Small Wars Journal

Defense Department Wants Out of Stability Operations

Defense Department Wants Out of Stability Operations by Jeff Goodson – The Hill

Last January, the secretary of Defense, secretary of State and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a new interagency framework for conducting stability operations. Known as the Stabilization Assistance Review or SAR, it’s the result of years of interagency friction over institutional rolls in conflict environments.

In conjunction with the SAR, the Secretary of the Army has recommended eliminating the Army’s venerable Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is expected to rule on that proposal in the next 10 days, and what he does will say a lot about the future of this critical instrument of national security.

Stabilization focuses on three basic elements: security, governance and basic service delivery. U.S. experience with stabilization since 9/11 has left something to be desired. The SAR argues that the problem is lack of strategic clarity, organizational discipline and unity of effort. What it doesn’t say is that the global development industry has become ideologically obsessed with the notion that development is a civilian lane, and wants DoD out of it altogether…

Read on.