Expeditionary Economics: A New Model for Post-Conflict Countries
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 / 9:30 am - 10:45 am
Robert Litan, Vice President, Research and Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Clare Lockhart, Director, Institute for State Effectiveness
Jeffrey Peterson, Colonel, U.S. Army; Professor of Economics, West Point Military Academy
Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Winning the hearts and minds of local populations can be key to the success of a military operation — and ensuring that a conflict zone returns to sustainable economic growth as quickly as possible is a crucial part of re-establishing stability. Expeditionary economics is a new "proto-field" in economics and in conflict planning that tackles these issues and seeks to prevent war-torn areas from becoming failed states. This session delves into the thesis that the most effective way to quickly heal an economy in conflict is to focus on the formation of new firms. This is not the conventional wisdom among economists or U.S. government aid officials, but our panelists argue that it should and eventually will be. This session further explores why the U.S. military urgently needs to develop a strategy for achieving post-conflict growth, and why this strategy must necessarily differ from country to country. How can the military invent the requisite expertise itself rather than outsourcing the task to private-sector contractors or other parts of the U.S. government?