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In the Wake of War: Improving U.S. Post-Conflict Capabilities

Independent Task Force Report No. 55

By Brent Scowcroft and Samuel R. Berger

In light of the ensuing difficulties in Iraq, post-conflict reconstruction planning and implementation is clearly a significant factor in the eventual success or failure of a military intervention. This report explains that specific post-conflict operation tasks—such as achieving and maintaining public security, establishing a process for political transition, and initial infrastructure repair and economic rehabilitation efforts—are of vital interest to the parties of a conflict and the international community. The U.S. government currently is not organized properly to facilitate the successful implementation of these critical post-conflict activities.

After assessing the current capabilities and operational structure of the government, this report recommends ways to more efficiently organize and allocate U.S. resources to manage post-conflict activities, and proposes mechanisms to leverage the capabilities of other international institutions.

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