chapter  7
24 Pages

Peace and stability operations

Land forces don’t just fight wars. Reflecting the versatility of armies that was explored in Chapter 1, the period since the end of the Second World War has seen their increasing employment in such tasks as the prevention of conflict, its management and its resolution. In performing these roles, land forces exploit their ability to control ground and to translate this control into opportunities to exert political influence over local populations. Controlling ground allows armies to provide security, provide humanitarian relief and to set the conditions for development in other spheres by permitting the safe development of local infrastructure, economic activity and political processes. However, peace operations are challenging: traditional approaches to land warfare

focusing on such themes as manoeuvre, firepower and decisive military victory may be at best irrelevant to peace operations and at worst entirely counter-productive. Whilst the military contribution to peace operations can provide the crucial foundation for success, that contribution must be linked harmoniously to activity in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres. At the same time, the use of land forces in such roles is likely to pose a significant challenge to conventional war doctrines, structures and ethos. This chapter examines the debates surrounding such activities as peace support

operations and stabilisation. In it, we will look at the basis of such operations, examine their requirements, and chart the development in methods and doctrines designed to perform those tasks more effectively. This chapter is divided into two parts: first, the chapter looks at the development of peace operations, examining the peacekeeping heritage of the Cold War and developments thereafter; second, the chapter examines

the emergence of doctrines of ‘stabilisation’, especially in the context of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.