Stabilization Assistance Review: A Prudent, Economical Path Forward by James Durso - Real Clear Defense
The Department of Defense (DoD) has asked Congress for $25 million to establish a post-conflict stabilization assistance fund, and a Defense Support to Stabilization (DSS) program and program office at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). The DSS program office will provide guidance for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating DoD's post-conflict stabilization activities.
The DoD appropriation will be the “earnest money” for a joint stabilization effort by the DoD, the Department of State (DoS), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)which was announced in the Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR), published in May 2018.
After the “money for nothing” years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. is approaching post-conflict stabilization in a way that reduces the upfront cost to the taxpayer and provides an off-ramp if the stabilization effort is not bearing fruit within five years. This will give Congress the opportunity to demand proof that local political actors are making real progress before it appropriates funds for large-scale (and expensive) reconstruction…