Learning from Iraq and Afghanistan: Four Lessons for Building More Effective Coalitions

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Abstract

Despite many tactical and operational successes by brave military and civilian personnel, post-9/11 operations by U.S. led coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan did not achieve their intended outcomes. Although many efforts are underway by discrete organizations within coalition countries to identify and learn their own lessons from these conflicts, comparatively less attention is paid to broader lessons for successful coalitions. Given that the U.S. and its allies will most certainly form coalitions in the future for a range of different contingency scenarios, these lessons are equally deserving of close examination. This article identifies four interrelated lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan that can be utilized to inform more effective coalition development and employment.

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A publication of the Baltic Defence College

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