Although small-scale contingencies (SSCs) are not precisely defined in the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), they encompass a wide range of combined and joint military operations beyond peacetime engagement and short of major theater war (MTW). The primary rationale for SSC plans is to protect American citizens and interests, support political initiatives, facilitate diplomacy, promote fundamental ideals, or disrupt specified illegal activities. SSCs may include:
Such stability operations vary in size and duration (e.g., 100 to 30,000 personnel, from a few weeks to several years) and often are coalition operations that involve core states and other foreign forces, as well as U.S. and nongovernmental organizations.
The QDR report explicitly establishes SSCs as a new mission for military operational requirements and a major consideration in deciding on force structure:
In general, the United States, along with others in the international community, will seek to prevent and contain localized conflicts and crises before they require a military response. If, however, such efforts do not succeed, swift intervention by military forces may be the best way to contain, resolve, or mitigate the consequences of a conflict that could otherwise become far more costly and deadly....Therefore, the U.S. military must be prepared to conduct successfully multiple concurrent smaller-scale contingency operations worldwide, and it must be able to do so in any environment, including one in which an adversary uses asymmetric means, such as NBC weapons. Importantly, U.S. forces must also be able to withdraw from smaller-scale contingency operations, reconstitute, and then deploy to a major theater war in accordance with required timelines.
This approach resulted from several studies showing that deployment of U.S. forces for SSCs has put heavier demand than anticipated on selected combat, combat support, and combat service support forces. For this reason, SSCs are specifically considered for force planning and force structure.
The QDR approach recognizes international political, military, and economic trends since the mid-1980s. In that time, U.S. (and international) action has been required to resolve or limit lesser conflicts, sometimes totally internal upheavals, and to respond to humanitarian emergencies, even when no vital interests of the United States were threatened directly. The use of military force as only one element of response was predicated on the belief that inaction can be costly over the long term or unacceptable to U.S. ideals, broad interests, and public opinion. SSCs have been facilitated by the availability of certain military forces no longer required for the Cold War or actual MTW operations. The frequency of SSCs and their demands on military forces have led to rethinking military doctrine, force structure, and training by many countries and regions, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Asia, Latin America, and most recently East Europe and Africa.
In the view of the United States, SSC plans have helped shape the international security environment, as well as the U.S. response to crises. Military activity, combined with political and diplomatic activity, can yield positive results, whereas alone, all activities are liable to fail. Failure allows a crisis to continue, risking the danger of expansion, and may damage the U.S. ability to influence those countries directly concerned.
As a general rule, participation in SSCs by other countries alongside the United States is seen as a distinct benefit, improving those nations' military capabilities and generating closer military-to-military relations with the United States. The U.S. public also strongly approves participation by other nations. The numerous exercises and training programs that the United States conducts with European, Asian, Latin American, and African military establishments to prepare for such contingencies (e.g., peace operations, humanitarian operations) are examples of positive effects on the international security environment.
Military Operations Other than War (MOOTW) or Small-Scale Contingencies
Various phrases and acronyms have been used to describe the long history of U.S. involvement in operations of this nature. U.S. Navy and Army actions in Mexico, Cuba, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and China in the latter part of the 19th century and between the two World Wars that then had no particular name now come under the heading of today's SSCs. The Marine Corps Small Wars Manual of 1940 contained a doctrine, based on experience in the Caribbean and Central America in the 1920s and 1930s, for what are now called SSCs. Examples during the Cold War were support for anti-Communist governments in the Dominican Republic in 1965, Vietnam and Central America in the 1960s and 1980s (first called counterinsurgency, then low-intensity conflict), and the Lebanese Multi-National Force (MNF) in 198283. Starting in 1993, operations of this kind were variously called peace operations or operations other than war (OOTW) and now are known as military operations other than war (MOOTW), as well as support to civil authorities.
The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) offered a prime example of U.S. nonparticipation among ground forces that led to reduced U.S. influence and less effective operations in Bosnia. The perception that the U.S. was using British, French, and Dutch troops to take greater risks while unwilling to do more than fly air strikes led to serious political problems, aggravating bilateral U.S. relations, creating strains within NATO, and risking an expansion of the Bosnian conflict into the Balkans. U.S. participation in Implementation Force (IFOR), by contrast, substantially enhanced the effectiveness of operations and increased U.S. influence while relieving tensions within NATO and generally enhancing relations with Russia and other Partnership for Peace nations that had contributed military contingents.
It is difficult to define SSCs because they include subcategories that vary according to the type of mission, size, and type of forces deployed and the rules of engagement (ROE). Yet they share some characteristics that distinguish them from MTWs. Decisions to intervene tend to be made quickly and unpredictably, often with little time for planning, preparation, and deployment. They can extend well beyond the initially envisioned duration, increasing projected strains on military forces. Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq (1991 to present), for example, was projected to last two to three months; Implementation Force/Stabilization Force (IFOR/SFOR) in Bosnia (1995 to present) was projected to last for one year. Few established facilities in the deployment area may be available at the same time that the operation may need to rely on lighter forces organized in a less-than-conventional manner--greater mobility, less firepower, and less use of airpower and standoff weapons. The commanders' objectives and the ROE emphasize avoiding casualties on all sides, along with a need, when possible, for dialogue and cooperation with local power groups.
U.S. troops in Somalia
SSCs are not "fight-and-win" operations designed to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, and the "enemy" is often ambiguous in its attitude and actions. This calls for a distinct change in attitude, conduct, and interpretation of the ROE, with an emphasis upon restraint whenever possible, while ensuring force protection and carrying out a more limited mission. One particularly difficult decision is whether or not to use deadly force and, if so, against what target. Given the high level of public and political attention focused upon theater operations, there is a potential for individual incidents (e.g., inadvertent killing of unarmed civilians) to undermine U.S. domestic support for military operations, as well as to create a much more dangerous indigenous environment. This is one of the motivations behind increased interest in developing and using non-lethal weapons. To achieve success, SSCs must stress understanding local culture and politics and the combined use of political, diplomatic, humanitarian, economic, and information programs. Often they require significant cooperation with civilian organizations of the United States and the international community.
The variety of the challenges posed by SSCs in the number and type of forces required and the relevant foreign policy considerations often results in the involvement of combined or coalition military forces and civilian personnel from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and regional and international organizations (IOs).
In operations supporting large-scale civilian efforts, international and nongovernmental relief organizations [e.g., United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Program (WFP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), CARE, Doctors without Borders, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee (IRC)] were present before, during, and after military intervention. Considerable liaison and coordination are required, much of it ad hoc since there are no firmly established U.S. procedures for C3I in combined military-civilian operations and even fewer internationally codified procedures.
Peace operations are complex contingency operations that require the commitment of sizable military forces ready for possible combat, in addition to supporting civilian activities (as in Provide Comfort in Iraq-Turkey, 1991; Restore Hope in Somalia, 199293; Restore Democracy in Haiti, 199495, and IFOR/SFOR, Bosnia 199598). The most adaptable forces for SSCs, including coordinated civilian activities, may be Marine expeditionary units (MEU), special operations forces (SOF), and civil affairs and psychological operations (PSYOP) units.
The Department of Defense's Bottom-Up Review (BUR) of 1994 based its operational requirements on fielding forces sufficient to win two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts (MRCs) and to provide for overseas presence. In determining force requirements, SSCs were not considered a separate mission; the BUR assumed they could be handled as lesser cases by forces earmarked for MRCs (now called MTWs), without any negative effect on their capabilities for the primary mission. Since 1989, however, the number of small-scale conflicts, humanitarian emergencies, and other similar contingencies rapidly grew in number, from 16 (194789, the Cold War period) to 45 (198997). The prospects for continued internal and regional unrest are clear, as discussed elsewhere in this book. Although decisions for U.S. response will probably be more limited than in the recent past, this cannot be assured. The U.S. military involvement in these contingencies must be assumed and prepared for; failure to prepare can hamper the successful completion of an SSC operation as well as the capabilities of U.S. forces to conduct MTWs.
Of course, the United States has the option of not responding to situations that do not affect its strategic or vital interests. Improvements in situation analysis have reduced the number of peace operations approved and participated in by the United States by allowing realistic assessments of the nature of the mission and of capabilities versus costs to achieve it for various situations. Limits on UN peacekeeping or peace enforcement capabilities, and to a lesser degree on those of ad hoc coalitions outside the UN framework but mandated by the Security Council, are now understood by the UN Secretary General, the Security Council, the United States, and other governments. As a result, fewer large peace operations have taken place than in 199093. But other SSCs (such as NEOs) have increased, and the demand for use of special operations forces (including civil affairs and PSYOP) and other army combat and combat service support units draws heavily on Reserve forces.
The longer an SSC lasts, the greater its negative effect on preparedness of forces that must be ready for MTW operations. This is particularly true for such units as light infantry and helicopter squadrons, which are deployed more frequently than other forces for peace operations, as well as combat support and combat service support units. These forces are usually engaged away from their home base at the outset of an MTW, and after SSC duty, most of them will require considerable retraining prior to deployment to an MTW. An inexact rule of thumb has been that 6 months of retraining are needed after SSC operations lasting 6 to 12 months. The time required to retrain is an important consideration in force planning and force structure, as well as in deciding initially whether to engage in an SSC.
Because SSCs do not call for a major commitment of military force and often may not visibly serve vital U.S. interests, such operations require of any U.S. administration a sustained effort to mobilize and maintain public and political support at home. Because they are of small scale, limited duration, and low expense, and are visibly directed at an accepted U.S. interest (e.g., protecting U.S. citizens), NEOs usually command such support. Similarly, short-term disaster relief operations tend to gain positive public support. In contrast, large, long-lasting, potentially dangerous, and expensive peace operations in remote regions with limited apparent relationship to U.S. vital interests have difficulty gaining such support, although support is stronger for coalition operations where core states are seen to be doing their fair share. The likelihood of U.S. casualties and high cost can determine public and political support, or their lack thereof. An excessive preoccupation with the public fear of casualties-- rather than proper concern for prudent force protection--can constrain the response of commanders in the field facing unpredictable and rapidly evolving situations. Such vacillation encourages potential enemies to conclude that by inflicting casualties, public opinion will force the United States to withdraw (e.g., Vietnam, 1974; Lebanon, 1983; Somalia, 1993). With proper justification and explanation, public and political opinion can be brought to support prudently conducted continuing operations for important objectives, despite some casualties (e.g., Iraq's attack on the USS Stark in 1987; the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996). Public information provided by the media is a major consideration in sustaining indispensable support at home, which requires, as a vital element, careful planning and execution in the field.
The U.S. military is often called on to participate in SSC operations that involve civilian organizations or basically civilian tasks and to participate in multinational forces (MNFs), either in ad hoc coalitions or UN peacekeeping missions, for two main reasons: its ability to deal with dangers posed by local military, militia, or armed gangs, and its unmatched lift, logistics, planning, and command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) capabilities for rapid, large-scale operations. These capabilities not only protect and support civilian activities but also enhance them by reducing time requirements, hastening the delivery of relief supplies, and improving coordination of disparate organizations. When large-scale humanitarian disasters strike, a combined national and international civilian response often is not adequate, and military assistance becomes critical. Extensive experience in training and exercising with almost all the world's armed forces makes U.S. forces very important in coalition management. Skills honed for preeminence on the battlefield are readily adjustable to the needs of various missions and cultural settings and to the nuances of particular operations.
The modern U.S. military, although developed essentially in response to the Cold War, has the personnel, weaponry, and supporting equipment to satisfy basic operational military requirements for all SSCs. In combined military-civilian operations, it has displayed a remarkable ability to adapt and improvise, often in an unplanned manner and in an unfamiliar operating environment, including the following (199497):
Some specialized U.S. units have proven themselves at least as valuable for SSCs, particularly peace and humanitarian operations, as for regular combat. Specifically, operations in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia used:
By the use of special operations forces, including civil affairs and psychological operations, units, engineers, military police, and Marine Corps units, the U.S. military has been able to contribute effectively to civilian programs critical to the success of the overall operation.
In the Haiti operation, including the UN force (United Nations Mission in Haiti, UNMIH), U.S. forces provided much of the coalition C3I and logistics. They also played a critical role in UN mechanisms for cooperation among the military force, U.S. civilian agencies, nongovernmental, regional, and international organizations, and the government of Haiti.
For the strictly humanitarian operation Provide Hope in Rwanda in 1994, the U.S. European Command provided essential airlift for food, water purification equipment, and medical supplies. It also coordinated the urgent, large-scale assistance delivery and distribution with the UNHCR, WFP, ICRC, and numerous NGOs and provided these organizations with limited engineering and logistics support. In all three instances--Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti--the United States developed and adapted the Humanitarian Operations Center/Civil-Military Operations Center (HOC/CMOC) concept to civilian and military-humanitarian operations and communications.
This broad range of military capabilities, particularly effectiveness in supporting and conducting essentially civilian missions, constitutes a potential downside for the Armed Forces. Given the weakness of most U.S. and international civilian organizations in rapid mobilization, surge capacity, planning, and logistics, it is all too easy for civilians to pass the burden onto the military, not only at the outset of an operation but even as it continues. Such an approach by civilian organizations places an unnecessary demand on military forces and delays the substantial effort required to increase local civilian capabilities.
Restore Hope, December 9, 1992 to May 4, 1993
During operation Restore Hope in Somalia, some 30,000 U.S. forces (plus 10,000 friendly forces under U.S. command) planned and initiated a military-humanitarian support coalition operation within 10 days after President Bush approved the basic idea. Within three weeks, it achieved its basic objectives of ending a major conflict and providing large-scale food and health assistance to millions of Somalis. In nearly all aspects of this operation, U.S. forces were central to coalition C3I and logistics, also coordinating effectively with civilian agencies and nongovernmental, regional, and international civilian organizations.
Current and projected total forces have adequate capabilities for the anticipated number and types of SSCs in the near future. However, as the QDR recognizes and as has been stressed in this chapter, continued deployment over the long term at the 1990s rate, with the existing force structure and organization, training, forward presence, and other requirements, will diminish capabilities to conduct SSCs as well as readiness to conduct MTWs. Since 1990, SSCs have imposed unexpectedly high demands on operations tempo, personnel tempo, and deployment tempo on several units, e.g., Fleet Marine Force and Special Operations Forces, with specific capabilities such as the Army modified table of organization and equipment (MTOE). These demands are expected to continue into the next century, with potentially negative effects on readiness, morale, personnel retention, and MTW capabilities. The units experiencing most of the demand are combat support, combat service support, light infantry battalions, and specific materiel such as helicopters and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. Given that roughly one-third of combat support and two-thirds of combat service support units are in the Reserves, an additional strain is put on those units particularly and the Reserves generally.
Studies have shown that deployable forces in all four services have spent close to or more than 50 percent of their nights away from home, involved in a variety of activities such as SSCs, formal presence, and training for MTW. This figure has not been precisely quantified by the individual services nor broken down by unit, but it is the most recent, most accurate measure of a key element of this much-discussed stress factor. Other studies projected that light infantry and military police would exceed expected deployment by a rough average of 20 to 25 percent and 30 to 35 percent, respectively. Deployment times must be taken into account with such factors as entitlements, quality of life, care for families when personnel are away, and training for force rotation by each service. These factors together have clearly had a stressful impact on the retention rate of the all-volunteer force as well as on readiness for MTW operations.
Treating Somali citizen
Since 1993, the U.S. military has made an intensive effort to develop doctrine, publications, and training programs for operations such as NEOs, limited intervention, and shows of force. The doctrine, training, and policy for these operations have now been standardized and are well-understood, and troops are regularly trained in them. Over those four years, for operations with a major civilian dimension, military professional schools, training centers, regional commanders in chief (CINCs), and lower level commands have all instituted programs and manuals to meet the challenge of SSCs, including the following:
Many other training manuals, lessons-learned reports, and related materials have been produced and are now actively used for training.
On May 20, 1997, President Clinton created an explicit doctrine (PDD 56) for interagency management of "complex contingency operations" such as major peace operations and humanitarian emergencies, both of which fall under the category of SSCs. PDD 56 contains policy guidance for planning and training for use by civilian agencies and the Armed Forces and aimed at systematizing and significantly improving preparation for and execution of these operations. This directive came at a particularly opportune moment, given the QDR's emphasis on the same issue.
One of the document's major components is the requirement that a plan for political-military implementation be developed as an integrated tool for coordinating U.S. Government actions in a complex contingency operation. The burden of the plan is to write an overall mission statement, to include individual agency objectives, an exit strategy, and an integrated concept of operations for all agencies, covering major functional tasks, agency responsibility, and availability of resources. In practice, this approach has been used only once, in preparing for the Haitian intervention (September 1994). The planning process proved very useful, particularly for civilian agencies, even though a final, approved plan was never completed and many functional tasks and timelines for civilian agencies were only partially met or had to be revised. The Haiti "process" revealed large "culture gaps" between the outlook and capabilities of military and U.S. civilian agencies, and even larger gaps in relation to U.S. NGOs and international civilian organizations. IFOR/SFOR in Bosnia, neither of which had a political-military plan, showed that such gaps remain, constituting a major obstacle to coordinated action.
Considerable time and effort will be required before the May 1997 PDD becomes standard operating procedure for training and planning. Even so, two problems remain unresolved: first, it does not apply to regional CINCs, at whose level much of the operational planning takes place. Second, it does not address the difference between military and civilian material resources, planning and deployment capabilities, and organizational effectiveness (e.g., the much greater relative capability of the military compared to the civilian and how this affects planning and operation).
The emphasis and time devoted to training for peace and humanitarian operations vary considerably among the various commands and fluctuate depending on perceived priorities. New programs for SSC training compete for time and availability of units for training with many other programs, including those directed toward preparing for MTWs, which are always given higher priority. Publications, school curricula, and training and exercises have not yet been fully thought through or homogenized. Except for the Joint Task Force (JTF) Commanders Handbook for Peace Operations, most publications devote inadequate attention to preparing for combined military-civilian planning, training, and conduct of operations and to coalition military operations--particularly coalition operations when the United States may not be in command.
The new look at training applies even more to civilian agencies of the U.S. Government, as well as to finding methods of including NGOs or IOs more frequently and systematically in training for SSC operations.
Standardized military procedures can enhance communication and coordination among U.S. forces, systematic cooperation among U.S. and coalition military forces, and between them and participating civilian organizations. So, too, will procedures for dialogue and cooperation with indigenous power centers (e.g., governments, factions, militias, NGOs), even though their application inevitably differs for each SSC and civilian agencies may not necessarily be responsive to them. For these reasons, standardized procedures are best discussed with the larger international organizations and NGOs such as UNHCR, WFP, and ICRC before adoption and must be adapted for each individual operation. Another important area requiring systematic attention and procedures is the major enhancement or re-creation of an indigenous law enforcement capability (i.e., police, judiciary, penal system). This includes procedures for military cooperation with civilian assistance programs and personnel, and for improving the means whereby the United States and other countries can strengthen the capabilities of United Nations Civilian Police (UNCIVPOL) and provide coordinated bilateral assistance.
On the basis of a troops-to-task analysis, the greatest demand on combat forces that SSCs make is for flexible, rapidly deployable forces, such as SOFs, amphibious readiness groups, Marine expeditionary units, light infantry, and military police. But not all maintain adequate levels of training for peace operations, and often all are in short supply relative to demand. They are not always assigned in sufficient numbers to the geographic region where an SSC takes place, so the regional CINCs are predisposed to use forces already available, even if ill suited to the particular mission. Planning for specific forces at specific locations in a crisis is difficult, especially given that SSCs can happen almost anywhere, and especially difficult in regions where U.S. forces are not ordinarily based.
There are also problems with the size of individual components, which may not be suitable to SSC missions (i.e., too large, too small). For example, engineering units usually are important for such operations, but the smallest standard component, the battalion, often is more than what is needed. Similarly, combat service support units for aviation are sized for a squadron and are too large when only a few aircraft may be needed. In the case of headquarters components, the reverse is often true: SSCs put greater demands on and require more personnel for headquarters activities, such as communications, command and control, and coordination and liaison with civilian organizations, coalition forces, and local governments or factions. In Operation Support Hope, for example, the commander of the U.S. Army Europe stressed the need for what he termed "modulization of standard units" and for these smaller units to have a larger-than-standard headquarters staff (e.g., a battalion-size headquarters for a company of engineers).
Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia made clear the special importance of civil affairs, PSYOPs, and military police units to the success of SSCs. But, as already emphasized here, these units are in short supply, and repeated, even simultaneous, calls for their mobilization from the Reserves, which incur problems of delay and expense, strain both units and personnel. Special forces units and personnel with a high ratio of active to Reserve components have been under similar, if less severe, constraints. The large preparation requirements of the Army and its different rotational concepts, which differ from those of the Navy and Marines--they are programmed for six months away from station every year--leave the Army more stressed than its sister services. In 1996, 10 percent of Army forces were deployed away from station in 100 separate locations--for an unacceptably high rate of deployment given the overall level of basic demand (e.g., forces stationed abroad, on maneuvers, or for other commitments).
Collection and, even more importantly, analysis of information about local culture and politics need substantial attention, along with the character and modus operandi of local military, paramilitary, and militia or irregular forces. Improved procedures can enhance sharing of intelligence and information with coalition military forces and participating civilian organizations. Experiences in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia have shown that civilian organizations often have valuable specific information along with a general understanding of the local scene; this can complement what can be obtained and analyzed by regular intelligence procedures and may even prove vital to the success of an operation. Civilian organizations include international, regional, and nongovernmental organizations, many of them humanitarian and apolitical, some of which are suspicious of close involvement with the military. Yet these organizations may welcome the sort of support (e.g., security, logistics) that the military can provide. An exchange of information--rather than formal intelligence cooperation--has often been beneficial for all concerned. Police assistance organizations, such as CIVPOL, the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), and International Police Monitors can be especially valuable for information exchange. Intelligence also requires a greater focus on preparation for irregular (asymmetric) warfare, especially in urban environments.
The role of information operations for SSCs warrants a high priority, on location and at home, with modification and adaptation for what is in most instances a low-tech environment. PSYOP is particularly important when the potential exists for violent clashes with local power groups. The small number of PSYOP units and trained personnel, 80 percent of them in the Reserves, and the absence of PSYOP capability in the forces of most core coalition countries increase the difficulties of intelligence collection for the United States.
SSCs that involve coalitions or civilian organizations seldom are tightly knit, highly technical operations with good C3 (and are rarely equipped with computers for C4). In several operations (e.g., Unified Task Force, UNITAF, in Somalia, or the MNF in Haiti), by ensuring that interoperable communications equipment and procedures were available, along with extensive use of liaison and coordination center arrangements, the United States assured effective coalition operations. It was also able to achieve a reasonable degree of cooperation and coordination with civilian (especially non-U.S.) organizations outside the command structure. In Provide Comfort, Restore Hope, and Support Hope, civil-military and humanitarian operations centers progressively improved to reach a high level of effectiveness in coordinating military and civilian humanitarian operations. Still, greater effectiveness can be achieved with more work on communications compatibility and coordination.
Ad hoc success ought not mask serious problems in establishing satisfactory communications, cooperation, and coordination for coalition military-civilian operations. Communications equipment and procedures vary widely among different military establishments, more so among different civilian organizations such as WFP, ICRC, UNHCR, United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA), and various NGOs, and even more widely between the civilian and military components. The "culture gap" between civilian relief organizations and military forces makes the former particularly resistant to taking orders from the latter. A technological gap also exists between NATO and non-NATO military forces, adding to the difficulty of coalition command and control. U.S. military communications equipment and procedures are much further advanced over those of even other NATO countries, and the emphasis on encryption aggravates the complicated problem of communications commonalties.
Shortages are projected for certain types of equipment in high demand for SSCs, while other types of equipment need either to be developed or modified for this use. Operations that involve civilian organizations or coalitions make extra demands on both the amount and nature of materiel required. U.S. forces, interoperable with other participants, and can supplement participant capabilities by providing them with additional essential equipment (e.g., communications and helicopters), but any inability to do so may jeopardize the success of the overall operation and prolong deployment of U.S. forces. The growing technological asymmetry between U.S. and coalition capabilities and between military and civilian agencies needs to be addressed so that future operations will not be inhibited.
This section offers specific suggestions for improving the capabilities of military forces to conduct SSCs, while also taking into account these forces' simultaneous need to be ready to participate in MTWs at short notice and the problem of increasing costs within a fixed budget. These suggestions are not presented in detail and are not considered definitive, but they do take equally into account costs, effects on MTW operations, and readiness.
*Perhaps the single most important action that could enhance overall SSC capabilities would be to give a higher priority to training, planning, and equipping for an increased number of general-purpose forces (those trained for MTWs) for a variety of operations. Mission success also requires stressing agility, flexibility, knowledge of area and culture, and on-the-spot decisionmaking. The QDR states that "U.S. forces must be multi-mission capable...[and] able to transition from peacetime activities and operations to enhanced deterrence in war," and that "this standard applies not only to the force as a whole but also to individual conventional units."
Current military training programs, planning procedures, and equipment are now adequate--except in the general area of military-civilian coordination. However, without substantial predeployment training, only the Marines and SOF are truly capable of meeting the QDR standard of being "multi-mission capable" for SSC operations as well as their role in MTWs, although Army light infantry divisions are close to it. Such an assessment means revisions in training for both active duty and reserve forces, including a decision on how and to what extent Army mechanized and armor divisions and other units will undergo regular (as opposed to predeployment) training for peace and humanitarian operations and limited interventions. Revision would not mean providing intensive peace operations training for entire mechanized and armor divisions, but it could mean, for example, designating elements of larger units (e.g., one regiment of a division), "SSC-ready units" for six or nine months, and giving them the extra resources that would make them more SSC-capable. It would also mean training for asymmetric conflict--facing an opponent willing to use NBC weapons, terrorism, exploitation of women and children, and urban warfare. Many SSCs, from NEOs to peace operations, will occur in cities, which will require special training and skills for U.S. military personnel.
*A second measure of great importance would be to reorganize the Army Reserve and National Guard in a direction already suggested but not specifically recommended by the QDR. This would be to increase the number, readiness, and rapid mobilization of combat support and combat service support units for such specialties as civil affairs, psychological operations, special forces, combat engineers, and military police. Reorganized Reserve or National Guard units could be structured and trained for rapid mobilization to supplement, and later replace, regular units with the same skills.
An alternative would be to increase the number of combat support and combat service support units and personnel in the active Army. Although this move might be less expensive and more effective, it might appear to undercut the National Guard or Reserve and therefore might be more difficult for Congress to approve. Either way, the need for greater strength in these areas is clear and immediate.
*A third general proposition would relax congressional, doctrinal, and accounting restrictions on shifting the allocation of funds or providing for a contingency reserve, in order to respond to unforeseen, unbudgeted contingencies.
Almost all categories of SSCs would benefit from improved coordination between U.S. military and civilian agencies in preparation and execution, with particular emphasis on the operational level (i.e., the regional CINC). Current procedure (after PDD 56) requires systematic training of and planning by civilian agencies, with the military, but implementation could be extended to the CINC level. Standardized procedures developed for use by both civilian agencies and the military in training for and conducting contingency operations, including civilian agencies, could enhance planning, readiness, and logistics capabilities. Increasingly systematic, combined military-civilian training and planning--including NGOs and international organizations--could be conducted in military schools and training centers and at the CINC level. Civilian agencies could designate personnel to participate in this training and then be on standby to be immediately available for contingency operations. A standing or on-call Inter-Agency Task Force Headquarters at the CINC level could expand the permanent joint task force headquarters units that already exist in some commands, with civilian agencies represented in order to ensure the proper training and regular exercising of their personnel alongside military colleagues.
Readiness of civilian agencies is essential to the success of several categories of
SSCs and to enabling the agencies to carry out their functions without excessive reliance
on military capabilities. The need for readiness goes beyond training, and includes such
issues as the capability to rapidly mobilize and deploy personnel and equipment needed for
an operation and to provide rapid, adequate lift and logistics support. It further
includes an almost total revision in concepts, organization, training, and resource
availability by civilian agencies to respond to sudden contingencies.
A model for civilian agencies to study in improving capabilities is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), although it still has shortcomings.
Another need is for more systematic SSC coalition preparations--especially for peace and humanitarian operations--which might be accomplished by more intensive exercises with forces from other countries. Some regional CINCs are already doing this (e.g., U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Pacific Command), and it has been a critical element of Partnership for Peace programs conducted by both U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. European Command. These ad hoc methods can be studied and their best features emulated, especially for learning doctrine, tactics, techniques, appropriate weaponry and equipment, and for improving interoperability, small-unit operations, civil affairs, and psychological operations. A specific need for language-capable personnel is key to successful interaction with coalition troops, local organizations, and the populace in general. Such training takes time and planning, though use of civilian agencies or contractors is a possible (but expensive) option.
The number of exercises for regular military units might be examined to reduce those not considered essential. This might take into account the QDR recognition that certain SSC deployments--particularly those shorter than six months--are less debilitating to readiness for MTWs and can even be a plus for certain skills, such as small-unit operations and civil affairs. During SSCs, commanders can try to make provision for any specialized MTW training that deployed units are missing. For instance, during IFOR in Bosnia, Major General Nash was periodically able to cycle 1st Armored Division units to Hungary for gunnery training. During UNITAF in Somalia, Lieutenant General Johnston set up a firing range for Marine and Army units, as well as a range to practice amphibious operations.
Coordination in Haiti
Haiti offers perhaps the best example of coordination, which in its first phase was built into the operations based on the leadership of the MNF commander and the U.S. Ambassador, and in the second phase, on that of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General. In Bosnia, the loose coalition of IFOR, the UN High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNHCR, and other organizations without a clear command or coordinating structure proved inadequate.
The type and number of units covered by Global Military Force Policy should be increased to provide greater flexibility and ease of movement among CINCs, to ensure that the most capable units are available for SSC deployment. Careful consideration should be given to preplanned phasing of redeployment for U.S. combat units and others designated for MTW response, replacing them in whole or in part after the initial deployment, as soon as military and psychological dominance have been established and the security threat has diminished. Replacements can be either Reserve, National Guard, coalition military forces, or in some cases civilian personnel (e.g., police mentors/monitors and logistics support). Substitution of units is another useful approach to greater flexibility in deploying for SSC duties (e.g., Seabees vs. army engineers; air expeditionary force vs. carrier battle group or MAG). Related to this is cross-training for substitution (training and deploying light infantry trained as military police, or mechanized troops as light infantry). Another means of providing proper forces for SSCs while minimizing the demand is to tailor or "modulize" the forces deployed (e.g., send a platoon of combat engineers rather than a battalion).
The Chairman visiting Tuzla
Communications among U.S. military, coalition military units, and civilian organizations can be increased by several methods. Among military units, the United States and NATO, or the United Nations, or both, can designate types of radios (and computers) as well as frequencies and channels for use in the field during coalition operations, and can recommend all troop contributors be thus prepared. At deployment, the United States (or NATO, or the United Nations) could provide missing communications equipment and fill in the gaps of any units not fully prepared. In the same manner, civilian organizations can coordinate closely with the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs, UNHCR, ICRC, WFP, and the UN Children's Fund, all of which have substantial communication capabilities and coordinate with most NGOs. During deployment, an agreed-on communication center for unclassified information (e.g., the Humanitarian Operations Center/Civil-Military Operations Center or HOC/CMOC) and procedures and could serve coalition forces and civilian organization personnel in the field with a designated communication link. Thus coalition forces and civilian organization personnel could report nonmilitary information to their headquarters and organizations. The UNDHA "relief net" (available on the Internet) provides a good example of ways nonmilitary information can be shared. Another approach might be for the United States and other willing governments, plus the UN and its agencies, ICRC, and NGOs, to purchase the same or fully compatible low-cost radios, which then would be available for major complex contingencies to set up a common net on the ground, separate from most military communications.
Shared communications, with central and regional HOC/CMOCs, go a long way toward adequate operational coalition cooperation and coordination between military and civilians, but these could be reinforced with mechanisms to coordinate policy at the appropriate level. Such mechanisms would usually include senior military and civilian representatives of the most important governments and organizations, with frequent regularly scheduled as well as ad hoc meetings, and would have clearly designated personnel in charge of integrated coordination and cooperation on the ground, if not military-style command and control. On the military side, liaison officers and linguists already required for coalition command and control would have interoperable communications equipment and procedures.
To handle the increased coordination functions, the headquarters component of combat units deployed for SSCs with civilian participation might be strengthened substantially (e.g., battalion headquarters component for a company, division headquarters for a brigade) and configured for joint operations.
Experience has demonstrated the overriding importance of both psychological operations and public information in the conduct of almost all categories of SSCs. Both can be, and have been, critical to the success or failure of the mission, and both can be planned for as integral to an SSC operation.
PSYOP components can be provided for deploying forces as well as in training headquarters components for their proper use. In many SSCs, because civilian and military personnel of U.S. embassies often can add important information through their greater knowledge of the local situation, they should be integrated into the PSYOP process. Public information is a separate activity, but should be treated similarly, to ensure that well-staffed joint information bureaus become components of deploying forces and that embassy personnel are integrated into the process. Intensive media coverage before, during, and for a few weeks after deployment can be prepared for, with easy access to senior officers, to stress openness and cooperation with the media as long as they do not interfere with operational activities. Mishandled public information can have a negative impact on domestic support for the mission. In Haiti and Bosnia, for example, PSYOP units were designated Military Information Support Teams to accommodate coalition sensitivities. Public affairs was redesignated public information.
A great deal of intelligence can be learned from local sources--embassies and selected international organizations-- NGOs and indigenous personnel to which are particularly useful for analyzing intelligence and putting it into context. Informal information exchanges often are best and can be provided for in advance and partially implemented in the planning stage, leaving full implementation to the deployment phase. There should be an emphasis on intelligence and PSYOP, with both focused on urban warfare--particularly on how to anticipate, deter, or defuse moves by an actual or potential adversary, using absolutely minimal violence--and on how to avoid alienating of the urban population.
The existing process of improving and developing new weaponry and equipment can satisfy the needs for materiel required for SSCs, particularly if it emphasizes the rapid deployment of nonlethal weaponry and techniques. Other requirements include equipment for reconnaissance, intelligence, and information operations in urban areas (e.g., various types of unmanned aerial vehicles. Nonlethal weaponry can be made available to units deployed for SSCs in sufficient quantity and for properly trained units, although the United States may need to make up for shortages in coalition military contingents. Similarly, in developing and providing communications equipment to U.S. units for SSC operations, interoperability with the equipment of other countries and with key civilian organizations is essential to the success of the operation.
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