Expanding Influence: How Village Stability Operations Can Further U.S. Interests

  • Lieutenant Colonel Carl D. Kelly, Jr.

As America winds down combat operations in Afghanistan and the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific occurs what else is going to draw the energies and attentions of America and DoD in the coming years? I submit that the greatest threat to America’s interests in the future will not be traditional nation state aggressors, but rather the growth in the number of weak, failing or failed states. How and why do countries regardless of their form of government collapse into chaos which breeds lawlessness, violence and regional instability and what can America do to counter these events and safeguard our interests? This paper proposes that Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCCs) and the interagency partners (IA) should consider using Village Stability Operations (VSO) as both a WAY and a MEANS that is cost efficient and has a small footprint to promote regional stability goals (ENDs).