go to top

The U.S. Army's Doctrinal Renaissance

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

This month's release of Field Manual 3-07, "Stability Operations," marks a milestone for the United States Army. With it, the Army acknowledges and codifies a dramatic change in thinking: No longer does the mission of the military stop at winning wars; now it must also help "win the peace."

As Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, states in the foreword to the new manual:

As the Nation continues into this era of uncertainty and persistent conflict, the lines separating war and peace, enemy and friend, have blurred and no longer conform to the clear delineations we once knew. At the same time, emerging drivers of conflict and instability are combining with rapid cultural, social, and technological change to further complicate our understanding of the global security environment. Military success alone will not be sufficient to prevail in this environment. To confront the challenges before us, we must strengthen the capacity of the other elements of national power, leveraging the full potential of our interagency partners.

The "Stability Operations" manual codifies guidance from several national and defense policies that preceded it [1], to make long term stability in the aftermath of warfighting an operational priority for the American military. According to one of them, Department of Defense Directive 300.05, stability operations are:


. . . a core U.S. military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct and support. They shall be given priority comparable to combat operations and be explicitly addressed and integrated across all DOD activities including doctrine, organizations, training, education, exercises, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities, and planning. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.