"Stability operations encompass a range of actions that shape the political environment and respond to developing crises. These operations are diverse, continuous, and often long-term. Stability operations may include both developmental and coercive actions. Developmental actions are aimed at enhancing a government's willingness and ability to care for its people. Coercive military actions involve the application of limited, carefully prescribed force, or the threat of force, to achieve specific objectives. Stability operations are usually nonlinear and noncontiguous and often are time and manpower intensive. Army elements may be tasked to conduct stability operations in a complex, dynamic, and often unconventional (or asymmetric) environment to accomplish one or more of the following purposes:
- Deter or thwart aggression.
- Reassure allies or friendly governments, agencies, or groups.
- Provide encouragement and support for a weak or faltering government.
- Stabilize an area with a restless or openly hostile population.
- Maintain or restore order.
- Satisfy treaty obligations or enforce national or international agreements and policies."
- U.S. Army - FM3-21.91 Chapter 8.
Humanitarian Aid and relief
Humanitarian action is intended to “save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity during and after man-made crises and disasters caused by natural hazards, as well as to prevent and strengthen preparedness for when such situations occur”. Furthermore, humanitarian action should be governed by the key humanitarian principles of: humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
Peace Support operations
In essence, peace support missions are designed to undertake a range of civilian and military tasks, including the maintenance of public order, policing, mentoring of security forces, infrastructure reconstruction and national reconciliation. The peace support model operates on the basis of flexibility, allowing the mission to adapt its posture between peacekeeping and peace enforcement depending on the compliance of the parties.