Journal: US Office for Contingency Operations

07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, Military, Peace Intelligence
Haiti Watch Thread

TIP OF THE HAT to Manna

The idea of a new agency for S&R ops was put forward a few months ago by Stuart Bowen, IG for Iraq reconstruction. After reviewing DoD and DoS efforts there, he proposed a US Office for Contingency Operations (USOCO). A whole of government agency to unify command and avoid the situation mentioned above between USAID and SOUTHCOM. Makes too much sense to get very far.

“That proposal may be controversial in some circles — particularly in areas the development community, where there’s concern that USOCO might represent a more cumbersome bureaucratic structure. But Bowen’s idea is attracting some powerful allies, like the widely admired former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker. “I do support the concept,” Crocker, the incoming dean of the George Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University, emailed me. “The current situation requires a perpetual reinventing of wheels and a huge amount of effort by those trying to manage contingencies.”

Proposal Circulates on New Civilian-Military Agency

Iraq Reconstruction Inspector General Urges Office to Report to State, Defense

As the United States’ special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen has blown the whistle on millions of dollars worth of waste, fraud and abuse. But one of his final acts in the job will be to address something more fundamental: the way U.S. civilian officials interact with their military counterparts during the complex wars of the future.

Maybe a role for the “fourth battalion.”

USASFC Command Reorganisation By Sean D. Naylor

Meanwhile, the fourth battalion will convert to a special troops battalion. This will include ele¬ments previously in the group support company, such as the Spe¬cial Forces advanced skills compa¬ny, the signals detachment and the regional support detachment. New organizations will be added, including a military intelligence company, an unmanned aerial systems platoon, two human intelligence sections, a signals intelligence section and other ele¬ments, according to a slide brief¬ing Repass provided to Army Times.

Phi Beta Iota: Central Command started out as a Readiness Command.  Africa Command started out as a Stabilization & Reconstruction Command.  It seems an Administration does not go by without discovering what we have all known since General Smedley Butler first blew the whistle on war as a racket and more recently General Al Gray spoke of peaceful preventive measures: the USA needs to be the good guys and good guys wage peace.  In our view an Office of Contingency Operations will not work–imagine Paul Bremer from the left, with 20-somethings screaming in Colonel’s faces “this is not what your President wants.”  In 1997 General Peter Schoomaker was known to be thinking about a White Hat SOF (Special Operations Force), and a lot of us talked about the need for regional regiments that had a civil affairs battalion, a medical battalion, a military policy battalion, a civil engineering battalion, and so on–a small cage for the lawyer.  Today we have a Civil Affairs Brigade and evidently USSOUTHCOM, which appears to have made a complete mess of Haiti, did not think to mobilize them, or to use four of the six usable airfields and five of the six usable ports.  The situational awareness of USSOUTHCOM appears to have been based on media reports and hysterical cries from the US Embassy shut-ins.  This is going to go down in history as a crime against humanity, worse than Rwanda-Burundi, and perhaps the single greatest disgrace to the Republic in peacetime since 9-11 was allowed to happen.  Personally, we think we need three Vice Presidents: one for Foreign Operations, one for the Commonwealth, and one for Education, Intelligence, and Research.  Right now DoD does not seem to feel it needs intelligence to make policy, do acquisitions, or engage in half-assed interventions.

See also:

The U.S. Office For Contingency Operations By: Spencer Ackerman Tuesday November 3, 2009

Can a new agency get Defense, State and USAID talking? Idea of Contingency Operations office is floated  By Samuel Knight Nov 10 2009, 09:57 AM

ContingencyOperations.com

GAO Report: Defense Budget–Need to Strengthen Guidance and Oversight of Contingency Costs (May 2002)

GAO Report: Contingency Operations–Providing Critical Capabilities Poses Challenges (July 2000)