March 30, 2021
Iraq, Afghanistan, and, to an extent, Syria are all recent examples of situations where U.S. military involvement “solved” some elements of perceived problems but consequently created other issues. Following the invasion of Iraq in 2006, when the initial assessments seemed wrong and the situation was deteriorating simultaneously in Afghanistan, the Army began investigating alternative approaches to conceptual planning. Design methodology, now validated in joint doctrine, is the result of that inquiry. Using the methodology will not guarantee a successful outcome and is not a panacea for solving pandemics or complex problems. It does, however, provide a general framework, supported by an underlying logic, for discussing problems and developing approaches.