Leveraging JIIM Partner Capabilities in Support of Steady State Operations

  • Lieutenant Colonel Bradley A. Heston

The end of major combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014 will bring the United States to a crossroads. Discretionary budget cuts affecting U.S. government interagency (IA) partners, especially the Department of Defense, could threaten the U.S.'s ability to effectively conduct global steady state operations. This, coupled with an increasingly volatile international strategic environment, can threaten regional stability and embolden the U.S.'s adversaries. Meeting these challenges requires the U.S. to leverage the capabilities of all Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners to effectively conduct steady state operations in support of U.S. interests. This paper describes the current state of IA and JIIM integration at the national, regional, and Embassy country team level and identifies opportunities to improve IA coordination and planning mechanisms. Addressing these opportunities calls for changing IA coordination mechanisms at the National Security Council and agency level, improving regional coordination between the geographic combatant commands and Department of State and USAID regional bureaus, and creating efficiencies for partnering with IA and multinational partners at the country level.