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Stability and Support Operations (SASO)

First it was SMALL WARS, then it became LOW INTENSTIY CONFLICT or LIGHT INTENSITY CONFLICT (LIC). Then the Army moved to OPERATIONS OTHER THAN WAR (OOTW). The JOINT community agreed upon MILITARY OPERATIONS OTHER THAN WAR (MOOTW) which is the term currently in use. With the redesigning of Army doctrine still being revised under the new FM 100-5, OPERATIONS, new terms and concepts are also being revised and developed. The term STABILITY AND SUPPORT OPERATIONS (SASO) covers two separate and distinct types of missions.

According to the "Stability and Support Operations Study Results," 22 May 2002, about 80 percent of conventional MTP tasks are relevant in stability operations and support operations. This fact is not well understood by The Army. The Army must be educated that the conventional MTP tasks are about right and will cover most training requirements for stability operations and support operations. When units train for a deployment on a stability or support mission, they do not stop training on warfighting tasks, and when they return from such a deployment, they should not have to completely retrain on warfighting tasks.

Support Operations provide essential supplies and services to assist designated groups. It relieves suffering and helps civil authorities respond to crises. In most cases, Army forces achieve success by overcoming conditions created by man-made or natural disasters. The ultimate goal of support is to meet the immediate needs of designated groups and to transfer responsibility quickly and efficiently to appropriate civilian authorities. The purpose of support activities, which consist of humanitarian assistance and environmental assistance, are to save lives; reduce suffering; recover essential infrastructure; improve quality of life; and, restore situations to normal.

Domestic support is always conducted in support of local, state, and federal civil authorities. Overseas support is almost always conducted in support of and in concert with other agencies - American and international, government and private. Support missions may be independent, or it may complement the offensive, defensive, or stabilizing operations. The vast majority of operations will likely require complementary support before, during, and after execution.

Support operations generally fall into two broad categories: humanitarian assistance and environmental assistance. Humanitarian assistance focuses on the well-being of supported peoples; environmental assistance focuses on the condition of natural environment. Many operations combine both types of support.

Stability Operations apply military power to influence the political and civil environment, to facilitate diplomacy, and to interrupt specified illegal activities. Its purpose is to deter or thwart aggression; reassure allies, friendly governments, and agencies; encourage a weak or faltering government; stabilize a restless area; maintain or restore order; and, enforce agreements and policies. During hostilities, stability helps keep armed conflict from spreading and assist and encourages committed partners. Stability also enables forces to secure support in unstable areas and to prevent civil populations from interfering in ongoing military operations. Similarly, stability missions may require offensive and defensive actions to destroy rogue forces bent on defeating or stability attempts.

Stability missions may complement and reinforce the offense, defense, and support, or they may themselves constitute the main effort. They may take place before, during, and after offensive, defensive, and support operations. The basic stability missions are peace operations; combating terrorism; counterdrug operations; noncombatant evacuation; arms control; nation assistance; support to insurgencies; support to counterinsurgencies; show of force; and civil disturbance.

Civil-Military Operations (CMO) includes five missions: Population and Resources Control; Foreign Nation Support (FNS); Humanitarian Assistance; Military Civil Assistance; and Civil Defense. CMO objectives include the following: Minimizing civilian interference with military operations; reducing the negative impact of military operations on the civilian population and the environment; obtaining civilian cooperation and support for military operations to facilitate mission accomplishment; supporting US, NATO, or Joint Coalition objectives and policies; and deconflicting operations of, maintaining interactive relations with, and harmonizing the goals and objectives of international, national, and private organizations and agencies operating within the Area of Responsibility (AOR). CMO occurs throughout the battlefield (i.e., close, rear, and deep) and is an integral part of the fight in or near populated areas. Rear areas often contain potential FNS (e.g., supplies, facilities, services, and labor resources) that US commanders can use to support military operations.



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