occurrence, with preexisting and long-standing relationships formed among engaged agencies, departments, and organizations at the national and theater levels.[48]

This is the ideal. Until the US government decides to change its practices in this aspect of interagency coordination and cooperation, reality will remain quite different.

Conclusion

US regional commanders-in-chief should answer the need for deliberate operational-level interagency planning by establishing a robust interagency operations center on their staffs. It is up to each regional commander to establish the requirement for the personnel and equipment needed for full-time operation of such a center in his region. The CINC must take the first deliberate steps for operational-level interagency coordination, training, and oversight, for once a crisis develops, that commander's military forces will ultimately have to deal with the complicated interagency issues on the ground.

Forming a permanent interagency operations center is the necessary first step toward improving civil-military responses to contingencies. The center will improve responses in Washington, in the different regional commanders' headquarters, and in the field where unity of effort matters most. An IOC can help lay the foundation for quicker and more effective problem-solving and consensus-building when lives may depend upon effectiveness and efficiency in responding to a crisis. The establishment of a permanent coordinating agency such as an IOC can ensure that the organization is functioning and engaged in ways that can anticipate, shape, and respond to crises better than the current ad hoc response has permitted.

It hardly needs to be said that the interagency operations center must be staffed with high-quality people who are trained and empowered by civilian and military authorities to get the job done. Positions allocated to the State Department and other civilian departments and agencies should be staffed and supported by their communities. Regrettably, such is not always the case today. The State Department's priority for filling positions at each CINC's headquarters is low, which can leave the key post of political advisor unfilled.

The IOC's military staff should work to put themselves out of a job, since post-conflict resolution tasks will ultimately be conducted by civilian agencies. IOC staffs will need to understand that it is neither necessary nor desirable for the military to be in charge of interagency peace or humanitarian support operations; the military should be engaged and integrated into the planning and execution of policy decisions. With enough experience, IOC responsibilities could someday be handled by civilian agencies with little military involvement.

Organizational behavior theory details the characteristics and pitfalls of different types of bureaucracies; center personnel would benefit from being educated to identify those characteristics, peculiarities, and mechanisms that could hamper coordination in the field. Empowered by the CINC, they would become expert planners, consensus builders, and ultimately the means to implement and then transfer interagency affairs to an appropriate lead agency.

Interagency coordination is important, and organizational structure matters. Organization theory and lessons learned during recent operations have repeatedly shown that ad hoc organizations are inherently inefficient. For a variety of reasons the interagency coordination mechanism is strategically and operationally flawed. Sweeping organizational changes are needed, but until they occur, an interagency operations center could provide a measure of operational-level coordination and support for civil-military solutions to complex problems that presently is available only through the ad hoc structures of civil-military operations centers.

The composition and resourcing of those centers warrants further study; in addition to common characteristics, each will reflect the unique needs of its regional commander-in-chief. Some might start out as a cell with a few experts. In others, the nature of the theater may demand a large coordinating body that serves as the focus of humanitarian, post-conflict, or other civil-military operations. The IOC should not be regarded as just another attempt to improve interagency coordination. The success or failure of any interagency operations center will depend upon each CINC's support of the interagency process and the dedicated investment of resources--time, money, equipment, and personnel--to the IOC concept. Failing that, as greater numbers of agencies can be expected on the scene in future contingency operations, some other concept will have to be developed to solve an interagency coordination problem that can only get worse with time.


NOTES

1. US armed forces are routinely deployed all over the globe to conduct military operations other than war. For example, US special operations forces are engaged overseas in 45-60 countries at any one time and over 140 countries a year.

2. William J. Clinton, A National Security Strategy for a New Century (Washington: The White House, May 1997), p. 6. The US National Security Strategy justifies this need for integrated approaches by explaining: "Our response to these threats is not limited exclusively to any one agency. . . . National security preparedness--particularly in this era when domestic and foreign policies are increasingly blurred--crosses agency lines; thus, our approach places a premium on integrated interagency efforts to enhance U.S. security."

3. "The cultural bias . . . often isolates the military from the other instruments of power . . . force is regarded as a separate instrument that is somehow incompatible with other means. This perception of military power undermines efforts to achieve a synergistic application of national power." George T. Raach and Ilana Kass, "National Power and the Interagency Process," Joint Force Quarterly (Summer 1995), 8-9.

4. William W. Mendel and David G. Bradford, Interagency Cooperation: A Regional Model for Peace Operations (Washington: National Defense Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 4-5.

5. Some distrust is deliberate as a matter of checks and balances, some is rooted in history and passed on from generation to generation as a matter of organizational culture, and some is drawn from misleading labels or exaggerated stories.

6. Poor cross-agency coordination is prevailing, according to Adam B. Siegel, whose insights from seven humanitarian and peace operations case studies concluded: "In every one of the examined operations, organizations had some form of coordination problem that had potentially serious implications." Adam B. Siegel, Requirements for Humanitarian Assistance and Peace Operations: Insights from Seven Case Studies (Alexandria, Va.: Center for Naval Analyses, 1995), p. 39.

7. Chris Seiple, The U.S. Military/NGO Relationship in Humanitarian Interventions (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: US Army Peacekeeping Institute, 1996), p. 44.

8. Ibid., pp. 1-8. "NGOs and the American military will have to work together toward a common goal. Theirs is not a natural relationship . . . . Even assuming sustained and correct attention from the highest policy-making circles, a shared vision is extremely difficult to develop . . . . [D]ecisions of the `on-the-ground' operators carry a good deal of weight; like it or not, they will be collectively creating policy."

9. The costs can include relinquishing hard-earned turf, institutional change, trust in unknown and uncontrollable entities, unplanned budget outlays, and sharing of personnel and resources. Doing the "right" thing might lead to a loss of influence for one's parent organization and ultimately bureaucratic insecurity close to home.

10. Mendel and Bradford, pp. 1-2. "But not all government organizations sense the need for (or see a problem) integrating interagency capabilities, . . . having little need to operate beyond the reach of an ambassador's country team in a host nation . . . . Although it is not within the Department of Defense charter to pull together US interagency actions regionally, the unified commander can assist State Department and other government officials in that effort."

11. Lisa W. Davidson, Margaret D. Hayes, and James J. Landon, Humanitarian and Peace Operations: NGOs and the Military in the Interagency Process (Washington: Advanced Concepts, Technologies, and Information Strategies, National Defense University, 1996), p. 22.

12. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual 3400.04A, Universal Joint Task List (UJTL), version 3.0, 13 September 1996. Tasks: Strategic Level National Military Task (SN-8), Foster multinational and interagency relations; Strategic Level Theater Task (ST 8), Develop and maintain alliance and regional relations; Operational Level Task (OP 4.7), Provide politico-military support to other nations, groups, and government agencies; (OP 5.7) Coordinate and integrate joint/multinational and interagency support.

13. See Andrew Natsios, "The International Humanitarian Response System," Parameters, 25 (Spring 1995), 68-81.

14. John MacKinlay, A Guide to Peace Support Operations (Providence, R.I.: Brown Univ. Press, 1996), pp. 240-41.

15. The name change from CMOC to IOC deemphasizes civil-military issues, prejudices, and fears and portrays the image of all agencies as equal participants on an interagency team. It is important to note that the military does not have to be (and if possible, should not be) in charge. The sooner that nonmilitary agencies can handle the crisis on their own, the better.

16. Mendel and Bradford, p. 2. "The existing [interagency] literature discusses the National Security Council (NSC) staff system and possibilities for improving government from that level. Yet, the NSC facilitates policy and strategy development; it does not [help] execute policy in the field. The Joint Staff publications and the service doctrine do not provide specific guidelines or techniques for building interagency teamwork and integrating capabilities."

17. Graham T. Allison, "Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis," in Comparative Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays, ed. Wolfram F. Hanrieder (New York: David McKay, 1971), pp. 322-84.

18. James Q. Wilson, Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It (New York: Basic Books, 1989), p. 24.

19. Ibid., p. 369.

20. Ibid., p. 371.

21. Joint Publication 3-07, Joint Doctrine for Military Operations Other Than War, 16 June 1995, p. IV-8.

22. Volume II describes the key US government departments and agencies, NGOs, and international organizations that typically interact with the US military. It explains their core competencies, basic organizational structures, and relationship with the US armed forces.

23. Joint Publication 3-08, Interagency Coordination During Joint Operations, Vol. I, 9 October 1996, p. II-18.

24. Ibid., p. II-19.

25. White Paper on the Clinton Administration's Policy on Managing Complex Contingency Operations: Presidential Decision Directive 56 (1997), pp. 1-3.

26. Ibid., p. 3.

27. Ibid., p. 1.

28. Interagency coordination is required in counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, counternarcotics, transnational crime, and all other complex missions in the post-conflict environment.

29. Kenneth Allard, Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned (Washington: National Defense Univ. Press, 1995), p. 23.

30. Stephen O. Wallace, "Civil-Military Operations: Staff Support to Army Corps and Divisions," Special Warfare, January 1996, p. 33. See also S. L. Arnold and David T. Stahl, "A Power Projection Army in Operations Other Than War," Parameters, 23 (Winter 1993-94), 4-26; and Mark R. Walsh, "Managing Peace Operations in the Field," Parameters, 26 (Summer 1996), 32-49.

31. Joint Task Force Commander's Handbook for Peace Operations (Fort Monroe, Va.: Joint Warfighting Center, 16 June 1997), p. II-7. See also Andrew S. Natsios, "Commander's Guidance: A Challenge of Complex Humanitarian Emergencies," Parameters, 26 (Summer 1996), 50-66.

32. Margaret Daly Hayes and Gary F. Wheatley, ed., Interagency and Political-Military Dimensions of Peace Operations: Haiti--A Case Study (Washington: National Defense Univ. Press, 1996), pp. 37-41.

33. Ibid., p. 35.

34. Ibid., p. 32.

35. United States Atlantic Command (USACOM), Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY: US Forces in Haiti (Norfolk, Va.: USACOM, 1997), p. 8.

36. Hayes and Wheatley, pp. 32-33.

37. USACOM, Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY: US Forces in Haiti, p. 8.

38. Hayes and Wheatley, pp. 35-38.

39. USACOM, Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY: US Forces in Haiti, p. 8.

40. Ibid., p. 7.

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid., p. 8.

43. Hayes and Wheatley, p. 41.

44. US European Command (USEUCOM), Operation Support Hope, 1994 After Action Review, Appendix B, Document 1 (July 1994), p. 2, and Document 4 (August 1994), p. 3.

45. NGO proliferation can be a major factor that creates confusion in the early stages of a humanitarian emergency. According to a 1996 Guide to Peace Support Operations: "There are now over 4000 development NGOs . . . whose main mission is to work overseas . . . [and] an estimated 20,000 other NGOs that often work as the operational partners of International NGOs or international development donors and UN agencies." MacKinlay, pp. 96-97. Inter Action is the largest coalition of US-based development, relief, and refugee organizations with 160 agencies operating in 185 countries. USAID has registered another 350 NGOs. New volunteer organizations are being formed each day. The worldwide proliferation of such agencies is unavoidable; US government departments and agencies, including the military, must rise to the challenge.

46. USEUCOM, Operation Support Hope, p. 17.

47. Ibid., p. 3.

48. Joint Pub 3-08, p. III-6.


Major Thomas Gibbings, USA, is the Adjutant for the 650th Military Intelligence (CI) Group, SHAPE, Belgium. He received a B.S. from Radford University and an M.B.A. from Marshall University. A graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and US Army Command and General Staff College, he commanded a tank company in the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado. He also served as an armor battalion S3 and XO and was the Secretary of the General Staff for the US Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Lieutenant Commander Donald Hurley, USN, is a naval intelligence officer assigned to the joint intelligence staff at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. He is a 1985 graduate of the US Naval Academy, holds an M.A. degree in Military Art and Science from the US Army Command and General Staff College, and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College.

Major Scott Moore, USAF, is an Air Force special operator assigned to the Future Concepts Branch of the US Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and holds an M.S. in Defense Analysis (Irregular Warfare) from the Naval Postgraduate School. An experienced MC-130 navigator with over 3000 flying hours, he has planned and flown a variety of special operations missions in the Pacific and Europe.


Reviewed 6 November 1998. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil