The emergence of new doctrine is enabling Security, Stabilization, Transition and Reconstruction (SSTR) operations to become a core U.S. military mission. These operations are now given equal priority to combat operations. The immediate goal in SSTR is to provide the local populace with security, restore essential services, and meet humanitarian needs. The long-term goal is to help develop indigenous capacity for securing and maintaining essential services. Therefore, many SSTR operations are best performed by indigenous groups with support from foreign agencies and professionals. Large scale disasters, however, are an example where military support can improve SSTR operations by providing a much needed boost to foreign governments and nongovernmental organizations which may already be under great stress to respond in a timely and effective manner. However, without the means to effectively coordinate the efforts between many diverse groups across the civil-military boundary during SSTR operations, basic assistance and relief operations may be severely impeded. This chapter will describe a conceptual portal called ShareInfoForPeople, which provides advanced Information and Communication Technology to enable collaboration, coordination and information sharing across the civil-military boundary during SSTR operations.
Security, Stabilization, Transition And Reconstruction
SSTR operations are conducted outside the boundaries of U.S. lands and territories, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities are critical enablers for the conduct of these missions. While there are similarities within the ICT systems for the employment of automated information systems between domestic and international partners, policy and structural frameworks create a different workflow for each side with regard to information dissemination and coordination. We will limit our scope to examples of military operations outside of U.S. borders.
Many SSTR operational tasks are best performed by indigenous groups, with support from foreign or U.S. civilian professionals. Complex disasters are an example where military involvement and support for SSTR operations can provide significant value to foreign governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which may already be under great stress to respond in a timely and effective manner. The command and control structure, resources and assets that the military can offer in such situations can shorten the response timeline. However, without the means to properly coordinate the efforts of such a large and diverse group which spans the civil-military boundary, basic assistance and relief operations may be severely impacted, leading to delays or waste in the overall response cycle.
In SSTR operations, the U.S. military supports the Department of State and works with non-DoD partners, which may include select military units of other nations NGOs, International Organizations (IO) and private volunteer organizations. Large scale disasters are one example where proper coordination between participating organizations can increase the effectiveness of the overall response. A key element in the success of SSTR operations is the ability of the U.S. (or other lead activity) to obtain and process information about the situation and status of participating partners, while disseminating (or making accessible), the widest amount of relevant information to the partners in the ad-hoc coalition. Through the sharing of unclassified information via an appropriate ICT framework, the goal is to increase the level of coordinated activity among all of the participants. As illustrated in the following notional scenarios, SSTR operations are also subjected to non-traditional and unanticipated partners: