A Survey of Coalition Logistics Issues, Options, and Opportunities for Research

by H. Wayne Gustafson, Richard J. Kaplan


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Coalition logistics refers to collaborative support of military forces by allies, including host nation support, cooperative management of supply and maintenance, and shared logistics planning for codeveloped weapon systems. Coalition logistics has never been a dominant theme of combined operations in U.S. alliances. As a result, opportunities for coalition logistics are going unrealized or underexploited, and payoffs from pursuing these opportunities have not been analyzed. This Note reports on a survey of such opportunities as they pertain to the U.S. Air Force and outlines prerequisite research needed to capitalize on them. Despite formidable political and economic obstacles to implementing coalition logistics, there are trends at work that appear to augur favorably for that approach in the long run. The author suggests research areas for assessing the merits of possible directions for coalition logistics and to determine how to reduce the barriers to implementation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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