When computer programmers release a new operating system, it is faster and snazzier but users always find something to complain about. The QDDR's plans for the US government's civilian capacity for post-conflict response are likely to garner similar reactions.
Why You Need to Buy 2.0
After several years of uncertainty, the QDDR has finally committed the new leadership to a course of action, stating that:
- There is a clear link between state fragility (caused by a lack of governance) and national security threats;
- This is a civilian rather than military mission and the civilian role is more than just supporting military operations;
- Conflict prevention and response are a core mission of State and USAID; and
- This mission is broader than counter insurgency or countering terrorism and more complex than development, requiring new approaches and skills.
Left unclear, however, is whether this role is a boutique, “niche” operation or whether it represents the “new normal.” This is an important distinction that affects recruiting, training, staffing, and organization.