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Assessing Locally Focused Stability Operations

Assessing Locally Focused Stability Operations

Jan Osburg
Christopher Paul
Lisa Saum-Manning
Dan Madden
Leslie Adrienne Payne
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    Assessing Locally Focused Stability Operations
    Book Description:

    This report describes how to best measure and assess the progress and outcomes of locally focused stability operations (LFSO)—the missions, tasks, and activities that create stability by building security, governance, and development. It identifies assessment and foundational challenges and outlines solutions, along with recommendations and implementation guidance. The report concludes with an assessment plan for a notional LFSO scenario.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9000-3
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. Acronyms
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction and Study Methods
    (pp. 1-6)

    Joint doctrine calls for the Army to execute Unified Land Operations in accordance with national policy. This policy generally focuses on the offensive and defensive capabilities required by combined arms maneuver. However, hybrid conflict and counterinsurgency (COIN) operations emphasize the importance of stability at the theater level and below. In this context, locally focused stability operations (LFSO), such as current Village Stability Operations (VSO) efforts in Afghanistan, can create stability through fostering security, sustainable development, and effective governance at the local level.

    However, the success or failure of such efforts needs to be defined and measured. Currently, there is no...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Review of Assessment Approaches in Stability Operations
    (pp. 7-28)

    As discussed in Chapter One, there is no current doctrinal assessment approach or tool for LFSO. In this chapter, we examine and review several approaches and tools that have been used in operations. First, we discuss three key dimensions of assessment and summarize insights on qualitative and quantitative assessment factors and standardization as presented in key literature sources. We also bring attention to the array of factors to be considered in LFSO assessment. We then examine a number of assessment tools that have been used in support of recent campaigns. We describe these tools and evaluate the way they may...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Results: Insights and Recommendations
    (pp. 29-66)

    This chapter summarizes and synthesizes the key insights gained from our literature review and interviews. We highlight some foundational challenges associated with developing and conducting LFSO assessments and, where possible, offer recommendations based on the insights and best practices identified during the research. We also outline some implementation-focused guidance that commanders and their staffs should keep in mind when assessing LFSO. Although LFSO assessment is the focus of this research, some of the issues discussed can apply to other operational contexts as well.

    Lack of consensus on LFSO assessment principles and methods has led to an inability to measure LFSO...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Applying the Assessment Recommendations in a Practical Scenario
    (pp. 67-88)

    To demonstrate the practical application of the assessment recommendations outlined in Chapter Three, we developed a comprehensive LFSO scenario based on a notional African country. This chapter describes why we chose an LFSO scenario in Africa, how we designed the context, the resulting concept of operations, and the assessment plan.

    In the future, the U.S. military will likely have to focus on global trouble spots, using “a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America” (“Remarks by the President at the National Defense University,” 2013). This approach will require partnering with countries in...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 89-92)

    This study was undertaken to provide answers to the following research questions:

    What are the characteristic elements of LFSO?

    What are desired outcomes (ends) of such operations, and through what tools (means) can they be achieved?

    How can these outcomes and costs be measured (metrics), and how can these measurements be collected (methods)?

    How should the collected data be analyzed and the results communicated?

    We developed a working definition of LFSO that addresses the current doctrinal gap: LFSO are the missions, tasks, and activities that build security, governance, and development by, with, and through the directly affected community in order...

  14. References
    (pp. 93-98)