Cover: Toward the Effective Use of Military Veterinarians in Stability Operations

Toward the Effective Use of Military Veterinarians in Stability Operations

Published Nov 3, 2008

by Melinda Moore, Gail Fisher


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Stability operations, a new core mission of the U.S. Army, serve immediate military needs, but these activities can also overlap with the missions of civilian agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development. Among the medical civil-military missions figuring prominently in current operations in the Middle East are requests for technical support from Army veterinarians, DoD's source of expertise for food safety and the prevention and control of animal diseases. This short quick-response study was undertaken to provide guidance for the Army's deliberative planning for the use of such specialists in stability operations. The researchers found that military veterinarians are contributing to economic development in Iraq and Afghanistan and will likely be important to future stability operations elsewhere. Their short-term activities can contribute to larger U.S. and host nation strategic goals, especially if well coordinated with relevant civilian agencies. However, current operations suggest challenges and opportunities to assure that military veterinarians are used appropriately and efficiently and that their activities can meet both immediate military goals and can be sustained within a longer-term development context.

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The research in this report was prepared for the United States Army and conducted by RAND Arroyo Center and the RAND Center for Military Health.

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