Expeditionary Economics doctrine holds that economic growth is a critical component of long-term stability, each enabling the other: development is impossible without stability and stability is unsustainable without economic growth. Moreover, the most effective path to growth in areas in conflict is to focus on forming firms that can generate rapid revenue growth and employment opportunities. While the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) has advanced security and stability, its use as a tool of economic development has been criticized. Still, the U.S. military uses "money as a weapon system" and likely will continue to do so in future engagements. Based on 8 years of quantitative and anecdotal data, there are lessons to be learned on improving CERP. The authors examine the origins of CERP, as well as its successes and shortcomings as a tool for economic stabilization and security. Recommendations include engaging more effectively with local business and government leaders, improving collaboration with other coalition actors, increasing transparency, and placing emphasis on economic outcomes rather than process. Furthermore, while being cognizant of the security function of the program, CERP should support local entrepreneurs.
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