by SWJ Editors
Considerations for Organizing and Preparing for Security Force Assistance Operations
by COL David Maxwell
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework of the problem we face as a nation in terms of enabling friends, allies, and partners to defend against terrorism and insurgency and maintain internal stability, and to provide some recommendations for change.
We not only face a chaotic and complex environment in the post 9-11 world due to the nature of the threat and the interaction of religious and ideological conditions but we also face a complex and confusing national security environment. As we execute OIF and OEF and less visible WOT operations throughout the rest of the world under the rubric of OEF (e.g., OEF-TS, OEF-CCA, OEF-P, etc.) we find ourselves faced with questions of how to organize and train to be able to execute the full spectrum of operations required to be successful in the war on terror (WOT) and to conduct Stability Operations. Current Joint and Army doctrine (JP 3-0 and FM 3-0) recognize that Stability Operations are on par with Offense and Defense and there is general recognition that the emphasis on Offense, Defense, and Stability will shift over time and as conditions change.
There seems to be a major assumption among many planners that the level of effort in Iraq and Afghanistan will need to be sustained indefinitely in areas beyond those two countries and the focus is how to develop a force (some say an "Advisor Corps") to be able to continue such large scale and continuous deployments. Before we develop such a force I think it is necessary to correctly frame the challenge we face, look at existing doctrine, training and organizations, and determine what is appropriate to sustain and what is appropriate for adaptation.