CALL title banner
Reference Guide 11-39
August 2011


Dispute Resolution (Team Approach):

  • Agree upon a process to resolve disputes among each other. For example, leaders may agree to compare each differing position/solution against the others to determine the optimum solution. Solution comparison identifies which solution best solves the problem based on evaluation criteria. A common technique for solution comparison is the decision matrix.
  • If leaders cannot resolve a given dispute/disagreement within the brigade combat team's (BCT's) battle space, the ultimate decision rests with the BCT commander. In such cases, for example, where the leaders of a certain battalion and a certain provincial reconstruction team (PRT) (or even agribusiness development team [ADT]) are in strong disagreement with one another and cannot come to terms/resolution, the BCT commander would be the final decision-maker.
  • A regular/weekly "board of directors" meeting - bringing the BCT/battalion (BN), PRT, Department of State (DOS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and ADT leaders together to talk and resolve issues is an effective method/forum for dispute resolution.

Lines of Effort (LOEs):

  • Security: Led by the BCT (and its maneuver BNs) (across the area of operations).
  • Governance: Led by the PRT (in its province).
  • Development: Led by the PRT (in its province).
  • Information operations: Led by the Influence Operations (Ops) Board (discussed under Chapter 5, "Reassessment and Adjustment").


  • Agree upon a joint/integrated planning process to achieve agreed-upon objectives:
    • Ensure holistic planning.
    • Conduct military decisionmaking process (MDMP) with emphasis on design and understanding of non-military tasks essential to achieving governance and development end states.
    • Incorporate civilians up front to integrate civilian perspectives; determine key "nodes" of civilian engagement; understand that civilian capacity for planning is primarily at the embassy level and that civilian planning typically looks longer term.
    • Understand the planning process for lethal operations.
    • Understand the planning process to address sources of instability and/or to build capacity - not intended for lethal outcomes. Civilian counterparts should participate.
    • Include transition to Afghan control in the planning process.
    • Know and plan for contradictions, tensions, and uncertainties.
    • Agree upon planning decisions. All must understand and agree upon the necessary resources (e.g., funding) to support the selected course of action.
    • Integrate assessment into operational and tactical planning. The district stability framework (DSF) (discussed in the next section) facilitates the assessment process.
  • Agree upon the processes/mechanics to track metrics of progress toward attaining objectives.
  • Agree upon the process to address cross-cutting issues that do not fit neatly into anyone's roles or responsibilities.
  • Agree upon the process to synchronize and resource district support team (DST) efforts.

Figure 2

District Stability Framework:

  • DSF is a common interagency and effects-based program management framework that encourages "unity of effort" and allows users to: understand the operating environment; understand how local perceptions influence overall stability; identify and address the root causes (sources of instability [SOI]), design activities that specifically address instability at the local level; and monitor and evaluate outputs, impacts, and overall stability.
  • The DSF supports "unity of effort" by promoting the establishment of interagency platforms for stability programming referred to as stability working groups (SWGs). The SWG is a stability-focused planning and coordination body ideally comprised of: U.S. government civilians, coalition forces, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The SWG meets regularly to identify and address sources of instability within a local operating environment.
  • The DSF is an iterative four-step process:
    • Situational awareness. The DSF requires population-centric and stability-oriented situational awareness. Situational awareness must be continually reassessed. DSF uses four "lenses" to examine the local environment and achieve a comprehensive understanding of stability conditions and the factors that underlie them: (1) operating environment, (2) cultural environment, (3) local perceptions, and (4) stability/instability dynamics. BCTs and BNs should help conduct surveys and collect DSF information and share it with PRTs and follow-on units.
    • Analysis. During analysis, the SWG determines the SOI within an operating environment and develops an objective statement to address them. The SWG identifies perceptive and systemic causes of the SOI as well as predetermines the impact (measure of effect) necessary to mitigate and/or diminish the systemic (root) causes of instability.
    • Design. All activities identified through the DSF process are designed to target SOI by diminishing the systemic (root) causes that contribute to the SOI. Activities are filtered against stability criteria and refined by applying common sense design principles. To ensure the ability to monitor activity completion, output (measure of performance) indicators and data sources are identified.
    • Monitoring and evaluation. Effective stability programming relies on the ability to understand and measure change in the stability environment with respect to specific SOI as well as overall stability trends. The DSF looks at three different levels of monitoring and evaluation: activity output, impact, and overall stability.

Battle Rhythm/Battle Update Briefings (BUBs)/"Targeting" Meetings:

  • The BCT, BN, and PRT should be aware of each other's battle rhythms/meeting schedules as well as the expectations for participation.
  • Weekly BCT BUBs and weekly BN-PRT meetings/operational updates are recommended.
  • Quarterly plans reviews at the BCT-level - attended by BNs and PRTs - are recommended, covering plans, objectives, lines of effort (LOEs), and progress.
  • "Targeting" meetings: The PRT and ADT should participate in BCT and BN nonlethal "targeting" meetings. Emphasis should be on nesting nonlethal effects and deconfliction with lethal operations. The PRT should also be involved in the lethal "targeting" meetings because they are often the first venues to address consequence management after a lethal operation.
  • A "board of directors" approach at reviews/meetings can facilitate synchronization/cross-referencing among BCTs and PRTs. In this approach, civilian and military representatives of equivalent level operate as equals.

Funding (Commander's Emergency Response Program [CERP], Quick Response Fund [QRF] program, etc.] and USAID Involvement:

  • Ensure synchronization/vetting with USAID on all development projects and associated resources/funding.
  • Have a "clearinghouse" process for the review/approval of all CERP projects (O6 level or designee).
  • Include BCT S-9 (civil-military operations staff officer) coordination with the PRT on CERP projects.
  • Include agreed-upon effects-based criteria in the coordination and review of CERP projects.
  • Agree to enforce standards of project development - encouraging good stewardship by the Afghan provincial development council, line directors, and governors to accurately represent projects/costs/resourcing to their people and answer their needs/questions.
  • Agree to demand "buy in" from the host nation/local community. They need to contribute resources to the project, and they need to plan for sustainment of the project.

Afghan Contracting:

  • Always ensure contracts undergo a legal review. PRTs lack certified contracting officer and staff judge advocate (SJA) personnel; therefore, PRTs seek access to the BCT's (or other organization's) SJA officer for assistance on contractual issues/actions.
  • An effective best practice is to set up a liaison office attached to the governor's compound that focuses on processes for development (including contracting) as well as on governance. This practice reinforces the legitimacy of the governor. It also allows Afghan contractors to meet with PRT and BCT officials in a private, secure location.
  • Supporting processes and recommended actions for contracting include:
    • Have standard designs for projects.
    • Hold a pre-bid conference in advance of the bidders' conference - to describe the project, expected skills, and quality expectations.
    • Provide a certification course/training for potential contractors.
    • Maintain records on potential contractors - with records and assessments of previous performance.
    • Build a detailed request for proposal/quote - with quality expectations.

Battle Drills:

Battle drills ensure that BCTs, BNs, and PRTs have a standardized way to react to a common battlefield event. Battle drills allow for rapid reaction to an event with the minimum of orders needing to be issued.

Consequence Management:

  • Who notifies what GIRoA official in the event of civilian casualties, night raids, etc.?
  • What are the agreed-upon processes/procedures for conducting consequence management?

Information Operations (S-7)/Civil-Military Operations (S-9)/Intelligence (Intel [S-2])/Operations (Ops [S-3]):

  • These staff sections, in particular, should be providing continuous coordination/collaboration/linkages between the PRT and the BCT (and its battalions) - to ensure "unity of effort" among the organizations.
  • The BCT S-7 should provide expertise and themes to complement operations (for both the S-3 and the S-9) - driven by intel reporting (from the S-2) to make the messaging relevant and timely.
  • The BCT S-7 manages the Influence Ops Board (discussed under Chapter 5, "Reassessment and Adjustment").


          |   Privacy and Security Notice   |     |   Accessibility Help   |   External Link Disclaimer   |   No Fear Act   |
|   U.S. Army   |   Tradoc   TRADOC   |   iSALUTE   | Ft. Leavenworth   |   Site Map   |   FOIA   |   USA.GOV   |   This is an official U.S. Army Site   |