On 16 September 2009 the Department of Defense reissued DoD Directive 3000.05 (Stability Operations) as DoD Instruction 3000.05, stating that “Stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct with proficiency equivalent to combat operations.”
Our forces have been conducting stability operations in Iraq and Afghanistan now for several years, but that does not necessarily mean that the Army has done all it can to prepare ourselves to conduct stability operations as well as we fight. Here is a simple “back of the envelope” DOTMLPF assessment of what I think we need to do to make sure our Army is prepared to fully execute stability operations. I welcome your comments and suggestions.
We have taken on the doctrine piece of preparing our force by the publication of FM3-07, but how widely read is it? I have had a number of good (as opposed to “rich”) discussions of this with colleagues at PKSOI and the COIN Center. They have pointed out that as good as FM3-07 is, the devil is in the details, and TTP manuals are needed for such FM3-07 chapter 3 stability tasks such as Support Property Dispute Resolution Processes, Support Public Outreach and Community Rebuilding Programs, Restore Essential Services, Provide Essential Services, Support to Governance and Support Elections, just to name a few of the forty three tasks listed in that chapter, each with supporting sub-tasks.
Organizationally, I can think of some improvements to help us conduct stability operations as well as we do defense and offense. First, I think we should make Civil Affairs (CA) companies organic to our brigade combat teams (BCTs) and give our divisions and corps trained CA officers and NCOs to staff their civil military operations centers (CMOCs) with. We should give each of our BCTs their own trained contracting officers to manage the additional contracts associated with stability operations.
For training and education, we need to make sure that stability operations is taught in our Non-Commissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) and in our officer education system as well. I notice that the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course has four modules at in the eight week COMPANY OPERATIONS portion of the course, and one of them is “Stability/COIN/Targeting.” I am not sure how many hours are devoted to each of these topics, and I mean to find out, but it is a good sign that stability operations made the course outline (see attached link “MCCC Curriculum” at right.) The BATTALION OPERATIONS block also has a module titled “Stability/Targeting.”
In as much as we will continue to be engaged in operations in Muslim countries for years to come, we need to provide standardized education about Islam and Muslim culture to our Soldiers and officers as part of their basic training. Advanced civilian education opportunities should be linked to degree programs that enable graduates to contribute to the execution of stability tasks and ROTC scholarships should be similarly tied to like programs at the undergraduate level as well as mastery of a foreign language.
I think that JRTC is making a serious effort to provide an opportunity to train stability operations in a compressed amount of time during mission readiness exercises, and I applaud their use of native Afghan and Iraqi role players and integration of USAID into their scenarios, and I understand that Department of State plans to send some of its staff through JRTC to participate in the training as well. Many JRTC rotations concentrate heavily on stability operations, but some do not. That some do not may reflect a failure of our senior leadership seminars to fully explain the importance and inevitability of stability operations to BCT commanders and staff. This must be corrected. Each rotation should address some key stability tasks, such as Establish Civil Security, Protect Key Personnel and Facilities, Clear Explosive and CBRN Hazards, etc. A BCT may not have within its task organization the capability to complete other tasks such as Restore Essential Services, but the BCT commander and his staff need to know who to call to get the right assets to help with tasks that exceed the BCT’s capabilities or capacity.
As for materiel, I would advocate for a full fielding of the Civil Information Management (CIM) system developed by USACE and the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (or its next generation) so that all CA companies throughout the AC and RC are equipped and trained in its use. This system allows CA Soldiers to develop a much more complete picture of the civil component of the operational environment and to collect significant data, to include USAID tactical conflict assessment framework (TCAF) responses from the local populace. CIM data will support CA, CMO and IO activities and greatly enhance our ability to conduct stability operations and COIN. We also need a bio-metric identification system similar to our BIDS that we can use to help identify who belongs and who does not and to better map the human terrain. Our Army has used systems like this before in Afghanistan, but more of this equipment is needed. I think that most other equipment procured for combat operations has direct applicability to stability operations. There may be a need to stockpile additional equipment sets and other supplies to support delivery of humanitarian assistance and essential services during early phases of post-combat reconstruction.
Addressing the Leadership element of Stability Operations can best be accomplished through education at pre command courses, our officer PME and NCOES courses and BCTP senior leader seminars. As I noted earlier, the MCCC has put it in its curriculum.
Personnel must be addressed through incentives and recruiting. As I mentioned earlier, advanced civilian schooling and ROTC scholarships should be tied to degree programs that have direct applicability to stability operations and to achieving foreign language proficiency. Since our reserve component (RC) makes up a larger portion of our deployed forces now than ever, those returning veterans who stay in the RC should be given the opportunity to apply for Army funded advanced civilian schooling in degree programs that will directly contribute to stability operations. More Soldiers should be afforded opportunity to learn foreign languages during the reset cycle. For RC CA, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC) should be able to offer direct commissions, at the field grade level if necessary, to attract qualified civilian talent needed to fill functional specialist billets in its CA brigades and battalions.
Finally, for facilities, I am not sure that drastic changes are needed to existing facilities, to include those at the CTCs. I would look to others for suggestions in this area.
Anyway, that is my back of the envelope assessment. I appreciate any feedback on this.



  1. Steve Henthorne Says:

    Outstanding concept–long overdue, but not just for the Army. This concept to be effective has to include all the players, and especially all those other government departments even remotely involved, DOS Ag, etc. This concept could well be the key to future success.

  2. civilaffairspksoi Says:

    Good points on joint and interagency involvement and coalition partners too.

    I not that participation in State’s S/CRC Civilian Response Corps, being voluntary, does not not appear to reflect the skillsets needed from various departments. I understand the Department of Agriculture is increasing its representation five-fold in Afghanistan this year, but I have not met any USDA cooperative extension officer, people who know how to farm and teach others to farm, at the five weeks of S/CRS training I have attended. Ideally, a MRX at Fort Polk for a BCT headed to Afghanistan or Iraq should include a PRT staffed by represenatives from Treasury, USDA, USAID, US Public Health Service, DOJ, DOS Internationl Narcoctics and Law Enforcement (INL) at a minimum, under the leadership of a S/CRS trained Foreign Service Officer. BCT and PRT staff would benefit from practicing civil-military coordination in support of stability operations.

    If S/CRS could get a broader mix of USG agency representatives at its foundations and planners courses, this would go along way towards integrating stability operations int the training and leadership dimensions of their institutions.

  3. Dave Futch Says:

    Agree with what you have written but will take one exception. Ours Corps, Divisions, and BCTs definitely need CA Officers and NCOs trained in the concepts of Stability Operations and CMO. They currently have the CA training. They need the next steps of CMO and SO education and training. This group mans the CMO Cells of the Corps, Divisions, and BCTs and is prepared to provide the nucleus of the CMOC should one be needed. These members, not the supporting CA units, are the backbone of any CIM capability. Supporting CA units should augment that capability. If we believe CIM is the way to go (and I believe it is), this should be a standing capability and not an add on as needed.

    I also agree that PRTs should be married up to our units at CTCs. However, it is incumbent on our military to marry up with the PRTs at their training also. It should work both ways.


  4. civilaffairspksoi Says:


    Good comment. I agree that your full time CA staff at divisions and corps should be the nucleus of your CMOC and the backbone of CIM, and later, SOCOM’s Joint CIM System. The CA companies that conduct civil reconnaissance with the GATER devices and feed the CIM won’t have the time to manage the database and they need your input, your PIR, to be sure they are asking the right questions for you.

    The CA companies, both AC and RC, need the GATER devices at a minimum, but the divisions and corps G9 staff needs the hardware and higher level of expertise to interpret the collected data. I won’t go further than that because I am at the limits of my technical expertise at this point. I have heard that the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill recently met with USAID and discussed using JADOCS to collect TCAF data to support stability operations. As I get more information on that I will share it with you if it is news to you.

    S/CRS is still understrenth and though I advocate for more S/CRS at JRTC, it will be slow in coming. I am not imagining embedded PRTs, but what the new S/CRS doctrine refers to as the “Forward Advanced Civilian Team” or FACT.

    Steve Henthorne has suggested that the Army fund NGO participation at JRTC. What is your opinion on this matter? Do we need to replicate other contractors on the battlefield, from private security firms to firms that provide logistics support to our forces and engineering and training support for stability operations?


    Bryan Groves

  5. Joe Dunleavy Says:

    I see the need to develop small CA/EN assessment teams that will deploy and do Infrastructure assessment for the COCOMS.

    Your comments “full fielding of the Civil Information Management (CIM) system developed by USACE and the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (or its next generation) so that all CA companies throughout the AC and RC are equipped and trained in its use.” have raised some questions that I would like to discuss.
    I work in the Office of the Chief of Engineers here at the Pentagon and have been working with the CA Doctrine office in an effort to develop a interface between the CA community and the Army Engineer community.

    USACE means to me the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Office of the Chief of Engineers (OCE) is the Army Staff element for the Chief of Engineers. Our Engineer school at Ft Leonard Wood has Stability Operations training in its course offierings (both Enlisted and Officer). I have discussed with the CA Doctrine Office at USASOC the need to develop mutual supporting doctrine and training for Engineers and Civil Affairs for all phases of operations including Stability Operation.

    With the development of the new DOD QDR nearing completion, I see an expanding role for small deployable CA/EN units. These units will interact with SOF and the CA/EN unit will do the assessments of infrastructure capabilities of countries throughout the COCOMS. CA/EN should develop templates that identify critical information needed in order to build the types of projects (e.g. well drilling, road building, medical, school and municipal buildings, water projects, wind, solar and water power producers) that accomplished and provide the desired SO effect.

    CA identifies the project and we (EN) tell you what it would take to build it… as you know we have an extensive reach back capability and assessments could be quickly reviewed for Engineer needs.

    The COCOM J9 and J4 EN can develop the theater specific details that would focus the CA/EN template.

    I would appriciate your input.

    Joe Dunleavy

  6. Steve Henthorne Says:

    I fully agree with all the injects above, but as well CA Operators need to be far more proactive in marketing their wares to the “Big-A” Army, and Joint attachments as well. As part of basic CIMIC courses around the world, in the very opening session, the students are tasked with creating several brief sound bites, from one to five minutes, as to what CIMIC is all about, and why they are there. Then for the rest of the two weeks they will be asked by staff, the ladies in the food line, even the janitor, who they are, what they do, why are they there. Boring–probably—but they get use to being their own advocates, and the most important audience they will present their skill sets to is the Combatant Commander.

    The Combatant Commander well knows what kinetic skills will do for him/her, but they do not really have a clue how to best utilize their non-kinetic assets. They will never know for sure if no one steps up to the plate to inform them, sell them, and effectively market what CA can do.

    PSYOPS and IO are very proactive marketers. Historically CA has not been.

    As to the question posed above “Do we need to replicate other contractors on the battlefield, from private security firms to firms that provide logistics support to our forces and engineering and training support for stability operations?”

    In the dictionary sense of the word “replicate” meaning “to duplicate, copy, reproduce, or repeat,” then actually no. The JRTC replicates with impunity. They have “Bubba the Cat Fish Farmer” playing these roles.
    Troops need to see, hear, smell and interact with the real deal.

  7. civilaffairspksoi Says:

    I apologize for confusing USACE when I should have used Office of the Chief of Engineers (OCE) in my discussion of the Army’s Civil Information Management System. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I think your suggestion for combined CA/EN teams to support SOF in pre-conflict/conflict prevention scenarios is an excellent one. A trained EN officer (Civil Engineer if possible) would be a great help in determining what is possible and in developing project proposals. I think it is key to use the USAID TCAF data obtained during civil reconnaissance with the GATER/CIM system to see what improvements the local population really wants. The CA/EN team can then work out the details of what desired projects are locally sustainable and can be provided through hopefully a host nation military-civic action program that may require USG funding.

    I understand that USAID has a two week long Project Design and Management (PDM) course that is part of a longer education program used to prepare their employees. This might be a useful course of instruction for CA and EN officers and NCOs designated to serve on integrated CA/EN teams that support SOF in pre-conflict and GPF in post-conflict.

    I appreciate your input and all that the COE and USACE and your FEST teams have done to help rebuild Iraq and build Afghanistan.



  8. Steve Henthorne Says:

    I forgot to comment that in the opening text of 3000.05 it states:

    “PURPOSE. This Instruction:

    a. Reissues DoD Directive (DoDD) 3000.05 (Reference (a)) as a DoD Instruction (DoDI) in accordance with the authority in DoDD 5111.1 (Reference (b)) and Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (c)).”

    I would guess the intent is to actually get someone, mainly the “Big-A” Army to actually read these snow flakes and fully implement them this time around. It took a near domestic nuclear accident within the US Air Force to get the SECDEF to make some high level corrections at the USAF C2 level. It will be interesting to see how he makes changes, if any, at DA. We will all need to be sure to “stay tuned.”

  9. Eric Chen Says:

    “I mentioned earlier, advanced civilian schooling and ROTC scholarships should be tied to degree programs that have direct applicability to stability operations and to achieving foreign language proficiency.”

    I’m an advocate for returning ROTC to Columbia. Do you think we can tie these efforts together? That there is no program at Columbia right now presents an opportunity to create a new ROTC program with fresh imagination in a flagship institution.

    • civilaffairspksoi Says:

      I know the Army currently targets some of its ROTC scholarships specifically at schools offering degrees in nursing. It also targets some scholarships to help provide officers to Army National Guard and Army Reserve units, as well as the Active Duty force. Since over 90% of Civil Affairs is in the USAR, if United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC) designated USAR Civil Affairs as an accession branch that could bring officers in as lieutenant, this might be an option. I am thinking degrees in anthropology, civil engineering, requirements for some category three languages would be useful. I think we are still at the advocacy stage, however. Keep advocating. I think this is an important cause.

      • Eric Chen Says:

        Thanks for the feedback. Certainly, Columbia is strong in all the academic areas you named. I wonder if the QDR can be used to boost the argument for ROTC at Columbia?

  10. CSM Fulmer Says:

    Very good discussion and the Article is on point with the way ahead for USACAPOC. I’m glad to see we have such bright troopers openly discussing the issues we face.

    Having just returned from Iraq where I worked “with” the Baghdad PRT and Division to secure a very successful tour I still couldn’t shake the feeling that our greatest road-block is educating our own “Big Army” on its Reserve CA’s capabilities and best use. To often our CA Companies were chasing contract paperwork or collecting CIM in a vacuum while our talented BCT “land owners” did what they thought was the best CA work to keep their OER’s competitive. Too many times did I also have to watch a SGT with a PhD in Agriculture be resigned to driving or manning a security position because a very talented young Infantry officer with no Ag experience ran a local meeting because he couldn’t come to grips with a “SGT” running a local farm coop meeting. “Big Army doesn’t work that way”; much to the detriment of USACAPOC and our USAR CA “generalists”

    The sooner CA is re-aligned back under USASOC and free to “augment” individual BCT commanders at all Phases of warfare the healthier USACAPOC will be in securing it’s future.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: