The Middle East Institute is pleased to welcome Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), to discuss his proposals for how best to conduct Stability and Reconstruction Operations.
Stability and Reconstruction Operations, or (SROs), entail governmental efforts to rebuild crucial infrastructure, implement rule of law, and ensure security in developing countries before, during, and after armed conflict.
As Mr. Bowen pointed out in his "Learning from Iraq" report issued in March 2013, the United States has no unified structure for conducting SROs. Because of that, a multitude of federal entities often duplicate efforts and work sometimes at cross purposes to each other.
Both Iraq and Afghanistan have been glaring examples of money and effort gone to waste. Bowen has proposed that SROs be directed by a single entity he calls USOCO, the U.S. Office for Contingency Operations.
By having this central point of command and coordination, not only can significant cost savings be achieved, but just as importantly, stabilization and reconstruction work can proceed with certainty of direction and purpose