Stability Operations Capabilities

What is it? Stability Operations is defined by the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 3000.05, “Military Support for Stabilization, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction Operations”, as: “Military and civilian activities conducted across the spectrum from peace to conflict to establish and maintain order in States and regions.” Stability operations in 2005 emerged of as a mission area for DoD, the U.S. Government (USG), our multinational partners, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

What has the Army done? The Department of State established the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization to enhance USG capacity to respond to crises involving failed, failing, and post-conflict states and complex emergencies. The Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) support this effort with personnel and staff assistance. DoD Directive 3000.05 directs a broad DoD-wide effort to improve stability operations capability and supports the development of USG capacity to plan for the execution of stability operations. The Army has undertaken several initiatives to improve Army capability and capacity to conduct stability operations, many of which correspond to the Service responsibilities in DoD Directive 3000.05. Several USG agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, OSD, the Joint Staff and the Army are considering, or have already established offices to posture themselves to better manage broad stability operations and international security force efforts. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations established a Stability Operations Office and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas will host the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance. The Chief of Staff, Army approved an expanded mission set and authorities for the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The intent is to assist in the integration of Army, joint, interagency, multinational and non-governmental efforts in the areas of education, training, research, planning and conduct of stability operations.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army is implementing an Army Focus Area for Stability Operations initiatives by integrating them into the Army Campaign Plan and Program Objective Memorandum for 2008-2013. The Army is also developing processes organizations and implementation plans to execute Army responsibilities in DoD Directive 3000.05. Lastly, the Army is supporting the development of USG capacity for stability operations by providing personnel or using Army institutional capacity to assist in these efforts.

Why is this important to the Army? The elevation of stability operations to a level of effort commensurate with combat operations has profound impact on Army resources. The ability of the Army to shape DoD-wide stability operations discussions and efforts allows the Army to affect the strategic direction of an effort in which the Army has the majority of military and USG capacity.