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Institutionalizing Stability Operations within DoD: Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force

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Final rept.

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Enclosed is the final report of the Defense Science Board task force on Institutionalizing Stability Operations within the Department of Defense DoD. This task force was asked to consider the institutional hurdles to effectively constitute and use the capabilities for stability operations called for in the 2004 Defense Science Board Report on Transition to and from Hostilities and the subsequent draft Directive to implement the recommendations of the report. In the last year there has been noticeable progress within the Department toward explicit embrace of stability operations as a core activity of DoD on par with combat operations, although there is still a long way to go. In that light, our recommendations should be viewed as accelerants of the process. Unfortunately, during the last year the progress of other elements of the Government has been less fulsome. Thus, we urge that the Department act with dispatch to accelerate the transformation of its own capabilities, while concurrently continuing to give full support to the evolution of capabilities elsewhere within the Government. Even though stability operations are as pervasive as combat operations across the Department, high level leadership and management is currently needed to accelerate transformation. The most important agent of change is the Secretary of Defense. Ideally the Secretary, with the Deputy Secretary, should, in effect, act as Executive Agent for change of the magnitude envisioned. If the Secretary and Deputy Secretary seek additional support beyond that to be provided by the OSD Staff and the Joint Staff, appointing an Executive Agent will accelerate change, and the Secretary of the Army is a possible choice in light of the Armys dominant albeit not exclusive role in stability operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

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