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Morrow Project: Intent Statement

The rulebook gives 3 lines on the mission of the Morrow Project – this is an attempt to give more detail.

OBJECTIVE: To assist in the re-building of the USA as a social, political and economic entity


Morrow Project units will assess conditions and allocate resources as necessary to assist survivors in the re-building their nation.


It is assumed that the Morrow Project will find the United States of America to be (at best) in a poor condition. The most optimistic scenario is that the USA will be a “fragile state” with stability in some areas and a wide variety of political/military/social conditions across the continent. It is possible that there will not be any form of central government.

The Basics:

1. Avoid “one-size fits all” approaches.
It is essential that Project personnel understand the specific problems in each area, and develop an accurate/effective view of the response that is required.

2. Do no harm.
Project actions could inadvertently worsen existing conditions – if they are not based on strong analysis, and designed with appropriate safeguards.

Decisions to begin, suspend or continue MP activities must be carefully judged for their impact on national re-building and security.

National re-building

3. Focus on national re-building as the central objective.
All nations are fragile when their structures lack political will and/or capacity to provide the basic functions needed to safeguard the security and human rights of their populations.

Morrow Project engagement will need to be sustained, and focused on rebuilding the relationship between state and society. This will involve engagement in two main areas.

Firstly, supporting the legitimacy and accountability of the government by addressing issues of democratic governance, human rights, civil society engagement and security.

Secondly, strengthening the capability of the state to fulfil the core functions.

Core functions include:

  • Public Safety,
  • Justice and the Rule of Law
  • Health Care
  • Schools
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • An enabling environment for basic commercial activity
  • Democratic measure of control over state organizations.

Support to these areas will in turn strengthen citizens’ confidence, trust and engagement in national re-building..

4. Prioritise prevention.
The situation cannot be allowed to deteriorate. Appropriate early action can lower the risk of future crises, and contribute to long-term re-development and security.

Project personnel (perhaps especially MARS teams) must be prepared to take rapid action where the risk of instability is highest. An emphasis on prevention will also include

  • Effective Risk Analysis
  • Strengthening local capacities
  • Supporting the capabilities of government organisations

There may be a necessity for joint missions/operations with surviving overnment agencies and armed forces.

5. Recognise the links between objectives.
The challenges faced by a fragile/rebuilding USA will be multi-dimensional. The political, security, economic and social spheres will be inter-dependent. Importantly, there may be tensions and trade-offs between objectives, particularly in the short-term.

This must be addressed when deciding on strategy and priorities. For example, it may be necessary to focus on security in the short-term, to lay the foundations for progress in the longer-term.

6. Promote non-discrimination.
The Morrow Project should consistently promote gender equity, social inclusion and human rights. Real or perceived discrimination is associated with fragility and conflict, and can lead to the failure of governments. Fairness and equality are important elements that underpin the relationship between state and citizen, and form part of long-term strategies for re-building.

The Practicalities:

7. Work with what you find. Not what you would like to find.
It is important to identify functioning systems within existing local institutions, and work to strengthen them. Where a legitimate government demonstrates political will to foster re-building, but lacks capacity, the Morrow Project should seek to align assistance behind government strategies.

The Morrow Project should seek to avoid developing systems that are parallel to (or compete with) existing/surviving government institutions as this would adversely impact the effectiveness and legitimacy of those institutions.

Similarly, the Morrow Project must avoid strengthening local capabilities if this weakens national objectives.

8. Act fast, but stay engaged long enough to give success a chance.

Assistance must be flexible enough to take advantage of windows of opportunity and respond to changing conditions. At the same time – given low capacity and the extent of the challenges – MP engagement may need to be long-term.

Project planners envisage that building up capacity development in core institutions “from scratch” would probably require an engagement of at least ten years.

  1. October 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks a lot!
    It is really interesting to look at whopper fiction / RPG from your side of “rusty curtain” ^__^

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