Interagency: Nice to Talk About… Hard to Do
by David Eaton and Gus Otto
The interagency concept is not a new paradigm, nor can it be considered the panacea to every problem set. Recent articles in the Simons Center’s InterAgency Journal explain well the considerable challenges present within interagency operations and interagency education. Interagency briefs well. It presents a holistic approach to solving complex problems by integrating and synergizing efforts and expertise from across the whole-of-government. Sounds great doesn’t it? Sure it does. The National Defense Strategy of 2008 articulates the interagency intent:
We will continue to work with other U.S. Departments and Agencies, state and local governments, partners and allies, and international and multilateral organizations to achieve our objectives. A whole-of-government approach is only possible when every government department and agency understands the core competencies, roles, missions, and capabilities of its partners and works together to achieve common goals.
Despite all the talk and insistence on tackling problems using an interagency approach, issues still plague the overall effectiveness of interagency partnerships…
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| About the Author:
Lieutenant Colonel David Eaton is a Strategic Intelligence officer and Licensed Professional Counselor. His most recent interagency experience was with the Defense Intelligence Agency. He is currently an Instructor and Staff Group Advisor within the Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.Gus Otto is the first Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Representative to the Army Combined Arms Center, and Defense Intelligence Chair at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. A career Human and Counterintelligence officer, Mr. Otto instructs and advises faculty and students, emphasizing the importance of collaboration across government, industry, and academia.