Final Report on Lessons Learned
June 14, 2010
In May 2009, CSIS was chartered by the Department of Defense to determine lessons learned from the activities in Iraq by the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations to support military missions. The CSIS Final Lessons Learned Report is now available for download at right. In keeping with a decade of other CSIS efforts in stability operations and reconstruction, this report outlines the Task Force’s history and results, but it also looks more broadly at the roles of the military, the Department of Defense, and the rest of the U.S. government, and at the entirety of economic operations and development work in Iraq since before the invasion. As a result, the report’s recommendations aim at both the Task Force and the larger U.S. effort, with a particular focus on applying the lessons learned to Afghanistan.
CSIS found that there is, and long has been, a substantial gap in U.S. government capability with regard to economic operations in conflict zones. That gap in capability is often attributed to resource shortfalls, but its primary causes lie in significant and unresolved policy differences, including what roles the private sector should play in economic operations. The outcomes of the Task Force’s projects in Iraq are presented in the report, but more importantly, it is the type of work the Task Force undertook and the framework within which it operated that have larger consequences for U.S. policy moving forward. CSIS continues to analyze economic operations in conflict zones and welcomes input and feedback from all readers.