Interagency Coordination in Military Operations Other Than War

Implications for the U.S. Army

by Jennifer Taw, Marcy Agmon, Lois M. Davis

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The Arroyo Center is researching ways for the U.S. Army to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency in interagency military operations other than war (MOOTW). Army and civilian efforts to provide humanitarian and nation assistance in MOOTW are coinciding more and more frequently. The Army must identify how it can maximize its comparative advantage in this environment despite internal and external pressures to assume tasks that may fall more logically to civilian U.S. government agencies or even to nongovernmental organizations or UN agencies. The Army must help find a balance at all levels — policy, operational, and tactical — in which it contributes to interagency MOOTW without either usurping civilian agencies' roles, on the one hand, or being asked to assume too many of their responsibilities, on the other. The Army must start with a clear sense of which interagency problems lie outside its sphere of influence, and which lie within it. Among the steps the Army can take to enhance its efforts in interagency MOOTW are the following: more input by the Chief of Staff of the Army at the policy end; more education of soldiers and civilians about their respective objectives, methods, and capabilities; closer linkages up and down the civilian and Army chains of command; and more Army input into doctrine guiding interagency coordination, including the structure and manning of civil-military operations centers.

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