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Military Operations Other Than War

This chapter discusses Army MOOTW--operations in two states of the range of military operations: peacetime and conflict. Peacetime is a state in which diplomatic, economic, informational, and military powers of the nation are employed to achieve national objectives. Since peacetime is the preferred state of affairs (as opposed to conflict or war), how well the Army and other services accomplish their missions in peacetime is vital to US national interests.

Conflict is a unique environment in which the ARFOR commander works closely with diplomatic leaders to control hostilities, with the goal of returning to peacetime conditions. In conflict, the military, as an element of national power, takes on a more prominent role than in peacetime. The Army participates in conflict as a component of a joint organization that is usually an element of a multinational structure. Other US Government agencies, NGOs, PVOs, and international organizations (IOs) often participate.


Army warfighting doctrine is based on well-established principles of war. MOOTW are based on similar principles that guide the force's actions. The principles of war apply for those actions that involve our forces in combat. For MOOTW that do not require direct combat, the principles are objective, unity of effort, legitimacy, perseverance, restraint, and security. FMs 100-5 and 100-23 describe these principles and their application. These principles are not immutable, but serve as guides for action. Commanders must balance these principles against the specific missions and nature of the operation.

In planning for military operations in peacetime and conflict, commanders must tailor a force that is suitable for the mission. Suitability is the measure of a force's capability against possible threats and the diplomatic acceptability of the chosen force. Acceptability is based on the force's appropriateness, given diplomatic considerations, and qualities that are consistent with accomplishment of national interests and objectives. The commander's acceptability of the force includes the perceptions of the indigenous population, the international community, and the American public. Force capability is the measure of a unit's ability to counter an expected threat and execute a mission. A force must have the capability to accomplish a military mission by virtue of its training, equipment, and structure.

The force composition for MOOTW must be proportionate to the stated goals of the sponsoring authority and provide sufficient capability to complete the mission and protect the force. The perception that the force employed exceeds the limits of its mandate lessens legitimacy with the international community, the US public, and the indigenous population. Capability and acceptability are not constants but vary based upon the threat, the intensity of operations, the missions to be performed, and changing international perceptions.

The composition of the force should reflect the commander's consideration of the military end state, METT-T, mission-specific training requirements, strategic lift, pre-positioned assets, joint and multinational military forces, reserve component forces, nonmilitary US agencies, NGOs, PVOs, and host nations forces. The nature of MOOTW is such that CS and CSS units may have an equal if not greater role than combat units.


The Army's responsibilities in peacetime are as important as its traditional combat roles. During peacetime, senior army commanders are always postured to present a deterrent to internal or external threats to US national interests. They do this by conducting routine peacetime operations and nonhostile activities.


At the direction of national leaders, CINCs may use ARFOR to perform noncombat missions that support diplomatic initiatives. Army leaders then carry out these activities as part of the overall unified command plan. These activities may include job training exercises, peace support operations, nation assistance activities, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, security assistance, shows of force, and support for counterdrug operations.

The commander of a unified command, such as PACOM and ACOM, may control and coordinate military support to domestic emergencies in the states of Alaska and Hawaii and territories and possessions of the US. CINCs must continuously assess their regions to identify the strategic situation and situations requiring military forces for noncombat missions. Armed forces may be tasked with direct responsibility, or they may conduct operations that support other US Government agencies.


The Army's role in peacetime is to support the regional CINC's efforts to prevent unstable situations from developing into the loss of local control or open conflict. Senior army commanders may do this by conducting routine activities that maintain the potential of ARFOR to conduct major operations. This potential may serve as a deterrent, or it can enhance the capability to react in emergencies. Army component forces may turn this potential into actual mission execution to actively control a situation. As ASCCs or other senior army commanders respond to the regional CINC, they may be required to conduct peacetime operations in one region while simultaneously conducting conflict and/or war operations in others.


In peacetime, SOF help attain peacetime military objectives and may promote regional stability by advising, training, and assisting allies. SOF peacetime activities could be the conduct of US humanitarian assistance programs, security assistance programs, and multinational training exercises. Like conventional forces, SOF are a deterrent. In multinational operations, SOF involvement with allies worldwide contributes to deterrence and provides a low-visibility means of extending US influence.

Due to extensive unconventional warfare (UW) training, SOF are well-suited to conduct various peacetime operations and provide various types of support. SOF should be considered the force of choice for peacetime missions. General-purpose forces may also be called for their particular specialties or when the scope of operations is so vast that conventional forces are required.


The operational-level functions discussed here are used as a starting point to discuss the ASCC in peacetime. Some systems, such as operational fires, may not have extensive peacetime applications. Still, the operational-level commander and his staff need to analyze each function and its corresponding subfunctions, augmenting or deleting as necessary to ensure the proper integration and synchronization of all peacetime operations and activities.

Movement and Maneuver

The CINC may use armored, light, or special operations Army forces and their corresponding CS or CSS structures available within the region. Some situations require deployment of additional units via strategic lift. The MCA provides for the orderly flow of these forces and resources. The ASCC receives and prepares incoming units for operations. Since peacetime operations are normally conducted in a permissive environment, CS or CSS units may be the predominant elements and deploy early to prepare to support the arrival of other units.

The CINC may assign operating forces a JOA, but he generally uses few boundaries or other special control measures. Normally, the ASCC, a subordinate Army commander, or a JFC employs these forces to execute a specific MOOTW mission. Each operation is discrete in response to a specific situation, though it may be sequenced with past and future operations. Execution focuses on near-term operations. Peacetime operations often require special engineer, legal, CA, PSYOP, and PA considerations. Once the operating force completes its mission, it redeploys to its home station or continues peacetime activities in theater with little requirement for consolidation operations or other transition efforts.


Protecting forces and resources from a wide range of threats is an important responsibility for all senior commanders. In force-projection contingency operations, the threat of the use of WMD must be continually tracked to preclude unacceptable risk to the force. Options for protection from these weapons encompass the politico-military range and include diplomatic defusing and deterrence through NBC readiness, active and passive defense, air defense, and WMD reduction. The ASCC directs measures in peacetime to conserve military potential so that it can be applied at a decisive place and time.

Protecting the force depends on current, accurate intelligence for I&W of possible obstacles or threats. Protection includes conducting antiterrorism measures, maintaining discipline and order, and providing limited deception measures. As part of protecting the force, the ASCC issues the peacetime ROE established by the regional commander in coordination with JCS, the host nation, and the ambassador. Through an operational risk assessment, the ASCC ensures the conservation and safety of the force. Providing air defense of the force and selected geopolitical assets has a deterrent value. It also has an advantage that it is seen as a nonescalatory measure.

Conducting Antiterrorism Measures

Terrorist acts overseas are a constant threat to US armed forces, civilians, and facilities. The ASCC presumes civil authorities and host governments will implement counterterrorism procedures to protect people within their territory. The CINC ensures coordination of all local antiterrorist policies and measures for protecting DOD facilities, equipment, personnel, and family members abroad. The ASCC may assist in implementing specific antiterrorist actions called for by terrorist threat conditions (THREATCONs) discussed later in this chapter. The theater commander's peacetime ROE provide a flexible self-defense and deterrent posture. These rules deal with terrorist and other threats.

Maintaining Discipline and Order

Good order and discipline are instrumental for conserving military potential. The ASCC establishes a command climate conducive to this end. He ensures the maintenance of proper liaison with DOD police organizations as well as with local or host nation, allied, and interagency police agencies. Within Army organizations, the ASCC facilitates Army MP and Criminal Investigation Command elements investigating offenses. In addition, the ASCC enforces the policies of the senior army commanders. The ASCC may provide prisoner confinement facilities for those who violate good order and discipline.

Providing Limited Deception Measures

Peacetime operations usually require little deception beyond normal OPSEC. OPSEC, or the information measures the ASCC uses, must be consistent with established guidelines and may require interagency coordination.


A major challenge for any force taking part in peacetime operations is to be organized to accomplish the goals of the sponsoring authority and provide sufficient capability to protect the force. The committed ARFOR must be sufficiently lethal and survivable to protect itself, deter possible aggression, and accomplish its mission. This specialized force must be capable of performing both hostile and nonhostile actions simultaneously throughout its AO. The ASCC must always have available and continuously plan for the employment of a joint or multinational force suite of fire support systems. A credible operational fires capability deters aggression and increases the options available to the commander to accomplish his mission and protect the force.

Fire support units provide more than lethal and nonlethal fires during MOOTW. Fire support coordinators and operational-level planners must establish liaison early to start planning and coordinating targeting functions (operational IPB, high-payoff target selection, target acquisition and attack system selection/tasking, and BDA planning) should fires be needed. The organization and equipment of fire support units can augment the C3I collection and other capabilities of the joint or multinational force.

Doctrine for fires and the basic tasks of fire support do not change during MOOTW. Still, the MOOTW environment presents unique challenges that affect tactics, techniques, and procedures for fires and require the meticulous attention of planners. Planners must consider the characteristics of the MOOTW threat and their impact on both operational fires and fire support.

The MOOTW AO typically presents threats that do not conform to linear operations. Threats are diverse and may manifest themselves anywhere at any time, making them difficult to predict. Threat personnel and activities may be indistinguishable from friendly until hostilities are initiated. The prevalent threat in MOOTW is from hostile terrorist, guerilla, or partisan activities. Additionally, environmental factors (weather, disease) pose a serious threat. In some scenarios, they will be the prevalent threat. Normally, MOOTW threats do not involve a sophisticated military force unless hostilities have escalated to the realm of conflict or the threat is capable of rapidly massing and dispersing military or paramilitary force to achieve its objectives. MOOTW threat activities include hit and run harassing tactics such as attacks and raids, mining and booby traps, sabotage, deception, and psychological warfare designed to embarrass and demoralize friendly governments and forces.

External support from other nations for the indigenous MOOTW threat and adaptation of friendly operations to the local geography compound the problem. External support of the threat extends the problem to the international diplomatic arena, usually increasing the restrictions and constraints on military options. The extremes in geography require organizations to prepare for and adapt to variations in terrain and vegetation and the impact of seasonal weather changes.

All of these aspects of the MOOTW threat impact planning and execution of operational fires. The range of threats in an MOOTW environment impact both operational fires and fire support. First, all friendly forces are vulnerable. No rear area enjoys relative security. This vulnerability requires establishment of integrated base defenses with a mutually supporting fires capability. Fires must first support the increased security requirements for both position defense and movement. Second, planners must recognize the restrictions and constraints of ROE on the application of force. Planners must then consider indirect and nonlethal fires, in addition to direct fire systems, when they write ROE. ROE should address appropriate responses to various expected threat actions and force protection. The diversity of available fire support systems, including those of coalition forces, requires that ROE include weapon system and munition selection as well. At all echelons of command, ROE significantly impact all aspects of fire planning, target acquisition, and attack. Finally, the nonspecific nature of MOOTW threats requires continuous planning. Consideration must be given to mutual support between adjacent units or bases and even AOs.

The fleeting nature of the threat requires near real-time target acquisition and sensor-to-shooter links. Target acquisition systems must be capable of distinguishing between friendly and threat activity. This capability increases the importance of HUMINT and IMINT sources, which provide real time eyes on targets such as patrols, police, SOF, UAV/RPV (remotely piloted vehicle), and J-STARS (joint surveillance target and attack radar system). Ground surveillance, countermortar, and counterbattery radars are equally important and have special employment considerations in the MOOTW environment. Electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems may provide valuable situation development information, but the need to verify target descriptions limits ELINT responsiveness and utility as a target acquisition system for triggering target attack.

These considerations highlight the need for close coordination among joint, multinational, and coalition force operations; intelligence; and fires representatives at the ASCC headquarters. Although these considerations are not all-inclusive, they may appear to focus fire support at lower echelons rather than operational fires. Still, the MOOTW environment forces the ASCC/ARFOR to plan meticulously, coordinate, and execute application of force.

To expedite fire support coordination, fire planning, and clearance of fires, special arrangements are required with the host nation military, allied nations, joint services, and national and local civilian authorities. These arrangements include determining communication requirements, identifying liaison personnel, and establishing procedures--all focused on the interoperability of the multinational force effort to support peacekeeping objectives.

Within NATO and the ABCA (American, British, Canadian, Australian) quadripartite working group, special agreements exist which facilitate fire support operations. These are NATO standardization agreements (STANAGs) and quadripartite standardization agreements (QSTAGs). Many countries that the US may support have no bilateral fire support agreements. Action may be required, based on the situation, to establish agreements. Support in these efforts may be arranged through the appropriate DOS agencies and country teams. This increase in centralized C² oft fires is needed for civil-military cooperation, developing and adhering to ROE, establishing appropriate procedures for clearance of fires, and establishing an appropriate joint/multinational force staff structure to plan, coordinate, and, when necessary, control operational fires.

Command and Control

Peacetime operations contribute to stability and conflict prevention in order to complement diplomatic initiatives. The ASCC may conduct a wide range of peacetime operations that directly or indirectly stabilize a situation or contribute to the general welfare. Contingency force-projection operations develop through CAP (see Chapter 6). These actions may evolve into longer-term commitments such as regional peacekeeping operations. Other peacetime operations may begin as long-term commitments that may require deliberate planning. Examples include overt PSYOP programs, nation assistance, and security assistance.

Command relationships in peacetime are normally based on the in-place theater structure that conducts routine peacetime activities. These peacetime relationships require special sensitivity to and coordination with nonmilitary organizations. As a result, operational-level command relationships and unity of command may be clouded.

The Ambassador

The ambassador is responsible for the direction, coordination, and supervision of all US Government interagency activities within a particular country. The ASCC's staff, under the direction of the unified commander's diplomatic-military staff element, may integrate ARFOR to support the ambassador. Military commanders must work closely with the ambassador and his country team to assure effective exchange of information and coordination. Sometimes, the military commander may be a part of the country team and directly advise the ambassador.

The Commander in Chief

The CINC may use forward-deployed Army units in theater when the NCA directs. In such a case, command relationships change little from routine peacetime activities. The ASCC controls ARFOR operations and recommends and coordinates the use of contingency forces and mobilization of reserve forces from outside the theater. In such a case, the CINC may use existing command relationships, or, if the mission requires forces of multiple services, he may establish a JTF. The ASCC may advise the CINC to integrate reserve component forces either in a training status or brought to active duty for an extended period to assist in executing operations.


The ASCC needs high-quality, timely intelligence to conduct peacetime operations. The ACE serves as the clearinghouse for all-source intelligence. The ACE maintains lists of I&W that the ASCC uses to anticipate peacetime operations. The ACE produces intelligence information and disseminates it to commanders and staff agencies for use. This intelligence effort must address diplomatic and economic information as well as information related to potential natural disasters. Based on these indicators and CINC guidance, the ASCC focuses the collection and processing of information on specific peacetime operations.

Intelligence provides a basis for all US plans and operations in MOOTW. The nature of MOOTW is one of heavy involvement with the host nation populace, government, and military. Due to this heavy involvement with the host nation, most activities in MOOTW are HUMINT-intensive. HUMINT operations provide valuable intelligence, as well as I&W on threat activities and operations. HUMINT provides timely information on threat capabilities and intentions. HUMINT collects information by interrogation, observation, elicitation of personnel, and exploitation of documents and material. HUMINT is also the most effective intelligence discipline available to the threat. Consequently, counter-HUMINT operations are the key to the success of any activity in MOOTW. Counter-HUMINT operations are used to degrade or neutralize threat espionage, sabotage, and subversion capabilities.

Close liaison with a variety of US and host nation military and civil organizations is critical to the success of any MOOTW activity. This liaison is imperative for coordination, intelligence collecting, and information sharing. CI personnel are uniquely suited to this task. As a minimum, CI personnel must coordinate with members of the US country team, US MI units, US MP units, CA units, PSYOP units, HN regional and urban area coordination centers, HN intelligence and security forces, and HN military, paramilitary, and police.

Battle Space

In MOOTW, commanders seek to counter the threat's effects in a given battle space. The threats in MOOTW will vary between each MOOTW activity. Battle space is a physical volume that expands or contracts in relation to the ability to influence and counter the threat. A higher commander does not assign battle space, which extends beyond the limits of the commander's AO. Battle space is based on the premise that the commander's thinking expands to develop a vision for countering the threat before any mental constraints are emplaced, such as boundaries, legal mandates, or terms of reference (TOR).

Battle space includes all friendly assets available to counter the threat. In MOOTW, pure combat power is only a small portion of the true battle space. Other assets may include the diplomatic efforts of embassy officials, liaisons with host nation governments and military agencies, as well as the efforts of NGOs, PVOs, and IOs.

Unity of effort is essential to operations within a given battle space. Ownership of assets is less important than application of their effects toward countering the threat. An understanding of battle space allows commanders to keep their options open, synchronize all friendly assets, and counter the threat. As the commander considers the mission, as well as any perceived mission creep, he can visualize his battle space throughout the operation and how the battle space may change as he moves to counter the threat.

Area studies provide host nation weather and geographical information, as well as basic intelligence (seaports, airports, transportation systems, water storage, POL storage, building materials availability) helpful in preparing for natural disasters and other contingency-type operations. Forward presence, both through permanent stationing and periodic deployment of CONUS-based HUMINT resources, is essential to this effort.

The theater-level MI organization continuously develops and refines indicator lists. These lists allow the ASCC to monitor diplomatic, military, and economic conditions in the area. Army intelligence sources provide the necessary information and intelligence to identify and predict potential threats. All source intelligence analysis provides the ASCC with the necessary information to protect his forces, noncombatants, and resources. It also allows him to prepare for future operations while minimizing the probability of surprise from a potential threat.


The ASCC is responsible for developing and providing the elements of sustainment for ARFOR within a region and for other services, based on executive agent responsibilities for common servicing. Unless directed by national authority, NGOs and PVOs will provide their respective support. Strategic logistics support is projected from CONUS and other OCONUS sites, using all national resources, including USAMC, DLA, other services, and commercial sources. The ASCC provides logistics, direction, and prioritization. The ASCC staff monitors all support activities to ensure smooth, daily sustainment of the force. The ASCC seeks to conserve Army resources whenever possible by using contractors, the host nation, or other viable sources of support. In peacetime, the CONUS support base continues to project logistics support from national resources. The ASCC monitors the support of the soldier as well.

The Army personnel system and training base provide a supply of qualified soldiers into forward-deployed/forward-presence theaters or to units that may deploy into any region. The following agencies provide daily support to soldiers and their family members:

  • Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

  • Legal Services Agency.

  • Chaplaincy Service Support Agency.

  • Community and Family Support Center.

  • Other Army staff field operating agencies.

The ASCC may coordinate augmentation of this support through other services or allies.

Combat health support (CHS) of soldiers includes all services performed, provided, or arranged by the Army Medical Department to promote, conserve, or restore the mental or physical well-being of personnel in the Army and, as directed, in other services, agencies, and organizations. The surgeon general has overall worldwide responsibility for Army health care. Senior army commanders and service components must ensure their soldiers and their soldiers' family members receive these services effectively. In theater, the CHS system provides care in Echelons I through IV, ultimately leading to treatment in the US. Senior commanders ensure that the Army health care system provides preventive measures, progressive treatment, hospitalization, and evacuation of service members and their families. In developed theaters the support structure is available to support peacetime operations. This structure includes host nation, contract, and interservice support agreements. Forces conducting peacetime operations integrate their operations into this structure.

When operating forces require support not present in theater or operate in an austere theater, the ASCC plans and coordinates support arrangements either unilaterally or with joint support agencies. Army commanders develop tailored support packages to provide essential support for the ARFOR. This could include functional and area army commands to provide large-scale or long-term support. These considerations provide operational-level commanders with general synchronization requirements applicable to most peacetime operations.


Training for war is the Army's top priority. The ASCC provides the direction, purpose, and necessary motivation to his subordinates to successfully accomplish the training mission. The ASCC outlines his intent and then ensures that his subordinates focus on mission-essential task lists (METLs). Most missions during peacetime can be accomplished by a disciplined force proficient in METL tasks. Subordinate METLs must support the CINC's theater strategy.

Historical Perspective

On 5 April 1991, President Bush announced the beginning of a humanitarian assistance mission in northern Iraq to provide relief to Kurdish refugees who had fled into the mountains to avoid persecution by the Iraqi Government and military. Operation Provide Comfort was a joint and multinational operation executed with no formal agreements among agencies and countries.

The threat to be countered was truly a multifaceted one. The immediate threat to the Kurdish people involved their living conditions in the mountains of northern Iraq. Temperatures day and night were below freezing. Food, water, and shelter were unavailable, and disease was running rampant through the refugee population. The secondary threat involved the continued presence of the Iraqi military and secret police. Since Iraqi military units were present in the area, the Kurds were unwilling to leave the perceived safety of the rugged mountains to receive the assistance available in the northern Iraqi cities.

Under the umbrella and battle space of Combined Task Force (CTF) Provide Comfort, two distinctly different JTFs were formed. JTF-A was involved with countering the immediate physical threat to the Kurds. This JTF set up and administered the actual humanitarian assistance operation. Battle space for JTF-A was far-reaching and included the supplies and personnel from many NGOs, PVOs, and IOs; logistical assistance and personnel from units that were already in-theater for Operation Desert Storm; and logistics and personnel from Europe and CONUS.

JTF-B was involved with countering the secondary threat, which was the continued presence of the Iraqi military and their effects on the Kurds. This JTF opened a security zone in northern Iraq that facilitated the return of the Kurdish people to northern cities, such as Zakho, where they could be given humanitarian assistance. The baffle space for JTF-B included combat power that was in theater for Operation Desert Storm, units and equipment from all branches of service stationed in Europe and CONUS, and units from multiple nations that had volunteered to participate in the operation. Battle space for CTF Provide Comfort also included the diplomatic efforts of the US and UN to counter the threats to the region.

The ASCC goes beyond these fundamental training considerations. Since much of the operational-level EAC support structure resides in the reserve components, the ASCC must be involved with active and reserve component training as well as with joint requirements and potentially multinational training. Training during peacetime must prepare ARFOR for missions across the range of military operations and support the national defense policy of strategic deterrence. Training for leaders may be much broader than the subordinate METL indicate to ensure the leader flexibility required for conducting both warfighting and MOOTW missions. Peacetime operations take advantage of the established support structure and capabilities of the support and service support elements that sustain the routine peacetime activities.


ASCC peacetime operations include, but are not limited to, security assistance, nation assistance, search and rescue, CA, NEO peacekeeping, shows of force, support to counterdrug operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.


The Army conducts security assistance operations to provide military articles, training, and defense-related services authorized by statute law. Security assistance is a key element of US foreign policy, with DOS as the lead agent supported by DOD. These operations are strictly controlled by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which deals with international military education and training (IMET), or the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, which deals with foreign military sales. The US Government provides security assistance on a credit or cash basis to the host nation. Senior army commanders must be careful not to commit the US Government to providing any assistance that could be construed as security assistance without following the statutory requirements.

The in-country security assistance office (SAO) is the military focal point for formulating, planning, and executing these programs. Theater CINCs make significant contributions, to include supervision, support, selection, and command of SAOs. The ASCC contributes to developing assistance requirements. CONUS-based units are usually called on to provide security assistance training teams. Still, in-theater or OCONUS-based units could also provide the training. Training provides the most lasting military contribution for security assistance efforts. Security assistance officials, in rare circumstances, may direct the Army to transfer military hardware or materiel to foreign nations in response to a crisis requiring a surge of military support.


Nation assistance programs promote stability and orderly progress, thus contributing to the prevention of conflict. If internal conflict has begun, the goal of nation assistance is to aid in removing its root causes. Nation assistance becomes a primary means of bringing the conflict to a successful resolution according to the internal defense and development strategy. Nation assistance consists of general missions such as assisting with development-related infrastructure projects, training health care workers, and improving the professionalism of national military forces. Nation assistance missions can generate useful good will toward the US and assist friendly governments.


Search and rescue operations are sophisticated actions requiring precise execution. They may be clandestine or overt. They may include the rescue of US or foreign nationals or items critical to US national security. Rescue operations require timely intelligence and detailed planning. They usually involve highly trained special units but may be supported by general-purpose forces. Search and rescue operations may be required in peacetime as well as in conflict and war.


NEOs are normally conducted to evacuate US civilian noncombatants and nonessential US military personnel from locations in a foreign (host) nation to a safe haven, preferably the US. An NEO is normally conducted to evacuate US citizens whose lives are in danger from a hostile environment or natural disaster. NEOs may also, include the selective evacuation of citizens of the host nation and third-country nationals.

NEOs involve swift, temporary occupancy of an objective, perhaps using temporarily disabling technologies to minimize casualties and end with planned withdrawals. They may include the use of force. Under ideal circumstances, little or no opposition to the operation exists. Still, commanders must anticipate and plan for possible hostilities. If military forces are employed in an NEO, they usually comprise units from more than one service. The regional CINC, on being ordered to support an NEO, designates a JFC to exercise overall control of the operations involved in the NEO.

Evacuation operations differ from other military operations, since direction of the operation may remain with the American ambassador at the time of the evacuation. Further, the order to evacuate is a diplomatic-- rather than a military--decision, with extensive ramifications. FM 90-29 provides details on NEO operations.


Military peacekeeping operations support diplomatic efforts to achieve or maintain peace in areas of potential or actual conflict. The single, most important requirement of a peacekeeping operation is consent to the operation by all the parties to the dispute. Such consent represents an explicit agreement, permitting the introduction of a neutral third party.

The US may participate in peacekeeping operations under the sponsorship of the UN or other IOs, such as the Organization of American States, or in cooperation with other countries. The UN has been the most frequent sponsor of peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping often involves ambiguous situations that require the peacekeeping force to deal with extreme tension and violence without becoming a participant. Based on the peacekeeping mandate and the stationing agreement, specific TOR, follow-on command directives, and ROE are established.


Shows of force lend credibility to the nation's promises and commitments, increase its regional influence, and demonstrate resolve. These operations can influence other governments or politico-military organizations to respect US interests and international law. These operations can take the form of aircraft and ship visits, multinational training exercises, forward deployment of military forces, and introduction or buildup of military forces in a region. The appearance of a credible, trained military force underscores national policy interests and commitment, improves host-nation military readiness and morale, and provides an insight into US values.


Support to counterdrug operations complies with the national drug control strategy, complements the efforts of law enforcement agencies, and supports foreign governments. At the level of national strategy, the NCA places increasing importance on the role of DOD in controlling the flow of drugs across US borders. The objective of military counterdrug efforts is to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the US. Military support is therefore a balanced effort to attack the flow of illegal drugs at the source, while in transit, and during distribution in the US. Military counterdrug activities may also be used to support insurgencies and counterinsurgencies and to combat terrorism.


Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations are unique peacetime operations because they could be conducted within CONUS. Recent examples in the US have included assistance rendered in the northwest states to contain forest fires and relief operations following Hurricanes Hugo in 1989 and Andrew in 1992. These operations fall within the category of support to domestic civil authorities. Examples of in-theater operations include famine relief efforts in Somalia and hurricane relief operations in Hawaii following Hurricane Iniki.

Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations provide emergency relief to victims of natural or man-made disasters. These operations may include refugee assistance, food preparation and distribution programs, medical treatment and care, damage assessment and control, forensic identification, maintenance of law and order, reestablishment of communications networks, and sanitation/water facilities.

ARFOR are committed to these operations when localities become overwhelmed by the extent of the situation and can no longer provide basic human needs and protection. The ability to respond on short notice with a wide array of capabilities is a unique attribute of the Army. The length of commitment is normally limited to the time that communities and other government and private agencies can handle continued operations by themselves. When properly executed, military participation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations has long-term positive effects. Overseas, such participation demonstrates good will and engenders mutual respect. At home, it provides soldiers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills while helping their fellow citizens.


Although not a peacetime operation, CA and PSYOP are critical operations that aid commanders in accomplishing their peacetime objectives. Commanders at all levels must understand the depth and capabilities of CA and psychological support found throughout any given command. Commanders must understand the CA and PSYOP ability to support US and allied armed forces.

Civil Affairs

ARFOR execute CA programs to support the unified commander. During peacetime, CA support is often provided as an ancillary benefit to deployments for training. CA units are suited to both short-term and longer-term involvement. To be effective in short-term operations, these programs require continuous preparation, regional expertise, and consistent coordination between civil and military authorities. This preparation is best achieved through peacetime involvement in the theater.

Psychological Operations

ARFOR PSYOP forces execute PSYOP to support the unified commander and US national interests. Throughout the range of military operations, PSYOP is a vital force employed to optimize the influence of US national policy on foreign target audiences, whether neutral, hostile, or friendly. In MOOTW, PSYOP provides the commander with the capability to project the purpose and mission of US forces and to influence target audience behavior to support the commander's mission.

PSYOP is a force multiplier, providing long-range, mid- to long-term support of the unified commander's intent. While classified as SOF, PSYOP is a general force multiplier. This support exists at all levels of command and operations--from strategic to tactical. PSYOP units are regionally focused and maintain extensive historical research and expertise on the sociological, economical, and religious practices and on the languages of a given AO. ARFOR PSYOP support US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and allied forces. Except for PSYOP-unique equipment and military occupational specialties (MOS), the unit of attachment sustains PSYOP elements. For PSYOP to achieve maximum effectiveness, planners must include it in the planning process early.


Operations conducted in peacetime are designed to preclude the onset of conflict. Due to factors that may not be controlled, conflict may evolve. Because the transition to conflict may occur in a gradual or abrupt manner, the ARFOR commander must prepare for either eventuality. The operational METT-T assessment provides the mental process for the continuing reevaluation of the operational environment. That reevaluation aids the identification of needed Army capabilities in the event of conflict. Such identification assists national-level decision makers in determining mobilization requirements.

The theater CINC organizes his AOR for orderly and rapid transition from a peacetime posture to different levels of hostility. This process is sequential and sufficiently flexible to respond to any situation. The transition process must be responsive enough to diplomatic initiatives to be halted or reversed once it has begun. The CINC must be sensitive to the fact that a prolonged state of heightened readiness for combat without action may drain resources and adversely affect morale.

The ASCC translates mission orders from the CINC into plans and military operations. If mobilization is required, AMOPES--the Army system that supports JOPES--provides a disciplined planning procedure for conducting Army mobilization, deployment, planning, and execution (see also FM 100-17). The ASCC and appropriate Army commanders review the mobilization requirements established in AMOPES, CONPLANs, and OPLANs to meet the situation. C² relationships are likely to change as levels of hostility and military involvement increase.

Commanders participate in joint and multinational planning efforts and coordinate and prepare ARFOR for deployment and employment. Finally, commanders contribute ARFOR ready to meet joint and multinational operational requirements and to establish a logistical base to support fielded Army units.


The theater CINC, with concurrence from the NCA, determines when all or part of his AOR is in a state of conflict. Conflict is a state of hostile opposition among organized parties or groups within a nation, or between or among nations, and usually involves irregular forces to achieve limited diplomatic or military objectives. Conflict is often protracted, and irregular forces often dominate.

Military actions may be confined to geographic areas. When US Army units are directly engaged in conflict, they can expect guidelines on weaponry and the degree of force authorized. Diplomatic leaders will likely limit objectives to those achievable with short, focused, and direct application of military force. Even though limited in scope, these short applications of force may be part of a campaign or major operation phased over an extended period. The NCA or the CINC may further limit the conduct of military operations to a specific geographic area.

The Army's Role

The Army's role in conflict is to assist a JFC in gaining control, deterring escalation, and restoring order. Conflict operations are challenging because they require a measured application of military force sufficient to accomplish the designated objectives. Typically, conflict occurs in diplomatically-charged situations within specific legal boundaries. ARFOR operate in a hostile environment with a high probability of physical confrontation; though sometimes, combat operations may not occur. Army leaders may conduct operations very similar to operations during war but execute them with both restraints and constraints placed on the use of firepower and maneuver.


Senior army commanders must keep four factors in mind when considering operations in conflict: coordination, balance, planning for uncertainty, and identification of risk.


Coordination is critical to establishing the basis for the operations being conducted. The Army must cooperate with other government agencies, services, and nations to deal effectively with the diplomatically sensitive situations present in conflict.


Commanders must balance the combat posture and readiness of their soldiers against the volatile environment in which they function. A balance must also be struck between diplomatic goals and the scale, intensity, and nature of Army operations supporting those goals.

Planning for Uncertainty

Commanders must build flexibility into their plans and operations. Conflict situations are full of uncertainty as presented by both the threat and the diplomatic conditions that limit Army options.

Identification of Risk

Commanders must seek to increase their options while limiting the enemy's options. Successful commanders do not run out of options. Risks and gambles are part of option decisions. The decision to take risks is weighed against the mission, probability of success, available intelligence, and as many other factors as are available to the commander in his decision cycle.


Operations during conflict present a challenge to Army leadership. The military, as one of four elements of national power, may not dominate events but may adapt its operations to fit those of other lead agencies. In coalition and interagency operations, the ASCC must achieve unity of effort through cooperation, liaison, negotiation, and compromise. Where practicable, agreements should be formalized in writing as TOR, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), or similar instruments. Tasks required of the ARFOR will vary relative to the success of returning the area in conflict to a state of peace. ARFOR must be flexible enough to meet a wide range of operational requirements. The conflict environment will challenge the versatility of the force.

Movement and Maneuver

Movement and maneuver in conflict are characterized by planning that reflects the restrictions and constraints placed on military operations. These restrictions and constraints form a set of requirements and prohibitions imposed by the NCA. They usually have a diplomatic basis that outweighs militarily preferred alternatives. The NCA articulates these restrictions and constraints in different manners.

ROE are the translation of circumstances and limitations for the initiation and conduct of engagements with hostile forces. Personnel ceiling caps restrict the level of forces that can become involved in a conflict within prescribed geographical boundaries. Designated AOs define restrictions on the commander's battle space. These factors combine to influence the movement of forces into the AO. After that movement, maneuver is influenced by these same factors.

Army Force

In conflict, the Army force needed is a key consideration. Often, the presence of overwhelming force in the conflict area discourages enemy actions. Senior army commanders must forthrightly articulate the resources required to achieve quick and decisive victory with minimum casualties. Based upon the diplomatic situation and other competing priorities, the Army commander may have to achieve his goals with considerably fewer resources than he desires. The sequencing of major operations in this environment requires patience and a clear understanding of the diplomatic realities that apply to the particular conflict.

Forcible Entry

Conditions may require a forcible entry. This capability requires the staging of forces over time and space. Chapter 6 addresses some considerations for forcible entry. Among the key considerations is the element of force mix. Combat forces are key to seizing the lodgment area, but support forces become immediately critical thereafter. Strategic planners and force commanders must ensure that logistics forces and sustainment resources are deployed in theater as soon as possible to enable combat forces to conduct continuous operations.

Reception and Onward Movement

The mission of reception and onward movement is to integrate rapidly arriving forces and supplies into the theater without disrupting the operation's tempo. This mission must be balanced against support to current operations, as both are logistically intensive. Accordingly, the ASCC must carefully plan and execute reception and onward movement to maintain the proper balance to support arriving forces and the operation's tempo. Early base development efforts are key considerations for the Army commander. Units and facilities for the reception of forces are critical, especially in the initial phase and in an undeveloped theater.

Disposition of Forces

The final consideration for maneuver during conflict is the disposition of forces. Deployment of forces into their initial positions is critical. This positioning must support both current and subsequent operations as envisioned by the Army commanders. ARFOR may operate from noncontiguous bases that require the Army commander to develop lines of operation and support with a minimum amount of protection. To be able to rapidly mass his forces and prevent the enemy from gaining the initiative, the commander must have a finely tuned intelligence capability, a detailed understanding of the physical disposition of friendly forces, and a high degree of operational-level mobility.


Operational-level fires during conflict revolve around two key considerations: ROE and coordination of joint fires. The types of fires permitted are likely to be limited, and the fires used will require a higher level of precision and greater reliance on temporary disabling techniques and technology. Collateral damage is less tolerable in conflict. Failure to control and limit collateral damage can endanger the long-term effects supporting stability.

The Army may find itself in a supported role in the area of operational fires. For instance, the precision and depth of the fires required may dictate a predominant Air Force role. To achieve his operational objectives and complement the JFC's plan, the Army commander selects targets for Army resources to attack and nominates targets for other resources to attack. The joint coordination process is critical to ensuring that resources are not wasted and that fires create a synergistic effect.

The Army operational-level commander must have an organic staff capability to plan and coordinate operational-level fires. This staff element is the DOCC. His staff must also have the capability to augment the joint staff for planning and coordinating joint operational fires. Because of potential restraints and constraints caused by concerns over collateral damages, other systems may take on a role of greater utility. Other systems' fires are designed to impair, disrupt, or delay the performance of enemy operational forces, functions, and facilities. PSYOP, SOF, EW (jamming), and other C² countermeasures are all disabling fire options.


Protection of the force requires heightened awareness as conditions move toward direct confrontation. As the likelihood of confrontation increases, so does the vulnerability of the force, unless additional protection measures are implemented. Protection conserves the fighting potential of a force and is every soldier's responsibility. Protection has four components.

  • The first component includes OPSEC and deception operations. Successful execution of this component prevents the enemy from locating and causing harm to friendly forces.

  • The second component supports keeping soldiers healthy and maintaining their fighting morale. It includes protecting their equipment and supplies and taking care of their basic needs.

  • The third component is safety. It is a principal element and must be an integral part of all military operations. Soldiers conducting military operations are placed at risk; still, commanders must ensure that soldiers are not placed in an undue risk situation. Strong command and levels of discipline and training lessen those risks. Training in peacetime must be realistic and equate to requirements for fighting in war.

  • The fourth component is avoiding fratricide--the unintentional killing or wounding of friendly personnel by fire. Commanders must maintain situational awareness of the enemy and their personnel. This situational awareness, along with strong command presence, disciplined operations, and anticipation of future operations helps limit probability and occurrences of fratricide.

Commanders implement the THREATCON system. Table 8-1 briefly describes THREATCONs Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. The implementation decision is based upon--

  • The threat assessment.

  • Personnel and facility criticality and vulnerabilities.

  • Resource availability.

  • Operations and morale impacts.

  • Damage control considerations.

  • International relations.

  • Possible terrorist retaliatory responses.

The commander must recognize that information on the threat is difficult to obtain prior to an incident. Army Regulation 525-13 discusses the combating terrorism program in detail. The identification of friendly force vulnerabilities and geopolitical assets are key steps in protection. Essential facilities must be identified. Communications must be protected from interference and interception. While the basic principles for deception hold true during conflict, they are often more difficult to apply.

OPSEC is significantly harder to sustain in an open society where national survival is not at stake. Deception is more difficult to achieve when the operational-level objectives have more diplomatic content than military significance. The Army commander must ensure that his deception plans support the unified command's plans and are not compromised by information leaks. The environment of conflict often appears peaceful, requiring commanders to remain vigilant to guard against complacency. Terrorism is most effective when the threat is not highly visible and surprise is likely to be achieved.

Table 8-1. THREATCON Levels
No credible threat of terrorist activity
Low - general terrorist threat
Medium - increased and more predictable threat
High - when an incident occurs or when intelligence indicates
an imminent terrorist action
Imminent - when an incident occurs in the immediate area
after a terrorist attack or when intelligence indicates a threat
against a specific person or location.

Command and Control

During conflict, the ASCC contributes to the CINC's theater strategy of limiting hostilities. These efforts often involve direct use of military power to complement diplomatic initiatives. The principal C² problem is how to integrate US military actions with lead agencies of our own or foreign governments. The Army has a variety of operations to select from in supporting conflict situations, all of which have some common C² considerations.


Military leaders conduct conflict operations without a declaration of war. The absence of this declaration restricts the structuring of the theater for operations. In MOOTW, the CINC does not establish a theater of war or theaters of operation unless it is a major conflict. Normally, he establishes smaller areas, such as a JOA, for conducting operations. Diplomatic considerations predominate over purely military requirements and constrain C². The senior military leader has a greater level of freedom than in peacetime but must coordinate closely with nonmilitary agencies. Whatever the geographic organization, the ASCC must establish clear C² structures for conducting operations in conflict.

Command Relationships

Command relationships and structure usually begin with existing peacetime arrangements that require a degree of transition to a state of conflict footing. Conflict planners may have to consider combined relationships. The level of international integration will affect C². The unified command structure serves as the C² structure to build upon. C² may emanate straight from the national level if operations include actions of direct strategic importance.

As operations in theater transition to conflict, in-theater forces and existing C² relationships may be adequate to accomplish the mission. ARFOR from CONUS or other theaters could increase the complexity, scope, and level of forces executing operations beyond the capabilities of the normal theater structure. This would thereby require augmentation or restructuring. In austere theaters, an Army force may have to arrive in theater prepared to support itself and execute operations unassisted. Later, the theater ASCC may control all operations, or the CINC could task the ASCC to support operations while he directly controls the execution of operations through a separate operational chain of command.


Army operational-level commanders are active participants in the development of all conflict plans. They may participate in deliberate planning (JOPES, Volume VI) to prepare for anticipated or potential actions. Unanticipated or rapidly developing situations may require operational-level commanders to conduct CAP. Planning for conflict, especially at the operational level, is a continuous process. Rapidly changing diplomatic conditions may change the desired objective, composition, and sequencing of conflict operations. Planners must prepare multiple branches and sequels to enhance their ability to provide timely support. Senior army commanders require a flexible force structure to enable their organization to achieve the desired strategic end.


Early establishment of an ACE is critical for successful operations. ACE operations should commence within the theater of operations before hostilities. Intelligence communications established between the theater intelligence center and the national systems provide the critical intelligence that US military forces require immediately upon arrival and until tactical intelligence flow is established.

Operational intelligence must support the targeting effort of operational-level fires and/or set the stage for operational-level maneuver. Success requires sound IPB. In conflict, IPB may follow the process used for a conventional battlefield or a modified process that focuses on nonmilitary information. Civilian trends are often as important as operational information. Weather analysis remains an important part of IPB. Doctrinal templates for guerrillas, surrogates, and narcotics traffickers do not exist.

Intelligence personnel need different collection techniques and background information, which may require continuous updating. The process must react to the dynamics of the specific situation it supports, as well as to the worldwide situation. Intelligence agencies must exploit the full range of both US and host nation intelligence and counterintelligence production capabilities. This includes the collection and analysis of SIGINT, IMINT, and HUMINT, which are particularly valuable in determining hostile intentions.

The ASCC provides theater-specific intelligence integration for the Army operational-level commander. The Army commander develops his picture of the operational area, based upon the threat he faces and the information gathered by the intelligence system. Intelligence should be the basis for all action.

During foreign internal defense operations, the Army's intelligence organization works closely with the host government to develop and improve the intelligence capabilities of all security forces. During counterinsurgency operations, intelligence provides the basis for all US and host nation plans. Prior to commitment, US military forces provide specific intelligence requirements to the US national intelligence community. This ensures that national-level collection focuses on force requirements. Cooperative or multinational MI activities at the operational level are integral to effective intelligence collection and production. Army intelligence units provide technical expertise, management, and advice to develop host nation intelligence capabilities. They help establish objectives and, where desirable and feasible, develop common procedures.

The Army can provide tactical intelligence support in conflict situations. ARFOR can contribute experience and expertise to establish and manage all-source intelligence operations and enhance overall management of the intelligence effort. This management of intelligence information includes data on internal unrest, on external support for insurgencies, and on host nation military capabilities, including intelligence and counterintelligence.

The threat of sabotage, terrorism, and subversion requires MI staffs to focus their counterintelligence collection efforts. These efforts require close coordination with host nation police and legal officials. In countries where cooperative or multinational intelligence systems already exist, newly arrived Army tactical units normally work with the area intelligence elements on a mutual support basis. When the situation forces Army units to move frequently, they should not assume responsibility for long-term, area-oriented intelligence programs. Still, they may contribute significantly to short-term collection and production efforts. All Army personnel during conflict provide information which, when tied into the data-gathering system, can produce useful intelligence.


In conflict, the ASCC tailors logistics to provide basic requirements in an austere situation. He stages logistics and uses intermediate support bases, leading to full base development if necessary. He does this with the use of HNS. Early deployment of the LSE from USAMC ensures a positive link from the deploying units to the national logistics system and may be required to fill gaps in the TOE logistics infrastructure or projected selected elements of the national/industrial base into theater. The LSE could provide an initial C² structure to orchestrate USAMC resources and the logistics efforts of contractors and HNS. The degree of development of the host nation's infrastructure has a significant influence upon the Army commander's long-range logistics operations. In an austere environment, logistics operations can take precedence over near-term combat operations.

The Army commander takes a long-range view of the conflict situation and plans his logistics for the anticipated duration of combat operations, plus a transition period. He is responsible for providing HSS to ARFOR and, as directed, to other services, agencies, and organizations. These logistics responsibilities include--

  • Patient evacuation and medical regulation.

  • Hospitalization.

  • Health service logistics/blood management.

  • Preventive medicine, dental, veterinary, medical laboratory, and combat stress control services.

  • Area medical support.

  • Command, control, and communications (C3).

Logistics operations may become the primary Army weapon in conflict. Critical logistical skills supplied by the Army may allow the host nation to focus on combat requirements in the particular conflict, with little or no US Army participation.


In conflict, the ASCC executes a variety of operations that contribute to the achievement of theater-strategic goals. These may include the continuation and expansion of the full range of previously discussed operations begun in peacetime, as well as attacks, raids, UW, support of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies, peacemaking, security assistance surges, and operations to combat terrorism. Sometimes operations are in response to a crisis or other rapidly developing situation. At other times operations may call for long-term planning and sequenced execution to support theater goals. Chapter 4 provides Army planning and deployment considerations for crisis situations. FM 100-17 addresses Army planning and deployment considerations across the range of military operations.


Terrorism is the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear. Terrorism is intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies pursuing goals that are generally diplomatic, religious, or ideological. Combating terrorism consists of defensive (antiterrorism) and offensive (counterterrorism) actions.


Antiterrorism includes all measures that installations, units, and individuals take to reduce the probability of their falling victim to a terrorist act. Antiterrorism includes those defensive measures that reduce the vulnerability of individuals and property. The extent of these defensive measures varies based on assessment of the local threat. These measures include--

  • Being personally aware and knowledgeable of personal protection techniques.

  • Implementing crime and physical security programs to harden the target.

  • Making installations and personnel less appealing as terrorist targets.


Counterterrorism includes the full range of offensive measures to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorism. These measures are normally carried out by SOF under the direction of the NCA. Local measures include only those actions taken to terminate an incident or apprehend individuals responsible for terrorist acts. Other countermeasures--preemption, intervention, or retaliation with specialized forces operating under the direction of the NCA--have the characteristics of attacks or raids.

The Army commander may conduct actions before, during, or after a terrorist incident. Although DOS has the lead in combating OCONUS terrorism, the Army commander and his staff must understand the threat and its tactics, as well as current US policies, when dealing with terrorists. The Army may be the lead or a supporting force in an effort to combat terrorism during a specific operation.


Attacks and raids can support rescue or recovery operations to destroy or seize equipment or facilities that demonstrably threaten national collective security interests. They can also support counterdrug operations by destroying narcotics production or transshipment facilities (if authorized by the NCA) or by supporting a host government's actions in this regard. The principles of combat operations directly apply.

Attacks by ground, air, and naval forces damage or destroy high-value targets or demonstrate the capability to do so. Raids are usually small-scale operations involving swift penetration of hostile territory to secure information, seize an objective, or destroy targets. Attacks and raids end with a withdrawal. Successful attacks and raids can create situations that permit seizing and maintaining the diplomatic initiative. To be successful, they require the proper focus of planning, organization, training, and equipment. Attacks and raids may involve conventional forces and SOF. The JFC usually plays a larger role than the Army operational-level commander in planning and executing these types of operations.


UW is a series of military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held, enemy-controlled, or diplomatically sensitive territory. UW includes, but is not limited to, guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, subversion, sabotage, and other operations of a low visibility, covert, or clandestine nature. US military support to UW operations can include the use of both conventional forces and SOF. UW is usually a long-term effort.

Techniques and tactics for certain UW operations are similar to those employed in support of insurgencies. However, support for insurgency differs from that for UW. Insurgency accomplishes strategic goals directly, whereas UW typically supports conventional operations. The difference affects the operational and strategic design of the operation. For example, operations in support of insurgencies give priority to infrastructure and diplomatic development, while UW emphasizes military actions.


Insurgency and counterinsurgency are two aspects of the same process. However, they differ in execution. Insurgents assume that appropriate change within the existing system is not possible or likely. Insurgency therefore focuses on radical change in diplomatic control and requires extensive use of covert instruments and methods. Counterinsurgency uses principally overt methods and assumes appropriate change within the existing system is possible and likely. The US supports selected insurgencies that oppose oppressive regimes which work against US interests. Since support for insurgencies is often covert, many operations connected with them are special activities. Because of their extensive UW training, SOF are well-suited to provide such support.

Conventional forces may be called on when the situation requires their functional specialties. Their tasks may include support and advice. The CINC may direct the ASCC to provide equipment, training, and services to insurgent forces. In the following types of operations, ARFOR can assist insurgents:

  • Recruiting, organizing, training, and equipping forces to perform unconventional or guerrilla warfare.

  • PSYOP.

  • Institutional and infrastructure development.

  • Intelligence-gathering.

  • Surreptitious insertion.

  • Linkups.

  • Evasion and escape of combatants.

  • Subversion.

  • Sabotage.

  • Resupply.

The US uses its military resources to provide support to a host nation's counterinsurgency operations in the context of foreign internal defense (FID). FID is the participation by civilian and military agencies in any of the action programs another government takes to free its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency. The US ambassador, through his country team, provides the focal point for interagency coordination and supervision of FID.

Military support to FID is provided through the unified CINC. Military resources provide materiel, advisors, trainers, and security assistance forces to support the host nation government's counterinsurgency operations through SAOs. ARFOR operations that support a host nation conducting a counterinsurgency may include, but are not limited to, intelligence-gathering, joint and combined exercises, civil-military operations, humanitarian or civic assistance, logistical support operations, populace and resource control operations, drug-interdiction operations, and tactical operations.


When in the national interest to stop a violent conflict and force a return to diplomatic methods, the US conducts peace enforcement (PE) operations with its military forces. The US typically undertakes PE operations at the request of appropriate national authorities in a foreign state or to protect US citizens as part of an international multilateral or unilateral operation. The PE force does not represent a wholly disinterested power or such a drastic commitment would not be made. However, the interests of the country or countries that provide forces for these operations are served best by a cessation of violence and a negotiated settlement.

Conflict within a given area eventually affects adjacent areas. These effects are seldom desirable and can include refugee movements, arms marketing, proliferation of weapons, and environmental contamination. A further potential exists for the expansion of the conflict beyond its original boundaries.

The long-range goals of a PE operation are two-fold. The first goal is to contain the conflict to prevent the destabilization of adjacent areas. The second goal is the agreement to a negotiated settlement by the parties to the conflict. This settlement must resolve the basis for the conflict and establish the foundation for the transition to peacekeeping operations and peacetime operations. The diplomatic complexities of operations to restore order require that available force be sufficient but its use be applied with discretion. The operation also requires that the forces be appropriate to the environment.

The senior army commander must understand the constraints and diplomatic sensitivities of this environment and recognize that local law and customs often influence his actions. PE operations require continuous mission analysis, clear C² relationships, effective communications facilities, joint and multinational force liaison, and effective public diplomacy and PSYOP.


The US accelerates security assistance when a friendly or allied nation faces imminent threat. In these surges, operations usually focus on logistical support. Geography, the magnitude of the logistics effort, and time limitations determine airlift and sealift requirements. US support to Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War illustrates this kind of operation. The Yom Kippur War demonstrates the importance of airlift in the initial stages of conflict and the follow-on strength of sealift. The CINC may direct the senior army commander to provide equipment from his command as part of security assistance surges. The senior army commander may also provide some of the logistical support (port operation and line haul units) needed to transfer surge equipment to the friendly nation.


The successful termination of conflict operations leads to a return to peacetime. The unsuccessful termination of conflict endangers US interests or threatens a possible transition to war. In either case, the ASCC must be prepared for these outcomes. The ASCC plans consolidation operations to terminate combat operations and prepare the way for the use of diplomatic, informational, and economic elements of power in a peacetime environment. As the level of hostility lessens, the ASCC changes the composition of his force. He replaces those combat arms forces--essential during combat operations--with CS and CSS forces as hostilities subside. Finally, he positions nation assistance forces to complete the transition to peacetime operations.

The ASCC plans an orderly redeployment of forces. This redeployment includes recovery and reconstitution of forces, which facilitates a return to peacetime activities. As a part of postoperation reporting, the commander develops lessons learned for incorporation into training during peacetime activities.

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