Reframing Stability Operations: Using Social Science to Identify Pillars of Stability Operations to Bridge the Gap Between the Principles of Joint Operations and Stability Operations Framework   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the thesis abstract: "Recent Government and Department of Defense publications designate stability operations as a core military mission, leading to its parity amongst other more traditional military missions along the spectrum of armed conflict. However, doctrine fails to account for the constructive nature of stability operations when compared to the destructive nature of the offense or defense. While both FM 3-07 'Stability Operations' and the new joint Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and United States Institute for Peace's 'Guiding Principles for Stability and Reconstruction' provide frameworks for the conduct of stability operations, there exists an institutional difficulty in achieving operational success. This leads one to question whether the proposed frameworks are correct, and if they can be improved upon. The problem lies in 2001, with the combining of the MOOTW [Military Operations Other Than War] Principles and the Principles of War. While this accounted for many common efforts and eventually led to the emergence of the Full Spectrum Operations concept, doing so erased parameters that provided unique guidance to the conduct of stability operations. This thesis addresses this doctrinal gap through social science by identifying what needs all people have, Drivers of Instability, and how stable societies adapt to ensure needs are met and avoid unstable behavior. It then critiques examples of need-fulfillment interventions, and the reasons behind their success. This analysis deduces certain Pillars, rooted in social science and validated against historical examples, which govern the unique conduct of stability operations. These Pillars of Stability Operations provide a theoretical basis that nests in the Principles of Joint Operations and complements the existing frameworks in FM 3-07 and 'Guiding Principles', making the execution of stability operations more efficient and effective."

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