Domestic Event Support Operations (DESO)
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
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Periodically, governments across the world find themselves hosting major peacetime events, often of an international nature, on their sovereign territory. Examples of these events include international sporting and cultural activities, such as the Olympic Games, the Soccer World Cup, and international expositions and political gatherings, such as the G8 summit and World Trade Organization meetings. To ensure the international community experiences these events at the appropriate standard, governments are inclined to support them even if, technically, they are not themselves conducting them. Frequently, the resources needed to achieve that standard exceed those available to the domestic authorities normally responsible for such events. This lack of resources creates a need for governments to surge briefly to higher levels of capability. To do so cost effectively, governments may need to engage the full range of national public and private sector agencies and capabilities, including their national defense establishments DE, to support the major peacetime domestic events their countries host. For the purposes of this paper, the defense activities associated with that support are termed domestic event support operations DESO. Although most militaries do not consider DESO core business, DESO are an historical reality. Military involvement can be significant, and the complexities of military activities in any nations domestic environment demand that DESO be well planned and organized. In a time of constrained national security spending, such as that predicted for most countries in the coming decade, and heightened security concern stemming from the current violent extremism phenomenon, DESO planning requires a robust intellectual framework. This paper seeks to contribute to the development of such a framework by characterizing DESO and offering an organizational model for such operations. It concludes with a recommended checklist for DESO planning.
- Civil Defense