Small Wars Journal

Development at War: A Short History

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 8:11am

Development at War: A Short History by Jeff Goodson - Real Clear Defense

Socioeconomic development plays a major role in cold, conventional and irregular warfare. Recent history illustrates how the nature of that role varies with the nature of the conflict, and recent trends portend likely development execution in future operations…

DoD has greatly improved its capabilities in tactical economics and other elements of expeditionary development.  Much of this evolved out of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, including with village stability operations, provincial reconstruction teams, use of reservists seasoned in socioeconomics, sector-level business development, and execution of development projects in every major sector.  This experience has since been adapted to other Unconventional Warfare, Foreign Internal Defense, COIN, and Stability Operations. 

USAID shared a great deal of this experience while executing full-spectrum development in Afghanistan after 2001.  But expeditionary development is more than just development at war; it is development as an integral element of war.  The difference is huge, in both the social sciences and economics, and USAID only got into the fight just before a new COIN doctrine was introduced in December 2006.  After that, USAID was only partially successful at integrating its development work into the military campaign…

Read on.