Stability Operations in FM 3-0

Thursday February 28, 2008

What is it?

FM 3-0, Operations, is the first significant revision in operational doctrine since 9/11. Rolled out at the Association of the United States Army Winter Symposium today, the field manual gives stability operations co-equal status with offensive and defensive operations.

What has the Army done?

Since the last edition of FM 3-0 (June 14, 2001), historic changes to the international security environment have evolved. These changes have altered the operational environment, so the new version of the field manual captures a new operational concept where commanders employ offensive, defensive, and stability or civil support operations simultaneously. This has major ramifications for training, planning and decision-making, and represents a significant challenge to military forces. There are other major changes in FM 3-0:

- The operational concept and the operational environment
- Information operations
- Warfighting functions
- The spectrum of conflict
- Defeat and stability mechanisms
- Joint interdependence and Modular forces

What does the Army have planned for the future?

In the near term, the Combined Arms Center (CAC), Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will host a "How to fight" seminar in April 2008 to discuss stability operations and FM 3-0. FM 3-07, Stability Operations, is due for release in late summer, with changes to the civil-affairs career field scheduled to commence in June.

Why is this important to the Army?

This century's conflict involves more than combat between armed opponents; it requires offensive and defensive operations to defeat adversaries, and stability and civil support operations to simultaneously shape the broader situation to restore security and normalcy to the local populace. To that end, FM 3-0 forges an operational concept that drives initiative, embraces risk and focuses on creating opportunities to achieve decisive results in all operations.

Conflict, however, remains fundamentally a human endeavor, and it is Soldiers who accomplish the mission. Soldiers therefore remain the centerpiece of Army formations - they are our most important advantage and remain the strength of the nation. It is Soldiers - defined by their valor, devotion to duty and commitment to one another and the United States of America - who execute full-spectrum operations, and it is Soldiers who are the core of FM 3-0.

Related links:

FM 3-0 (PDF Download)

Senior Army Leader Page (SALP)

Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace


- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor


  • Army unveils new field manual for operations (ARNews)
  • Army acquisition efforts contribute to economic boom in Iraq (ARNews)
  • Diversity Task Force fighting 'silent epidemic' (ARNews)
  • Two firms sue Army for $11M in damages (USA)


  • Sunni forces losing patience with U.S. (WP)
  • Army official: Yes, waterboarding breaks international law (TPM)
  • Taliban called growing threat in Afghanistan (BS)
  • Opinion: War and peace, the Army way (LAT)


  • Health care improves, GAO says (WP)
  • Army narrows realignment alternatives to 3 properties (WP)
  • U.S. Soldiers train Canadians for Afghanistan in Texas (AFIS)
  • arms purchases excessive (MH)


  • Russia may support Iran sanctions (BBC | Story)
  • Taliban threaten spring offensive on Kabul (TEL | Story)
  • Many die in Pakistan missile strike (AJ | Story)
  • Opinion: Ahmadinejad's message to Iraqis (AA | Story)


  • Spc. Kevin Mowl: Rest In peace, brave warrior (SM)
  • A little rain must fall (N2G)
  • Facebook threatens Soldiers, Canada warns; '80 percent' of enemy intelligence gleaned from 'Net (DR)
  • Supporting our Soldiers, Civilians and their Families (USACE)
  • Pure crap: Veterans' Mental Health Treatment First Act (SSM)
  • Vested interest (BF)
  • March of the imam (GC)

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.


"What's clear to us is that every operation - whether it is major combat operations, irregular warfare or even peacetime engagement - will include some form of offensive operations, some form of defensive operations and some form of stability operations."

- U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

Chief of Staff Reflects on New Manual for Operations


STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.