Economic interventions are a key component of stability operations. But they have proven challenging for the U.S. military to both implement and evaluate under conditions of state fragility and conflict. As a shaping operation, so-called ‘tactical economics’ can enable military units to shape security environments and consolidate gains in pursuit of sustainable outcomes. However, as Jonathan Bate argues in this MWI Report, they require careful targeting, design, implementation, and evaluation.
Read full report here.
MAJ Bates explores an essential component of stability and reconstruction operations.
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Thank you for sharing a pioneering report written by Major Jonathan Bate. I read with great interest. It addresses one of the most important issues in peace-building—that is, how technical assistance initiatives can help recovering the damage caused by conflict to the country’s social fabric, especially at community level, in the immediate aftermath of military operations. The report offers a number of insightful recommendations which represent interest not only to the military but to international development community generally. In particular, the recommendation to adopt an approach focusing at tactical level deserves special attention. Community based quick impact economic initiatives, if well planned and implemented, have a great potential for (re)building community cohesion, increasing local resilient capabilities and thus reducing the influence of conflict drivers and the likelihood of violence reoccurring. That said, there are numerous small and big problems in introducing this approach, primarily coming from rigid management and decision making schemes, set-in-a-stone planning, monitoring and evaluation models traditionally employed by development programs. The report rightly points out that flexibility and adaptive capacity is the key to achieving success in highly complex, unpredictable post-conflict environments. The approach proposed also goes in line with 3D framework which envisages and encourages exploring the opportunities for much needed close cooperation between military, political-diplomatic, and technical assistance channels of peace-building.