Stability Operations: Ill-Structured Problems, Stakeholders, and Gaining Consensus   [open pdf - 433KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The Department of Defense emphasis on stability operations caused the United States Army to change its operational concept to Full Spectrum Operations (FSO). The acknowledgment of the importance of stability operations however, does not translate to the ability to plan such operations. As a result, the army has revised its doctrine to meet the demands incurred since embarking on the Global War on Terrorism in 2001. These revisions were necessary and relevant to secure the lessons of eight years of war. However, doctrinal revisions failed to provide a complete theoretical foundation for ill-structured problems as described in FM 5-0, The Operations Process [Field Manual 5-0: The Operations Process]; nor did the revisions do more than provide examples of stakeholders much less provide a definition of such actors; and, while key leader engagements are common practice in Iraq and Afghanistan, doctrine has not provided any tools for structuring these engagements to assist in developing understanding of ill-structured problems, or how to gain consensus among divergent groups of stakeholders. Thus, this monograph outlines three methods for inclusion in future revisions of doctrine to improve the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) specifically for stability operations."

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