Post-9/11 Stability Operations: How U.S. Army Doctrine Is Shaping National Security Strategy
Syracuse University - Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism (INSCT)
Nicholas J. Armstrong
Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University
December 1, 2010
PRISM, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 101-120, December 2010
This essay explores several ironies in expectations that undergird a shift in national security strategy anticipated first in military doctrine by Field Manual 3-07: Stability Operations (2008). The irony is that the military is expected to lead policy initiatives that presume, as William Caldwell notes, that “military success alone will not be sufficient to prevail” in the present complex environment. This expectation includes asking the military to take on such tasks as “strengthening the capacity of the other elements of national power” and “leveraging the full potential of our interagency partners,” including working “with and through” the community of nations “to defeat insurgency, assist fragile states,” and “provide vital humanitarian aid to the suffering.” Such efforts not only imply notions of victory discordant with traditional military aims, they establish a role for the military incompatible with the nature of its missions — not to mention an aggrandized view of the Defense Department’s influence over other government branches, agencies, and political actors. While it is true that this new comprehensive approach to stability operations, as Caldwell summarizes, “integrates the tools of statecraft with our military forces, international partners, humanitarian organizations, and the private sector,” this changing role raises serious questions about whether our expectations about the military is an indicator of a reasoned approach to a changing security environment or a symptom of institutional vacuums in our federal system that no other agency can or will address.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: National security strategy, field manual, stability operations, complex operations, post-9/11, postconflict reconstruction, peacebuildingAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 13, 2012
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