USAID and USACE Collaboration in the Pacific
by Patrick J. Wesner and Brett D. Fuller
The United States must use its diplomatic, economic, and military tools simultaneously when assisting aspiring partners.
— National Security Strategy, December 2017
The recently released U.S. National Security Strategy (2017 NSS) highlights the importance of strengthening international partnerships and increasing synchronization between U.S. government agencies. Foreign affairs agencies and other U.S. government entities with footprints overseas can support these strategic priorities by forging close interagency partnerships that allow for more effective and efficient programming. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are two such agencies, which, especially when working together, have been important instruments of national security and foreign policy. Both agencies have diverse capabilities and their areas of expertise and responsibility sometimes overlap, presenting unique partnership opportunities.
In the past 15 years, coordination between USAID and USACE has increased significantly. The agencies “teamed in Iraq and Afghanistan to realize stability and reconstruction objectives,” and, more recently, ramped up collaboration in other regions, such as the Pacific. Yet, while the agencies are working more closely together in some regions, the partnership could further evolve and deepen. Analysis of this unique relationship in the Pacific yields examples of successful collaboration and identifies challenges that might hinder more effective partnership…
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| About the Authors:
Patrick J. Wesner is a commissioned Foreign Service Officer with USAID and currently serves as the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Distinguished Chair for Development Studies.
Major Brett D. Fuller, U.S. Army, is an engineer officer and a student in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer Course.