Pakistan's FATA -- A Wicked Problem
LTC Marc Ferraro, commander, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, briefs a member of a Pakistani military delegation on features and benefits of the U.S. Army's Stryker vehicle  (National Guard Bureau photo).  



Commander Bernie McMahon, US Navy

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the the U.S. Army War College, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



In 1973 Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber in a seminal article, described a new form of problems as "wicked" and called for a new approach and understanding to solve these problems. They offered unique attributes and characteristics to distinguish these problems from others. The United States' current struggle to solve the Pakistan sanctuary problem can be attributed to a failure by the administration and military to fully comprehend that this is a wicked problem and thus requires a new approach. To demonstrate clearly that the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) is a wicked problem this paper will explore each of Rittel and Webbers attributes and then apply them to the current problem. The paper will then offer a new approach, given the wicked nature of the problem, on how President Obama and his decision makers can "tame" Pakistan's FATA problem.

To access this student research paper (approx 267 KB), click here

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