Today's Washington Times reports:
The Pentagon yesterday announced a landmark change in the use of combat troops, elevating "stability missions" -- commonly called nation-building -- to an equal status with major combat operations. The evolution in war-planning priorities underscores how the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terror network continue to fundamentally reshape how U.S. military commanders deploy the armed forces.
The Washington Post has also reported on this new directive. While many may agree on this post-conflict focus (as I do), there's quite a divide -- Powell, Shinseki, Rumsfeld, etc. -- on just how big the deployed force should be to accomplish the mission (and having traveled throughout Kosovo there other issues to be sorted out related to the role of a stability force once on the ground). Whether one agrees or disagrees with its conclusions, this Rand study on the "Arithmetic of Stability Operations" is a good place to start the debate that will surely be part of the 2008 presidential campaign.
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