Reimagined: How the U.S. Defense Department Responds to Triggers and Organizes to Balance against Threats




Roman, Javier Alexsandro

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This thesis explains why the United States Department of Defense (DoD) reacts to trigger events with an organizational response and why those organizations are sustained after the event has dissipated. The argument is that restructuring occurs as a result of a trigger event and that the new organization is maintained to balance against future threats. The thesis examines four cases: the US Air Force (USAF), US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). USAF, SOCOM, and NORTHCOM serve to analyze and explain the phenomena historically. CYBERCOM is a modern-day case study that illustrates why the phenomena continues. It concludes that the US is ultimately ill-equipped to handle emergent domains/threats of warfare resulting in calamity, but it creates and maintains new organizations postured to dominate the new domain/threat.


The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.


Defense, Emergent, Failure, Policy, Warfare



Political Science and Geography