The Dual-System Problem in Complex Conflicts

Despite decades of research and experience in for-eign conflicts and fragile environments, institutions in the United States and beyond are often unable to position themselves for success when called upon to intervene.

This monograph contributes to the growing recognition that today’s conflicts are best understood as complex systems, characterized by greater levels of fragility, uncertainty, and intractability than conflicts of previous decades.

However, it does something even more important along the way. It encourages us to acknowledge that policy processes and institutions designed to address foreign conflicts are themselves complex…