The Foreign Service Journal, September 2009

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 33 our training, promotion and as- signment policies —which are al- most completely agnostic on the issue of interagency cooperation. Even with more supportive technology, interagency task forces and liaison officers will continue to encounter resistance to their at- tempts to build bridges between agencies without changes in moti- vation, training and beliefs. All too often, core agency staff say to their interagency-embedded col- leagues: “We don’t want to share that with the military, because their appetite is insatiable and they would only ask for more.” Or, “We don’t see any value coming out of high-level interagency discussions, since nothing is ever decided there.” Or, “That agency should stay out of our lane; if we brief them, then they will just get further into our business.” Such fears are based on experi- ence and cost-benefit analysis: the cost of interagency cooperation is clear and tangible, but the benefits are unknown and immeasurable. Clearly, the home agencies have failed to set up incentives to moti- vate staff to participate, and failed to train staff on how to minimize the costs and maximize the bene- fits. Require interagency assign- ments and training for promotion to the Senior Foreign Service. The George W. Bush administration created lit- tle pockets of interagency cooperation— including PRTs, JIATF-I and LNOs — scattered here and there within critical nerve centers such as CENTCOM, forward oper- ating bases and USAID/Baghdad. But this tentative ap- F O C U S Human relations and behavior — not the technology and organizational mechanics of coordination — are the real barriers to interagency integration.