Saturday, June 14, 2014

Whom To Call For Help In Stability Operations

The United States has taken a decisive swing away from armed interventions of all sorts since pulling back from military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Other actors will fill the empty space left by Uncle Sam's absent forces.  The US cannot afford to cede the mitigation of instability to others.  Count on the deep state elite to keep America's head in the stability operations game.  The roll call of miscellaneous entities doing that work is worth a look-see.

The Institute for Defense and Business is one of those entities that pops up to fill a market demand.  Their curriculum reminds me of the US Army offerings vetted through TRADOC schoolhouses.  The difference is the hybridization of course offerings that bridge knowledge gaps between the public and private sector.  There's also an interesting nexus of events and projects between the Center for Advanced Logistics Management and the Association for Enterprise Information.  National policymakers lean on these quasi-private organizations when their whole-of-government efforts need a boost.

The US government has its own interdisciplinary research programs touching stability operations.  The NDU Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) helps run the Sharing To Accelerate Research - Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support (STAR-TIDES) project.  That kind of research on how disasters drive socioeconomic disruption will eventually underpin doctrinal approaches to humanitarian intervention.  The relief sector is leveraging Big Data; CrisisMappers and Geeks Without Bonds allow tech pros to gather around Big Data approaches.  Expect USAID's Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance to use lessons from these projects in its future development programs.

There's enough interagency and public-private work among those projects to keep plenty of government and non-profit workers busy for the rest of their careers.  If enough of them join the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA), they will have a critical mass for trade shows and other reasons to hang out together.  Armed humanitarian intervention shouldn't happen by accident.  It's no accident that the deep state makes room for deep thinking in stability operations.