Find a Security Clearance Job!


Chapter 2
Command and Control in a Counterinsurgency Environment


2-73. Criteria of success help leaders plan the transfer of control of a counterinsurgency operation to a nonmilitary organization. Planning for transition is an integral part of mission planning for counterinsurgency because of the need to transfer control to the HN. Criteria of success help all concerned assess the status of the CMO portion of counterinsurgency operations.

2-74. Criteria of success are information requirements developed during the operations process that measure the degree of success in accomplishing the unit's mission. They are normally expressed as either an explicit evaluation of the present situation or a forecast of the degree of mission accomplishment (FM 6-0). Leaders may establish observable, usually quantifiable, objective data as well as subjective indicators to assess a task's progress compared to expectations. Leaders use criteria of success to determine how well or poorly an operation is achieving the goals of the operation per the mission statement and concept. They use criteria of success to validate effective courses of action and tactics and to determine points at which to shift resources, transition to different phases, and alter or terminate the mission.

2-75. Criteria of success are a product of planning. They differ for every mission and for different phases of a single mission. As leaders and staffs identify specified, implied, and key tasks, they define what constitutes successful completion of each task. The leader and staff decide how the criteria of success will be identified, reported, and validated. They determine what action will be taken when the criteria of success are met, as well as branch plans in case criteria of success are not achieved according to the original plan. Criteria of success are often adjusted as the situation changes and higher-level guidance develops.

2-76. Although planners begin the process of determining criteria of success when they develop the lines of operation for counterinsurgency, the commander's objectives must be a strong, up-front consideration. CMO planners generally use logical lines of operations. (See FM 3-0.) These lines of operation normally follow the six CA activities: foreign-nation support, population resource control, humanitarian assistance, military civic action, emergency services, and support to civil administration. However, planners are not limited to these lines. Along each line of operation, planners identify objectives, desired outcomes, and decisive points. Then, they determine criteria of success to assess the effectiveness of those outcomes.

2-77. Criteria of success for assessing counterinsurgency operations should be designed with the same considerations in mind as for any other types of missions. Counterinsurgency planners should ensure that criteria of success are--

  • Appropriate. Criteria of success must correlate to the commander's objectives and should relate to the audience objectives. If the objective is to present information to those outside the command, criteria should be general and few in number. If the objective is to assist on-site commanders, then criteria should be more specific and detailed.
  • Mission related. Criteria of success must relate to the mission. If the mission is relief, the criteria should help the commander evaluate improvements in living standards, mortality rates, and other related areas. If the mission expands, so should the criteria. Planners should tailor the criteria of success to address operational and tactical levels.
  • Measurable. Objective, quantitative criteria of success reflect reality more accurately than qualitative or subjective criteria and are generally the measure of choice when the situation permits their use. When using qualitative or subjective criteria, guidance for determination of those criteria and specific measurement criteria should be established and disseminated to more effectively focus judgment. Where possible, try to measure a specific aspect condition of the insurgency.
  • Numerically reasonable. Criteria of success should be limited to the minimum required to effectively portray the relief environment. Avoid establishing excessive criteria. Criteria of success can become unmanageable or collection efforts can outweigh the value.
  • Sensitive. Sensitive criteria of success force performance and accurately reflect changes related to joint force actions. Extraneous factors should not greatly affect established criteria.
  • Useful. Criteria of success should detect situational changes quickly enough to enable the commander to respond immediately and effectively.

      2-78. In multinational or interagency operations, counterinsurgency planners coordinate US criteria of success with those of participating nations and agencies. In some cases, they may also collaborate on how the criteria will be measured and reported. For example, emergency indicators commonly used by the NGO community can be used as a baseline for developing criteria.

      2-79. In addition to deciding what the criteria of success are, counterinsurgency planners decide certain aspects about each one, such as--

      • Who will observe the criteria? (For example, task a specific individual or team.)
      • When will the criteria be observed? (Are the criteria event driven or time driven? How often will the criteria be tested?)
      • How will the criteria of success be observed? (What method will be used to detect indicators? Is it direct observation or all-source analysis?)

Join the mailing list

Unconventional Threat podcast - Threats Foreign and Domestic: 'In Episode One of Unconventional Threat, we identify and examine a range of threats, both foreign and domestic, that are endangering the integrity of our democracy'