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The second act of victory: U.S. foreign policy and post-conflict state-building.

Kofmehl, Scott Eric (2009) The second act of victory: U.S. foreign policy and post-conflict state-building. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Post-conflict operations have become a key, yet widely contested topic in international relations, particularly due to the U.S.-led interventions and post-conflict operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-conflict state-building - the initial construction of the institutions, structures, and processes of a functioning, minimally capable state after the major combat operations of a war - is a critical concept within this debate. This thesis evaluates U.S. foreign policy regarding post-conflict state-building, specifically U.S. strategy and planning for the immediate post-conflict period. Through an institutional approach based on Allison & Zelikow's Model II organizational behavior paradigm, the thesis identifies structural, resource, and policy issues that create institutional challenges for post-conflict state-building strategy and planning within the U.S. foreign policy-making process. This thesis assesses three critical institutions - the Defense Department, State Department, and Congress - and evaluates the structural, resource, and policy issues within each of these institutions as they pertain to post-conflict state-building. Two case studies - post-conflict state-building strategy and planning in Panama after U.S. invasion in December 1989 and in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 - are used to identify the institutional factors that shape U.S. foreign policy regarding post-conflict state-building. State-building is conceptually part of warfighting in U.S. foreign policy. However, the immediate post-conflict period is not adequately addressed in current planning or operations. Structural, resource, and policy issues often prevent the strategic proposition of post-conflict state-building from becoming an operational reality. There are disconnects between strategic goals and operational resources that relegate the importance of post-conflict state-building and limit its effectiveness in U.S. foreign policy. U.S. government institutions conceptualize long-term transformational goals for state-building, yet neglect the transitional, shorter-term components of post-conflict state-building, which link the major combat operations to the longer-term development assistance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2742

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