Institutionalizing Stability Operation: A Policy Analysis

June 1, 2013

The 20th century offers a plethora of examples that demonstrate the necessity of successfully transitioning from combat operations to stability operations (Phase IV) and ultimately enabling a host nation’s civil authority to assume complete sovereignty (Phase V). In the past decade, however, U.S. government attempts to conduct Phase IV/V operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with a whole-of-government approach have been marred by costly failures. In response to these failures, the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate in the Department of the Army has listed this development as a Key Strategic Issue, focusing on whether or not the Army should institutionalize capabilities required to conduct successful Phase IV/V operations.