Unified Quest 2008-- Persistent Security Seminar: Army and interagency partners examine security requirements for stability operations

Thursday April 24, 2008

What is it?

Army leaders agree that the future operational environment will demand a "whole-of-government" response to the challenges confronting our nation but what must the Army do to enable this response? From March 10-14 2008, nearly 200 military officers, scholars and government officials tackled this question at the Persistent Security Seminar in McLean, Va. Part of the Army chief of staff's annual future study, Unified Quest, examined the Army's role in providing a "secure environment" for other government agencies to conduct stability operations.

What has the Army done?

Every year, Unified Quest examines the most salient issues confronting our Army and our nation. Co-sponsored by U.S. Joint Forces Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, this year's study examines "building partnership capacity" as a potential key element in the national security strategy and the military's role therein. Previous events in the 2008 campaign of learning have addressed:
* The nature of the future operational environment.
* The need for a strategy that focuses all elements of national power.
* The strategic and military implications of building partnership capacity.
* The potential utility of indirect and asymmetric means of overcoming future, strategic challenges.
* The importance of campaign design to solving complex, operational problems.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army chief of staff and most foreign affairs experts concur that the United States is entering an era of persistent conflict and that the underlying causes of instability will defy purely military solutions. Indeed, leaders throughout the Department of Defense are unanimous in their conviction that our future national security depends on "whole-of-government" efforts to build governance capacity among partner nations in need. Yet, it is increasingly clear that many government agencies require a certain degree of security before they are able to lend their talent and expertise to the broader effort. Through the Persistent Security Seminar and other Unified Quest events, the Army has gained a better understanding of its critical role in providing the levels of security required by these organizations. Perhaps more significantly, Unified Quest has illuminated some of the non-traditional tasks the Army must be prepared to perform while interagency partners await secure conditions.

What's planned for the future?

The Army and its joint, interagency and multinational partners will further examine these emerging insights at the Army Future Game, April 29 to May 9, 2008, in Carlisle, Pa. The ultimate and most comprehensive event in each year's Unified Quest campaign of learning, the Army Future Game integrates all study areas in a single, interdisciplinary forum.

For more information on the Army Future Game and Unified Quest, visit the Web site: Unified Quest 2008.


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