On Sunday, in an article that might have borne the headline "Profiting from Adversity," the New York Times reported that the Pentagon is "poised to approve a sweeping directive that will elevate what it calls 'stability operations' to a core military mission comparable to full-scale combat." -- This directive, which according to the article needs only Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's imprimatur to take effect, would assert that such "stability operations" will now get "priority comparable to combat operations and be explicitly addressed and integrated across all D.O.D. activities," and that "U.S. military forces shall be prepared to perform all tasks necessary to establish or maintain order when civilians cannot do so." -- "The new order could significantly influence how the military is structured, as well as the specialties it emphasizes and the equipment it buys." -- No doubt: "All tasks necessary to establish or maintain order when civilians cannot do so" is quite a tall order. -- Once called the Department of War (1789-1947), then the Department of Defense (1947-2005), the Pentagon should now consider a new name: the Department of Stability Operations (2005- ) -- or perhaps the Department of Order tout court. -- Gordon England, who figures prominently in this article, is another Rumsfeld protégé who replaced the infamous Douglas Feith in the number two spot at the Pentagon on Mar. 31, 2005. -- He is a former executive vice president of General Dynamics with nearly four decades of aerospace experience, and has long been a key player in what Col. Lawrence Wilkinson, who was chief of staff of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, called "the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" on Oct. 19, 2005....
PENTAGON TO RAISE IMPORTANCE OF 'STABILITY' EFFORTS IN WAR
By Thom Shanker and David S. Cloud
New York Times
November 20, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's leadership, recognizing that it was caught off guard by difficulties in pacifying Iraq after the invasion, is poised to approve a sweeping directive that will elevate what it calls "stability operations" to a core military mission comparable to full-scale combat.
The new order could significantly influence how the military is structured, as well as the specialties it emphasizes and the equipment it buys.
The directive has been the subject of intense negotiations in the Pentagon policy office and throughout the military; the deliberations included the State Department and other civilian agencies, as the order aims to push the entire government to work in greater unison to plan and carry out postcombat operations.
The directive also envisions sending abroad more civilian officials, including State Department personnel, to help the military establish the peace and rebuild after combat.
The newest draft of the document, delivered in recent days to the acting deputy secretary of defense, Gordon R. England, for final approval, states, "Stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct and support."
The stability operations carried out by the Department of Defense "shall be given priority comparable to combat operations and be explicitly addressed and integrated across all D.O.D. activities," the draft says.
Although the American military is now virtually in a class of its own when it comes to conventional combat, the wars in Afghanistan and in particular Iraq prove that winning the peace is just as important -- and sometimes more difficult.
Congress has criticized the Bush administration, and the Pentagon, for not devising effective plans to stabilize and rebuild Iraq after the swift capture of Baghdad. Many lawmakers have accused the administration of utterly failing to coordinate its postcombat efforts across the executive branch.
Even in Afghanistan, where reconstruction and democratization is progressing more successfully, the effort is stymied by the lack of government personnel from departments other than the Pentagon to work in developing the economy, building public service infrastructure, battling the narcotics trade and developing democratic political institutions. Although the military is stretched by its current missions, the number of Americans in uniform is vastly larger than the civilian force in the State Department and other agencies assigned to reconstruction tasks.
Beyond that, military personnel can be ordered to yearlong tours in war zones, unlike civil and foreign service personnel, who have greater choice over the location and length of their assignments.
"Many stability operations tasks are best performed by indigenous, foreign, or U.S. civilian professionals," the order says in arguing that the military alone cannot shoulder the mission, and should not. "Nonetheless, U.S. military forces shall be prepared to perform all tasks necessary to establish or maintain order when civilians cannot do so."
More than six civilian and military officials were granted anonymity so they would speak freely of the document's contents before its approval; two officials provided draft copies. Although the directive may change in the final review by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Mr. England, officials said its major elements were now in place.
In recent days, a significant change in the order was made by the military's Joint Staff just before it was sent to Mr. England. Earlier drafts were limited to "stability operations," but the current draft was specifically rewritten to require a much broader range of "military support for stability, security, transition, and reconstruction operations."
That shift, three civilian and military officials said, was advocated by Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who pushed for an integrated response to the stability operations challenge in his previous assignment as commander of the military's Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.
The previous military term for stability operations -- Phase IV, because it follows combat, known as Phase III -- is not in the directive, an acknowledgment that in Iraq and Afghanistan combat is occurring simultaneously with reconstruction and aid work and that stabilization requires much more than security.
Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote last month to the senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in favor of granting the Defense Department authority to transfer millions of dollars to the State Department in part "to enable civilian professionals to deploy alongside military forces in stabilization and reconstruction operations."
An amendment establishing the transfer authority, sponsored by Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican on the Armed Services Committee, has been approved by the Senate, but needs the backing of House members in a conference committee.