Wide Area Security

2-39. Wide area security is the application of the elements of combat power in unified action to protect populations, forces, infrastructure, and activities; to deny the enemy positions of advantage; and to consolidate gains in order to retain the initiative (ADP 3-0). Army forces conduct security tasks to provide the joint force commander with reaction time and maneuver space. Additionally, these forces defeat or fix the enemy before the enemy can attack, thus allowing the commander to retain the initiative.

2-40. As part of unified land operations, Army forces may assist the development of host-nation security forces, a viable market economy, the rule of law, and an effective government by establishing and maintaining security in an area of operations. The goal is a stable civil situation sustainable by host-nation assets without Army forces. Security, the health of the local economy, and the capability of self-government are related. Without security, the local economy falters, populations feel unsecure, and enemy forces gain an advantage. A functioning economy provides employment and reduces the dependence of the population on the military for necessities. Security and economic stability precede an effective and stable government.

2-41. Wide area security includes the minimum essential stability tasks as part of decisive action. Army forces perform five primary stability tasks:

   Establish civil security, including security force assistance.

   Establish civil control.

   Restore essential services.

   Support governance.

   Support economic and infrastructure development.

2-42. The combination of stability tasks conducted during operations depends on the situation. In some operations, the host nation can meet most or all of the population’s requirements. In those cases, Army forces work with and through host-nation authorities. Commanders use civil affairs operations to mitigate how the military presence affects the populace and vice versa. Conversely, Army forces operating in a failed state may need to support the well-being of the local populace. That situation requires Army forces to work with civilian organizations to restore basic capabilities. Again, civil affairs operations prove essential in establishing trust between Army forces and civilian organizations required for effective, working relationships.

2-43. A stability mechanism is the primary method through which friendly forces affect civilians in order to attain conditions that support establishing a lasting, stable peace. As with defeat mechanisms, combinations of stability mechanisms produce complementary and reinforcing effects that accomplish the mission more effectively and efficiently than single mechanisms do alone.

2-44. The four stability mechanisms are compel, control, influence, and support. Compel means to use, or threaten to use, lethal force to establish control and dominance, effect behavioral change, or enforce compliance with mandates, agreements, or civil authority. Control involves imposing civil order. Influence means to alter the opinions, attitudes, and ultimately behavior of foreign friendly, neutral, adversary, and enemy populations through inform and influence activities, presence, and conduct. Support is to establish, reinforce, or set the conditions necessary for the instruments of national power to function effectively.

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