Toward Making Practice More Perfect In Stability Operations. A Critique of Appendix F, 'Provincial Reconstruction Teams,' to FM 3-07, Stability Operations (CSL Issue Paper, Volume S01-09, August 2009)
Student issue paper
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
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The U.S. Armys history is replete with an aversion to stability operations regardless of the name, e.g., operations other than war, peacekeeping, or small wars. However, the publication of Army Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations, in October 2008 signaled that a large category of missions--those characterized as neither strictly offensive or defensive operations--are not only part of the Armys charter to engage in, but to win decisively and efficiently. In particular, Appendix F, Provincial Reconstruction Teams, in FM 3-07 is a significant step forward to codify an initiative from Operation ENDURING FREEDOM that the military now considers a best practice in stability operations. The Provincial Reconstruction Team PRT concept maximizes interagency strengths, emphasizes a whole of government approach to stability operations, and seeks to optimize the four elements of national power diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. Unfortunately, as a doctrine to establish a common frame of reference including intellectual tools that Army leaders use to solve military problems, the appendix falls short. In promoting a mutual understanding and in enhancing effectiveness, the appendix is weakened by omissions and ambiguity. Shortcomings appear in both principal sections of the appendix. In the first section of the appendix, Principles of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, paragraph F-3 states that a PRT does not conduct military operations. This assertion requires either significant elaboration or outright removal. Provincial Reconstruction Teams are elements of military forces that conduct stability operations. With stability operations defined as various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power, a statement that a military element the PRT does not conduct military operations almost certainly will confuse the reader.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics