Mission Revolution: The U.S. Military and Stability Operations

Jennifer Morrison Taw
Content Type
Columbia University Press
Defined as operations other than war, stability operations were, for the entire history of the United States military, considered a dangerous distraction if not an outright drain on combat resources. Nonetheless, American troops are now deployed far more often for stability operations than for conventional war. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense reversed its traditional stance on stability operations, elevating them to a primary mission alongside more conventional offense and defense goals. Jennifer Morrison Taw argues that this action represented a revolutionary change with significant implications on U.S. foreign policy. Through a detailed examination of the accompanying adjustments to U.S. military doctrine and adaptations in force preparation, Taw connects the elevation of stability operations to the far-reaching, overly ambitious American preoccupation with managing international stability. She also shows how the DOD's decision reinforced and exacerbated domestic politics that already had reduced civilian agencies' capabilities while fostering an unhealthy overreliance on the military.
Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Political stability
Publication Identifier
Publication Identifier Type
Political Geography
United States, Global Focus