PCR Project Special Briefing: Roundtable on Proposed Civilian Reserve Corps
November 8, 2007
In his 2007 State of the Union message, President George W. Bush called for the creation of a Civilian Reserve Corps “to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them.” The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization was created in the State Department in 2004 to organize the interagency process for implementing reconstruction and stabilization tasks and to develop the capacity to staff those efforts. The proposal for a civilian reserve reflects the perceived need to expand both the numbers and types of expertise available in the Federal government to staff particular reconstruction programs abroad. Although perhaps as many as one million Americans, both soldiers and civilians, have some direct experience of post-conflict reconstruction, the proposal raises complicated questions relating to required skills, recruitment, leadership and security. The nature of international linkages also demands attention, since other nations are improving their capacities in the field. The degree of Congressional receptivity to the proposal is not yet clear.