DOD’s Effort in Improving Economic Development in Post-Conflict States

  • Lieutenant Colonel Craig Maceri

There are multiple players in the global community - governmental, non-governmental, and private sector, who focus their efforts on economic development in post-conflict, fragile, or failed states. In 2006, a new player emerged from the Department of Defense, known as the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, focused on promoting economic development in Iraq. This novel task force consisted mainly of civilian business personnel who leveraged their private sector expertise to help revitalize Iraq’s industrial economy. After eight years of operating in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the TFBSO shut down operations and transferred its open projects to United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This paper seeks to answer how successful the Task Force was in helping to promote a sustainable economy in Iraq and Afghanistan and what role the Department of Defense should play in economic development activities. It also provides recommendations on what actions should occur to regenerate a more effective capability for future contingencies.