4-1. Unified land operations require continuous, simultaneous combinations of offensive, defensive, and stability tasks. Stabilization is the process by which underlying tensions that might lead to resurgence in violence and a breakdown in law and order are managed and reduced, while efforts are made to support preconditions for successful long-term development (FM 3-07). Stability operations encompass various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment; provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief (JP 3-0).
4-2. As combat operations culminate, part of the force secures critical infrastructure and populated areas. Protecting or preventing further harm to the civilian population are legal obligations of military forces during operations. However, if a unit is decisively engaged in conducting combat tasks, it should not divert from mission accomplishment to perform stability tasks, until the situation permits. If unable to perform minimum essential stability tasks, the unit should inform higher headquarters and continue with its mission as assigned. (Refer to ADRP 3-07 for more information.)
4-3. Leaders plan to minimize the effects of combat on the populace. Properly focused, executed stability tasks prevent population centers from degenerating into civil unrest and becoming recruiting areas for opposition movements or insurgencies.
4-4. An Infantry platoon and squads are not capable of achieving the desired end state of stability tasks independently. They support stability tasks by performing platoon and squad-level missions, tasks, and activities supporting the stability tasks of its higher headquarters often partnered and working closely with other unified action partners.