Stability Operations Doctrine

On October 6th, the Army unveiled new doctrine on Stability Operations (Field Manual 3.07 download).  It’s good to see lessons learned incorporated to update doctrine.  The new manual will be immediately pushed down to officers schools so our leaders operate with the same concept of how we organize and win wars.  Another key element of Army doctrine is standardizing language (jargon) used that transcends from unit to unit, post to post.  Long live the nit-picky SGLs who shout “USE DOCTRINAL TERMS” to students during MDMP briefings.

Col. Stephen Twitty demonstrating his cultural awareness for effective diplomacy

Col. Stephen Twitty demonstrating his cultural awareness for effective diplomacy

Jack Kem provides a good explanation of doctrine here:

To be useful, doctrine must satisfy a number of criteria. To begin with, it must be vetted, accurate, and acceptable, all of which is ensured by the deliberate process involved in developing doctrine before it is published. Second, it must be well known and commonly understood, which the Army’s training and education programs function to accomplish. When all of these criteria have been met, doctrine forms the common language and shared professional culture throughout the Army. As Mr. Clint Ancker, the Director of the Army’s Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate says, “Doctrine is sound military advice prepared in advance.”

It’s important to understand this doctrine was developed by the U.S. Army inconjunction with a variety of Governmental Agencies and NGOs.  This is a good sign as we long ago realized that Soldiers alone are not suited to win wars and rebuild countries without assistance from the civilian sector.  Here’s an article about the development of FM 3.07 from March 2008.

Here is the link to the Combined Arms Center’s (CAC) page for the rollout of FM 3.07.  Normally, new Army doctrine goes unnoticed by the general public, however, the CAC’s Commanding General is a master of the media and used a variety of dead tree and Web 2.0 strategies to generate buzz.  Ultimately, the goal is to focus all the elements of power on conducting effective integrated Stability Operations.

More news and opinions:  Small Wars Journal, Toby Nunn’s blog, and Mountain Runners thoughts.

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