Interoperability: treat the disease, not the symptom
Pearson, Brian Davis
Parker, Patrick J.
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This thesis examines the reasons why defense reorganizations have failed to ensure effective interoperability to the armed forces. Past joint operations are surveyed to determine the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful operations. The provisions of each defense reorganization and the success of each reorganization in improving interoperability are discussed. Analysis of defense reorganizations and subsequent joint operations are used to postulate the causes of interoperability problems and explain the effects of defense reorganizations. The thesis describes how defense reorganizations did not reduce the autonomy of the services, allowing them to perpetuate service cultures that minimize the importance of interoperability. Analysis of past joint Operations shows that interaction between the services reduces interoperability problems, but that these lessons have been lost as the services return to their non-interactive peacetime operations: Routine interaction between the services is proposed as the means to preserve these lessons and change service culture to accept the importance of interoperability. Means to increase routine interaction are offered. The thesis concludes with analysis of recent events and a discussion of prospects for continued improvements to interoperability.
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