Thinking Strategically About Transition
Major General Karl R. Horst (center), Commander, Joint Force Headquarters- National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington speaks to a delegation from Afghanistan (Photo: DOD)  



Dr. Rich Yarger
Ministry Reform Advisor
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, the U.S. Army War College, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



The aftermath of the Cold War posed unanticipated challenges to U.S. national security. In response, the U.S. military adopted full spectrum operations in order to focus renewed attention on the importance of stability operations. Transition is an important concept in stability operations, but it is inherently problematic and poorly understood. As our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to illustrate, transition is a strategic issue of the first order. It is well past the time to take a closer look at the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) that elevates transition to the strategic level of concern and the implications for U.S. strategy, planning, and operations.

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