The Simons Center cohosted with the Combined Arms Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace a symposium titled “Interagency Transitions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Beyond,” at the newly constructed headquarters of the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., Feb. 3-4.
As the last American troops begin leaving Iraq and the first withdrawals of troops begin leaving Afghanistan this year, the civilian agencies of the U.S. government must assume greater responsibility. This transition of responsibility was the central topic the symposium attendees discussed.
Attendees included more than 80 representatives from the National Security Council (NSC), State, Defense, Justice, Commerce, Treasury, USAID, Agriculture and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) , as well as U.S. Forces in Iraq, the NATO training command, and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, provided opening remarks, while key question and answer sessions were headed up by Ambassador Peter Bodde, Assistant Chief of Mission for Assistance Transition in Iraq, Office of the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq; Gen. Raymond Odierno, Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command; and George A. Laudato, Administrator’s Special Assistant for the Middle East, U.S. Agency for International Development.
A key deliverable for the symposium is the publication of a handbook on transitions, to be given to senior leaders, later this year.
Key themes, lessons and observations from the symposium (click to download).