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Thread: Pentagon to Raise Importance of 'Stability' Efforts in War

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    Default Pentagon to Raise Importance of 'Stability' Efforts in War

    20 Nov. New York Times - Pentagon to Raise Importance of 'Stability' Efforts in War.

    The Pentagon's leadership, recognizing that it was caught off guard by difficulties in pacifying Iraq after the invasion, is poised to approve a sweeping directive that will elevate what it calls "stability operations" to a core military mission comparable to full-scale combat."

    The new order could significantly influence how the military is structured, as well as the specialties it emphasizes and the equipment it buys.

    The directive has been the subject of intense negotiations in the Pentagon policy office and throughout the military; the deliberations included the State Department and other civilian agencies, as the order aims to push the entire government to work in greater unison to plan and carry out post-combat operations.

    The directive also envisions sending abroad more civilian officials, including State Department personnel, to help the military establish the peace and rebuild after combat.

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    Default We're the only ones

    After reading the article posted on the Early Bird today, I felt a mix of joy and disappointment. Joy that our government leaders know that they can count on our military to assume any burden and eventually get the job accomplished, and disappointment that many in the Department of State (DOS) continue to imitate the characters in the classic book “The Ugly American”. It still amazes me how the DOS operates without the public scrutiny and the public debate that the military enjoys.

    I won’t jump on the CIA band wagon, their problems are well known already, and I don’t know enough about the other departments and agencies to comment, but this article was lacking in that it was apologetic to DOS for not having enough folks, not having the right folks (won’t do the hardship time required), etc., so instead of stating that there are serious problems with our interagency partners it simply endorsed giving the military the mission.

    I think Murtha was more right than wrong when he stated that the military has accomplished what they could in Iraq, but then that raises the very important question of who is supposed to grab the bull by the horns now? If this article is right, then the military is. For a variety of reasons the military is probably the right organization to assume the lead, but for us to be effective that means we need to be the supported agency, not just a manpower provider. That means the other agencies follow our lead and support our plans. I can already hear the lame counter arguments to this at Foggy Bottom.

    So we have this order, now what? What changes do we need to make in our structure, roles and responsibilities? Should we assume authority over all title 22 funding for example? Why let DOS interfere? Should we have political advisors assigned to all units conducting these types of operations? Should they be civilians or Soldiers? If they’re civilians where do they fall in the chain of command? How far do we take this? Will the dollars follow? If we do this right, the second and third order effects will have a big impact throughout the interagency.

    Hopefully we’ll continue to follow and discuss this very important decision.

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