a. The generating and operating forces provide complementary capabilities for stability operations. Army modular formations are, by design, currently capable of conducting many stability operations missions across the spectrum of conflict. Similarly, the institutional Army has resident within it many technical and specialized capabilities that can support stability operations. However, many areas still lack sufficient competence, capability, or capacity to accomplish nontraditional missions.111 The following observations highlight the realities and challenges to the Army's approach to BPC.
b. Limited GF direct support to operating forces in BPC. As noted above, the GF plays a significant role in the accomplishment of the Army's many responsibilities connected to meeting current and future requirements in the area of BPC, in accordance with national, DOD, and Army mandates. It is also clear that the institutional Army has adapted and is continuing to adapt in order to satisfy those requirements. However, most of the activities performed by GF organizations with respect to BPC are performed in the course of the conduct of their primary missions. In contrast, GF direct support to operating forces with regard to BPC is a relatively small contribution, the most significant element of which appears to be the sourcing of GF personnel as individual augmentees, rather than providing organizationally- or capability-based direct support. To the degree that the Army continues to rely on GPF as the primary agent for BPC activities and particularly for SFA, these conditions can be expected to remain in place.
c. Strategy to resources. It is fair to question whether or not the current Army Strategy, which projects a reduction in the size of the GF as part of the "Grow the Army" campaign, will resource the GF sufficiently to meet all of its institutional and operational requirements for BPC. The Army is pursuing this approach in the face of its previous identification of 10 significant capability or capacity gaps that exist within the Army for stability operations, most of which are directly connected to the Army's ability to support BPC.112 While many of these shortfalls are being addressed, it is reasonable to conclude that reducing the size of the GF will perpetuate many of them.
d. Incomplete strategic framework for SFA. The Army's current focus on the conduct of SFA within the context of ongoing counterinsurgency and stability operations deliberately relies on operating forces, notably the emergence of AABs as the primary agent to conduct SFA in the future. This approach is incomplete in that it does not account for other factors, such as the following.
(1) How does the Army incorporate some minimal level of resident SFA capability within the entire operational Army that would be trained and ready for the next contingency operation?
(2) How does the Army fully address the wide variety of SFA requirements that do not require the commitment of an AAB or even part of an AAB, assuming that special operations forces will not have the capacity to accomplish them all?
(3) Consideration of the idea that other brigade and battalion formations (such as maneuver enhancement, engineer, or other functional modular units) will likely be better suited than a BCT for certain kinds of BPC tasks, such as reconstruction.
e. Sourcing outside of modular BCTs. Moreover, given the wide variety of SFA requirements, the Army should expect a continuing need to source outside AABs to fill some SFA requirements on an ad hoc basis. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the Army framework for SFA deserves further development in order to address requirements on a global, full-spectrum basis.
f. Operating forces performing GF functions. It is noteworthy that most of the activities inherent within BPC constitute core GF functions. For example, the main tasks associated with SFA at the tactical level consist of organize, train, enable, rebuild, and advise, all of which are GF functions. The Army does acknowledge that at the strategic or ministerial level, the organize, train, enable, rebuild, and advise functions will have to be handled by GF experts and organizations, such as USAFMSA, rather than by operating forces.
g. At the same time, both in theater and in the institutional base, operating forces have been committed to augment the GF to perform what are clearly GF tasks. Some examples of this anomaly include the use first of the 1st Infantry Division and now the 162d Infantry Brigade to train transition teams. The employment of the 189th Infantry Brigade to conduct PRT training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the Phoenix Academy in Iraq; and the commitment of a BCT as the core element of Task Force Phoenix in Afghanistan.
h. Supplemental funding. Supplemental funds appropriated by the Congress to support OEF and OIF are the primary funding source that has enabled the GF to expand its capabilities during the current conflicts to support BPC. However, the use of supplemental funding as an approach to support major ongoing operations experiencing significant expansion and contraction in requirements, rather than relying upon the less flexible standard budgeting process, has become an issue. The expectation now is to end supplemental funding. As these funds disappear, it would likely impair, and in some cases seriously disrupt, the capability of GF organizations to build upon the successes that have been achieved to this point in BPC.
i. Proponency. The Army's policy paper on stability operations, published in June 2008, acknowledged that the Army "…lacks a unifying intellectual institution that can bring together the variety of related, but disparate, efforts that are necessary to fully realize stability operations as a dimension of full-spectrum operations. Many of the most highly demanded stability operations capabilities have partial solutions that have enabled their execution in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, they have not been fully institutionalized across DOTMLPF." Since that time, CAC has been designated as the Army proponent for both stability operations and SFA, but it is too early to judge if this measure will prove sufficient to integrate, synchronize, and rationalize the myriad of Army organizations involved in BPC. At this time there are several agencies – joint, Army, and multiservice,– established at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and linked with CAC, to include JCISFA, the Army/USMC COIN Center, the U.S. Army Stability Operations Proponency Office, and the U.S. Army SFA Proponency Office. But it is not clear yet whether these various organizations will help to enable a unified effort. In this regard, the wide array of challenges to rapidly foster effective stability operations and SFA by the U.S. military has led to a diverse set of organizations addressing these challenges, much as has been seen with efforts to counter IEDs.
j. Further institutionalization of BPC capability within the GF. It remains to be seen to what degree the Army will take action to make permanent many of the ad hoc organizations that have been formed to improve its capabilities for stability operations and BPC. As a prime example, consider the employment of PRTs, which have proven their value in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a critical capability for creating and advancing stability and partner capacity during the hold phase of a clear-build-hold framework. Although the PRTs technically are a DOS program, the U.S. has relied upon military assets to field them, highlighting the fact that conditions in-theater may often demand that DOD have such a capability ready for employment. The challenge of transitioning from military-led PRTs (DOD) in unsecure areas to civilian-led PRTs (DOS) once relative security has been established must be factored into fielding and training plans. The projected effectiveness of AABs is based in part on the presence of a PRT-like capability. Given this mutually beneficial relationship, what action should the Army take to institutionalize PRT-like capability? Similar questions can be raised regarding the future disposition of organizations such as HTS, the TRADOC Cultural Center, and others.