Stability Operations

  • Published
  • Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies

If the U.S. military conducts [Stabilization, Security, Transition, and Reconstitution] operations in a country or region where stocks of WMD or [CBRN] materials are present as a legacy from the previous regime, timely elimination of these WMD and CBRN stocks, delivery systems, and possibly production facilities will be crucial for establishing a safe, secure environment. Seeking out and eliminating WMD and CBRN materials in the SSTR theater serves the dual purpose of protecting the intervention force in theater and defending the U.S. Homeland by preventing potential adversaries from acquiring WMD and CBRN materials that could be used against the United States. (Military Support to Stabilization, Security, Transition, and Reconstitution Joint Operating Concept, 2006)

Threat reduction cooperation, such as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, is conducted with the consent of host nation authorities to secure, disable, reverse, or even eliminate a WMD program. This can include enhancements to physical security, emplacement of detection equipment, and dismantling a state's existing WMD program. WMD elimination, another aspect of stability operations, refers to a process of systematically locating, characterizing, securing, disabling, and/or destroying a state or sub-state group's WMD/CBRN programs and related capabilities (weapons production, key personnel, knowledge, and delivery means), not necessarily with the tacit approval of the host nation or other groups. These efforts enhance U.S. security by reducing the possible future use and/or proliferation of WMD materials and technology against U.S. territory or its forces.

Below is a list of documents that provide more information on Stability Operations.

National Security Strategy, 2017

National Security Strategy, 2015



Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperation Initiative (DTRA)

DOD Instruction 3000.05, Stability Operations

Military Support to Stabilization, Security, Transition, and Reconstitution Joint Operating Concept, 2006