War by Other Means: Building Complete and Balanced Capabilities for Counterinsurgency

By David C. Gompert; John Gordon IV | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Organization: Unsettled Structures for
Unsettled Times

Organizational Issues in Perspective

Although organizing for effective COIN was not an explicit aspect of this study’s purpose, the need to address it became obvious in the course of it. Accordingly, this chapter presents preliminary ideas for further analysis.

Recall that organizational structure is one of the layers in the capabilities framework presented early in this report. While reorganization is no cure-all, neither can it be ignored. A commitment to building complete and balanced COIN capabilities will have organizational implications. Given the nature and seriousness of Type III insurgency and the breadth of effort needed for successful COIN, these implications may be quite significant, including but also going beyond the way U.S. armed forces are organized.

Notwithstanding organizational innovations in the U.S. nationalsecurity apparatus since 9/11, notably the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the existing structure has not performed adequately in COIN. DHS has virtually nothing to do with COIN; the formation of DNI, per se, has not appreciably improved the sharing of intelligence in actual COIN operations; and neither structure goes to the heart of U.S. COIN inadequacies. It would be a mistake to attribute U.S. shortcomings entirely to organizational defects, lack of capabilities and errors in policy and execution being at least as important. But it would also be a mistake to exempt organizational structure

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