Stability Operations and Transition: Getting from Military to Political Success
The word "transition" continues to permeate today's national security discussions—transition of governance-type activities from military to civilian authorities; transition from civilian to the host-nationauthorities;or even the transition from a war to a peacetime military and national security posture.It is the last of these "transition" discussions that we explore in this publication as we look at theQuadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and theorize what the QDR suggests regarding the future of the U.S. military in stability and peace operations.
There are many pundits and thought-leaders in various camps that can speculate what the QDR means for the future of military preparation and engagement in stability and peace operations throughout the world.Â Some of them suggest the QDR re-focuses the military on preparation to win the next "big war;" while others point out the QDR's emphasis on military involvement in anticipated "nation-building" engagements well into our future. We suggest the QDR articulates the theme of "balance"—both the reset of our military forces to re-focus on traditional warfare, as well as the sustainment of the hard-earned skill sets surrounding "stability" gained by our military through experience and education over the past decade.
In other words, as we transition from a war environment to one of peace, we should expect that stability operations training and deployments will continue, not cease.
Speaking of transition, you note that PKSOI also experienced a recent transition. Last month, we said "farewell" to Colonel John Kardos, who ably served as our Director since 2008. We wish him well on his retirement after 31 years inthe U.S. Army. As the new Director, I look forward to continuing the dialogue in these stability and peace topics so necessary to the understanding of the full spectrum of military operations. Meanwhile, look to some changes in this publication in time for our next fiscal year. I look forward to seeing you at any of our upcoming conferences and workshops for this fall.