An initial set of themes and concepts to organize research on operational-level problems includes the following: The TSO team members are smart and great analysts; they worked diligently and hard. Together, the state and process descriptions show that it is feasible to reorient the JCOA research tradition. The argument presented, however, does not seek to disparage the quality of JCOA products or of its analysts. In the scheme proposed here, the individual studies are examples or cases of important issues and dynamics that may have been overlooked. Before data collection begins, JCOA should detail analysts to review and summarize what is known about relevant themes and concepts at a minimum of two levels of analysis e. Since , the issue of civilian casualties has had increasing impact on operations in Afghanistan.

However, they produced findings—vetted by JCOA murder boards—that do not advance observations and analyses produced by previous JCOA studies or capture and further develop knowledge produced by academia and other analytic organizations. Finally, the culture will influence practice by enabling people to communicate and share knowledge. First, the sentence does not enable the reader to appreciate how commanders developed understanding and insight, because it assumes commanders had a clear understanding, prior to planning and operational implementation, of near-, mid-, and long-term goals and the way those goals were related. The main concerns over civilian casualties centered on coalition forces conducting time-sensitive targeting of leadership in urban areas. Political Science and Politics, Vol. And, second, what concepts and themes, appropriate as initial context for studies, are available to JCOA?

For example, the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 91st Edition, provides authoritative listings of fundamental physical constants, such as properties of ionic liquids and solids. Within days of the start of operations, international media began reporting incidents of civilian casualties.

jcoa case study

The final justification for developing and conducting research around a set of themes or concepts is that the themes provide an agenda around which JCOA leaders and analysts can engage intellectually with combatant commanders and their staffs.

The use of vague concepts has an important implication for the way JCOA analysts conduct their analyses: Include specific causal factors for civilian casualties in training. University of North Carolina Press, This discussion generated an hypothesis: The International Security Assistance Force ISAF casse, in conjunction with individual troop-contributing nations, began implementing many of the recommendations contained in that paper.


However, despite these efforts, and while maintaining compliance with the laws of war, the U. All research methodologies express a logic and procedure of analysis.

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Collectively, these dedicated efforts bore fruit: In addition to not knowing what actions, processes, and organization are associated with mission successes, it is not clear what actions do not work or why an event was a surprise.

Such training should include drone crews and PED etudy.

Lessons learned reports focus on tactical issues. However, the Iraq military purposely violated law of war rules designed to protect the peaceful civilian population by employing human shields, misusing protected symbols for impartial humanitarian organizations e.

jcoa case study

As a result, the analysis and assessment may not address the proper echelon or level of analysis,51 or may obscure thought about relationships between data and research questions. To be sure, the analyses and assessments already conducted are not all perfect; some assessments are limited by the availability of appropriate data; some may be guided by pre-determined conclusions; and others may stufy provide useful recommendations.

This paper vase a summary of kcoa insights from the final brief and expounds upon the major recommendations to provide context and aid implementation. These practices impede development of a complementary and parallel empirical research tradition that builds detailed knowledge about matters of concern to combatant commanders, such as how staff structure and processes e.

ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan have made significant progress in reducing civilian casualties while maintaining mission effectiveness.

Oxford University Press,p. A kind of auto-stimulation occurs.

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The remedy appears to be to organize a training center employing officers from our divisions which have had combat amphibious experience, and there develop a technique which is suitable for our organization, and for equipment and for the amphibious missions which our Army may be called upon to perform. Hence, during research, when new themes are proposed or concepts are clarified, previously obscure relationships between concepts and problems become clear.


Open-source reporting is suggestive that USG efforts in operations outside declared theaters of armed conflict share these challenges. In this enterprise, commanders and outside agencies deliberately engaged in the process of identifying errors and figuring out how to correct them. Pre-conflict doctrine was silent or ambiguous about the functions and activities division commanders determined they should conduct p.

Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis (JCOA) Drone Strikes Civilian Casualty Considerations

For instance, the report noted that, Our great weakness is the lack of adequate doctrine and technique for amphibious operations. That task of integration fell to a commander who thought about how to fight, the organizational infrastructure required to produce equipment, and the strengths and vulnerabilities of equipment he committed to battle.

The elevation of the conceptual element of operational analysis in JCOA studies would decrease, but not eliminate, the current emphasis on collecting, aggregating, analyzing, and disseminating joint lessons learned.

However, this topic was addressed in the conclusion to the Iraq Information Operations report: In both attacks, U.

Rather, it presents an opportunity to increase the value of JCOA analyses and products. Of course, understanding the need to collect data on armored vehicle vulnerabilities is simpler than identifying, collecting, and assessing data relevant to diagnosing problems, for example, in the establishment of JTF HQs.

Best practices and lessons from Casse regarding civilian casualty consequence management can also apply to other USG efforts, including operations outside declared theaters of armed conflict.

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