Assessing Locally Focused Stability Operations
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA
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Locally focused stability operations LFSO are an important element of counterinsurgency and stability operations. These missions, exemplified by the ongoing Village Stability Operations VSO effort in Afghanistan, typically involve small teams of U.S. or host-nation HN forces that work toward fostering local security, sustainable development, and effective governance in strategically located villages or similar areas. However, there is no standard doctrine for assessing the progress and outcomes of LFSO. As a result, those in need of such tools have developed and employed a plethora of different assessment approaches and models, with varying degrees of success. To address the lack of standard assessment doctrine, the United States Armys Asymmetric Warfare Group AWG enlisted support from RANDs Arroyo Center to help determine analytic frameworks, best practices, and metrics for measuring the effects of LFSO. Based on an extensive literature review and interviews with more than 50 subject-matter experts SMEs, this report identifies, distills, and documents information that will help improve the Armys ability to measure and assess operations in which the impact of local atmospherics and other factors of influence make evaluation especially difficult. Although the study is focused on assessing operations at the local level, it also identifies critical pitfalls to avoid in the assessment process and presents useful methods for developing an assessment framework for multiple operational contexts.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics