The Economic Instrument in Stability Operations

On April 6, 2009, CNA and the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute hosted a conference in Washington, DC, on governance, security sector reform, and economic growth. During the latter part of the conference, the participants examined the findings of a workshop on stabilization and economic growth of November 2008 that had focused on economic initiatives to be pursued during stability operations. These operations “encompass various military… activities con­ducted outside the United States in
coordi­nation with other instruments of national power to [1] maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, and to [2] provide essential governmental services, emergency
infra­structure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief effort.” 1 The counterinsurgency that we are pursuing in Afghanistan—the “military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions” that we are taking “to defeat [the] insurgency”2—is a subset of stability operations. It is hoped that this article will help focus our civil ­military economic effort in Afghanistan, our premise being that “correct thinking leads to correct actions; incorrect thinking leads to incorrect actions.”

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