FM 3-07 Stability Operations: A Comprehensive Approach to the 21st Century
The latest Army doctrine, FM 3-07, reflects a long journey by the American military and a series of hard won lessons learned by the post-Cold War generation. It underscores a recognition that the U.S. military will increasingly be called upon to help bring peace and order to societies under stress. The process by which the manual was written highlights the understanding that the military alone cannot succeed in these challenging environments, but must coordinate efforts with civilian partners through a comprehensive approach toward a shared objective. FM 3-07 fills a profound intellectual void by describing the complex 21st century landscape and articulating the military’s unique role in bringing order to chaos. The manual’s publication, at a time when the U.S. military is already stretched thin by commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond, has generated heated debate and raised almost as many questions as it answers.
On March 27, the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings hosted the launch of the latest version of the Army Field Manual, FM 3-07 Stability Operations. Brookings Nonresident Fellow Janine Davidson, assistant professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, moderated a discussion featuring Michèle Flournoy, under secretary of Defense for Policy; Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth; and Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings.
Watch C-SPAN coverage of the event » (external link)
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.