Making Peace While Staying Ready for War: The Challenges of U.S. Military Participation in Peace Operations Section 7 of 7
December 1999



The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) used data from various sources to prepare this analysis. Those sources include surveys of Army and Marine Corps personnel, training manuals, and the services' own reviews of their experiences in peace operations.


To analyze the impact of participation in peace operations on military readiness, CBO developed a survey and asked for responses from units in the Marine Corps and the Army. The survey was designed to track those units' experience before, during, and after deployment to peace operations. Participants were asked the following questions about their preparation for deployment and the process of restoring their military readiness after they returned home.

Deployment History

  1. What was the average and maximum strength over the period of the deployment (active and reserve personnel listed separately)?

  2. What percentage of the unit's TOE [Table of Organization and Equipment] or TDA [Table of Distribution and Allowances] strength was deployed?

  3. Of the personnel deployed, how many were in combat, combat-support, and combat-service-support echelons, respectively (active and reserve listed separately)?

  4. What was the duration of the deployment, from initial deployment to final return of personnel and equipment?

  5. Adding to the actual deployment the length of time required to prepare the unit and then--upon its return--to restore it to normal operational readiness, how long was the unit unavailable for its normal assignment?

  6. Of the personnel deployed, what percentage were trained for their duty assignment (rather than being assigned out of their principal MOS [military occupational specialty])?

  7. If available, what was the unit's SORTS [Status of Resources and Training System] rating before and after deployment?

  8. Did the unit prepare for the deployment in a special rotation at JRTC [Joint Readiness Training Center], NTC [National Training Center], or elsewhere?

  9. What percentage of the unit's major equipment was deployed, on average? (Examples of major equipment include aircraft, major weapons and combat vehicles, and other vehicles.)

  10. What method was used to deploy the unit (airlift, sealift, use of PPN [prepositioned] equipment, other)?

  11. How much lift was used (sorties, ship tonnage, fraction of available PPN used)?

  12. How long did the deployment require, from initial departure from home station to full readiness in theater?

Training Programs

  1. How have unit training programs incorporated the requirements of OOTW [operations other than war]? For example, have additional training tasks been added to unit training schedules? If so, how much additional training time is required for those tasks? Please identify unit by echelon (combat, CS [combat support], CSS [combat service support]).

  2. Have OOTW training requirements been substituted for conventional unit training? For example, are some conventional warfighting unit training tasks not being accomplished as frequently because of the need to use training time or facilities for OOTW training programs? Again, please identify unit as combat, CS, or CSS.

  3. Has there been any measured change in SORTS ratings because of the addition of OOTW tasks to unit training programs? If so, please indicate the magnitude of the change (but not the level, to protect classified data) and the SORTS category (e.g., training readiness, equipment on hand).

  4. Has a JRTC rotation been added to unit training programs? Has the nature of JRTC or NTC training been modified to reflect OOTW training requirements? If so, how much additional training does the unit receive during rotation (e.g., how much additional time does it spend at the training site)? If no additional time is spent in rotations, please estimate the length of time during a typical rotation that is devoted to OOTW rather than conventional warfighting.

  5. Have unit strengths changed as a result of anticipated OOTW deployments? Is the unit maintained at a higher ALO [authorized level of organization]? Please indicate the amount of additional resources, measured by number of personnel, amount of equipment, or unit budget.

  6. Have reenlistment rates changed among personnel in units heavily affected by OOTW deployments?


Additional maintenance required by equipment deployed to OOTWs or used in training for such deployments.

Commander assessments of changes in conventional warfighting readiness, even if not captured in SORTS ratings.

Reconfiguration of units to meet OOTW requirements, resulting in changes from conventional TOE/TDA.

Additional equipment provided to a unit or units to meet the requirements of OOTW.

Responses to CBO's Survey

Fifty-three units in the Marine Corps responded to the survey in March 1996. CBO received information about the readiness of Army units from the Army's Forces Command in late 1995 and then followed up with its survey. The Army provided its responses to the survey and further readiness data in July 1996. The nine responses came primarily from units that had participated in Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. The Army also said it was still waiting for some units to complete the survey and would forward the responses to CBO as they arrived. However, CBO never received additional responses from the Army.

The survey results were limited in several ways. First, the response rate was limited by personnel turnover, the passage of time, and incomplete recordkeeping between the end of the peace operation and the unit's receipt of the survey. Second, not all respondents completed the entire survey. And third, the rate of return was far greater from Marine Corps units than from Army units. For that reason, CBO used the results of its survey to draw implications only about the experience of Marine units in peace operations.


CBO also obtained data from two surveys conducted by the U.S. military. One was a poll of 57 Army officers with experience in operations other than war taken by a researcher at the Army War College in 1997.(1) The second survey was conducted by the Center for Army Lessons Learned in 1996 and included data from 221 Army commissioned and noncommissioned officers with experience in peace operations.(2) Like CBO's survey, those polls represented attempts to distill the experience of participants in peace operations into a series of conclusions about specific issues such as training time, the overlap between peace operations and conventional warfighting, and the time required to restore a unit to its predeployment readiness.


The services' training and doctrine manuals set forth the tasks that each type of unit must be able to complete in various missions. CBO compared the specific tasks required in conventional warfare and peace operations for different types of units at different levels. For the Marine Corps, CBO examined the missions that a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) is certified to execute and the certification process that each MEU must complete before its deployment at sea. For the Army, CBO compared mission training plans for conventional warfighting with those for peace operations and with training certification checklists that commanders use before actual deployments.(3)


To see whether the military has begun to apply the lessons learned in previous deployments to current operations, CBO reviewed after-action reports and situation reports from peace operations in Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, and Bosnia.(4) CBO also searched numerous entries in Army and Marine Corps databases about units' experiences in those operations.(5) Finally, CBO reviewed the training given to units deployed to Bosnia (both before and during deployment) to evaluate the readiness of those units upon their return.

1. Lt. Col. Alan D. Landry, Informing the Debate: The Impact of Operations Other Than War on Combat Training Readiness (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: U.S. Army War College, April 7, 1997).

2. Center for Army Lessons Learned, The Effects of Peace Operations on Unit Readiness (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: CALL, February 1996).

3. U.S. Army Europe Combat Maneuver Training Center, Mission Training Plan for Stability Operations (Hohenfels, Germany, June 1995), and Stability Operations: STX Plan (Hohenfels, Germany, October 12, 1995); Department of the Army, Brigade and Battalion Operations Other Than War Training Support Package (Draft), Training Circular 7-98-1 (May 1995).

4. Center for Army Lessons Learned, Operations Other Than War, Volume IV: Peace Operations, Newsletter No. 93-8 (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: CALL, December 1993), Operation Restore Hope Lessons Learned Report (November 1993), Operation Uphold Democracy: Initial Impressions, vol. 1, Haiti D-20 to D+40 (December 1994), Operation Uphold Democracy: Initial Impressions, vol. 2, Haiti D-20 to D+150 (April 1995), and Operation Uphold Democracy: Initial Impressions, vol. 3, Haiti (July 1995); U.S. European Command, After Action Review Operation Support Hope 1994 (Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany); U.S. Army Peacekeeping Institute, Bosnia-Herzegovina After Action Review (BHAAR I) Conference Report (Carlisle Barracks, Pa., May 19-23, 1996), and Bosnia-Herzegovina After Action Review (BHAAR II) Conference Report (April 13-17, 1997).

5. Available in the Marine Corps Lessons Learned System (a database maintained by the Warfighting Development Integration Division of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command located in Quantico, Va.) and the Web site of the Center for Army Lessons Learned (

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