The Marshall Plan: Could We Do It Again?

  • September 15, 2015
  • Lieutenant Colonel David S. Pierce

The U.S. created and implemented the Marshall Plan out of necessity. Credited for saving Western Europe, the Marshall Plan assisted European Nations in recovering from the aftermath of WWII while preventing the Soviet Union from absorbing the entire continent. Implementation called for new organizations with experts in politics, agriculture, banking and others. Clear strategic objectives enabled unity of effort by DOS and the international community. In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq without a coordinated synchronized plan for construction operations. An ad hoc creation of an organization to oversee the program changed 3 times and each time it had new objectives, goals and vision. Reconstruction efforts in Iraq ignored the principles of the Marshall Plan. The Plan’s basic framework allows for the implementation of reconstruction operations in today’s complex environment, just as it did in 1947. The U.S. must consider the creation of a permanent office that follows the Marshall Plan’s structural framework. The office executive serves as the central focal point to address all issues concerning nation building to ensure coordination and synchronization of all resources across the interagency.