> Vol. 4, No 3. 2013 > Addressing a Recurrent, Variable and Complex Challenge: The Uncertain Trajectory of Stabilization and Reconstruction in U.S. Security Strategy

Kari Mottola
Addressing a Recurrent, Variable and Complex Challenge: The Uncertain Trajectory of Stabilization and Reconstruction in U.S. Security Strategy


14 2013

Despite the apparent strength of their case, the community of planners, veterans, think-tankers and civic activists working in external security and humanitarian missions are puzzled and frustrated with the past and present performance of the United States in such missions, and anguished about the future. It is not that the United States has not taken action in foreign conflicts, regional instabilities or humanitarian catastrophes. It is not that the response to fragile or failed states has not been a key agenda item in U.S. foreign and security policy throughout the post-Cold War era. Where America as a polity has come short is in failing to recognize, as a permanent national security interest, the need to design and pursue a strategic policy on stabilization and reconstruction. While the concept may be debatable and the capability may be constrained by developments, what those devoted to the cause call for is a policy with a sustainable balance between ends and means and commensurate to the responsibility of U.S. global leadership