by SWJ Editors
Prioritizing the Reconstruction of Critical Infrastructure within a Stability Operation Environment
A New Methodology
by Major Travis (TJ) Lindberg and Dr. David A. Anderson, Small Wars Journal
As of 31 March 2008, total funding for Iraq reconstruction stood at $112.52 billion, with the United States footing $46.3 billion of that amount in appropriated funds. Unfortunately, as decision-makers are well aware, there is no assurance that massive expenditures on critical infrastructure projects within a stability operations environment can ensure long-term stability in an affected country. Thomas Friedman, in his bestseller, The World is Flat, states repeatedly that the best way to ensure long-term stability is through economic integration with the modern world. However, the stability operations and counterinsurgency literature clearly states that before the desirable conditions of economic development and integration into the world economic system can sustain themselves, the host nation (HN) must be able to govern itself effectively and maintain a monopoly on the use of force within its own borders -- neither of which is possible until the most fundamental "Maslow" needs of an affected population, such as physical security and essential services, are met.