The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs shapes policy and oversees the development of DoD capabilities in order to successfully conduct stability, security, transition and reconstruction operations:
- Across the spectrum from peace to conflict
- With interagency and international partners
- In support of national security objectives
As stated in the National Security Strategy, “America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones.” In response to this growing challenge, the Department is improving its own capabilities, guided by DoD Directive 3000.05 “Military Support to Security, Stability, Transition and ReconstructionOperations”.
Stability operations involve a range of activities from responding to natural disasters to repairing critical infrastructure and strengthening indigenous institutions to provide security, essential services, justice and economic opportunity. Ideally, civilian-led peacetime efforts to help partners improve security and governance can prevent crises. But when major combat occurs, the U.S. and its partners will often inherit the humanitarian, social, and economic problems of the affected state.
Integrated military and civilian operations are the now the norm with most military operations taking place in the midst of civilian populations. U.S. military forces must be prepared to support civilian stabilization and reconstruction efforts and to lead and conduct these missions when civilians cannot.
Policy and Goals
The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs has several major goals for the Department:
- Provide policy and intellectual leadership for stability operations to decision makers and within DoD and our partner organizations.
- Identify and bridge the gaps in stability operations capability, capacity and compatibility within DoD and across the rest of the USG and civilian organizations.
- Lead efforts to institutionalize stability operations capabilities, capacity and compatibility across DoD to ensure that DoD is organized, resourced and prepared to conduct stability operations with USG, civilian organizations and international partners.
Through the process to implement DoD Directive 3000.05 “Military Support to Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction Operations” and National Security Presidential Directive 44 “Management of Interagency Efforts Concerning Reconstruction and Stabilization”, the office operates in order to:
- Maximize utility of existing programs, personnel, and organizations to improve stability operations effectiveness across all DoD components
- Minimize creation of unique stability operations elements (organization, personnel, programs) in DoD
- Optimize balance between stability operations and combat operations capabilities within DoD
- Improve integration of civilian and military stability operations efforts within DoD and in conjunction with other USG agencies, allies, and private sector partners