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Office of Military Affairs (OMA). Tactical Conflict Assessment and Planning Framework (TCAPF). Agenda. TCAPF Overview TCAPF Methodology Collection Analysis Design Monitoring & Evaluation TCAPF Timelines and Benefits Real-World Example: Lashkar Gah. Why TCAPF?. Typical Metrics

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office of military affairs oma
Office of Military Affairs (OMA)

Tactical Conflict Assessment and Planning Framework(TCAPF)

  • TCAPF Overview
  • TCAPF Methodology
    • Collection
    • Analysis
    • Design
    • Monitoring & Evaluation
  • TCAPF Timelines and Benefits
  • Real-World Example: Lashkar Gah
why tcapf

Typical Metrics

Increased number of Afghan security forces

Increased number of insurgents killed


USAID’s competency

DoD’s competency

Combat Ops


  • Typical Metrics
  • 80% of Afghan children attend school
  • 3,000 km of all-weather roads
  • 85% access to basic health care


  • Outcomes (Between 2007-2008)
  • 39% increase in civilians killed in ISAF military operations
  • 33% increase in IEDs
  • 119% increase in attacks on ASF
  • 36% decrease in support for the Afghan Government (since 2006)
  • Decreased NGO presence in South and East


tcapf overview
Obstacles to Effective Stabilization:

Lack of a standardized assessment process that allows civilians and military to develop a common view of the causes of instability

Civilian programs and military operations are not linked and synched

Failure to make the local population the focal point

“Understanding Afghan popular perceptions at the province, district, and local level is critical and usually ignored in official reporting….success in the area must be based on Afghan terms and values and the focal point for all activity must be the impact on Afghan perceptions and attitudes.” -- CSIS Af-Pak report (2008)

Failure to integrate tactical information into strategic planning

Programming based on LOOs created at higher HQ, not local conditions

Failure to target the root causes of instability

Reporting focused on outputs, not impacts

How can we diminish these obstacles?

TCAPF Overview
tcapf overview1
TCAPF Overview
  • TCAPF is a tool that helps to:
  • See the environment through culturally sensitive and consistent data collection
  • Understandhow to change the environment by identifying and targeting the causes of instability
  • Act by implementing programs that diminish the causes of instability
  • Measurethe effectiveness of the programming
tcapf overview2
TCAPF Overview


UK 52nd BDE, Helmand, Afghanistan – 2007

USMC RCT8, currently in Anbar, Iraq

USMC MEB-A in RC-South, Afghanistan

4th BDE, 25th ID – currently in RC-East, Afghanistan

Elements of 4th BDE, 82nd Abn Div – in RC-East & RC-South

5th BDE, 2d ID – currently in RC-South, Afghanistan

UK 11th BDE – currently in Helmand, Afghanistan – 2009

COIN Academy, Kabul – 2009

USAID Mission, Field Officers, and Implementing Partners, Afghanistan

tcapf overview3
TCAPF Overview
  • History and Growth:
  • USAID Conflict Assessment Framework
    • Created by USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (2004)
    • Strategic, versus tactical focus
  • TCAPF – developed in 2006
    • Adapts CAF to tactical level
    • Links conflict assessments to planning
  • Road tested in Horn of Africa (2006)
  • Included in Army doctrine – FM 3-07, Stability Operations, October 2008
  • Financial support:
    • $3.3M USMC contract for USAID to train units deploying to Afghanistan
    • $177,000 USMC contract for paper-based training
    • $500,000 JFCOM contract for online training
    • $6M from USAID/OCR for simulation training
TCAPF Methodology



Measure Impact


Implement Activity







Collect / Log Local Perceptions


Determine Output Indicators

Identify & Prioritize Objectives




Identify Activities

Determine Impact Indicators





collecting local perceptions
Collecting Local Perceptions

…with the TCAPF Questionnaire

Used at the tactical level to identify local perceptions about the causes of instability

Establishes a baseline for local perceptions

Generates data that can be used to measure the impact of activities and changes in local perceptions over time

Four simple questions:

“Has the number of people in the village changed in the last year?”

“What are the most important problems facing the village?”

“Who do you believe can solve your problems?”

“What should be done first to help the village?”

Always followed with “Why?”


TCAPF Questionnaire

“Village” can be replaced by “neighborhood,” “valley,” or other relevant area.

Remember to always ask “WHY?”

Questionnaire also in Pashtu, Dari, and Arabic

tcapf methodology analysis1
TCAPF Methodology - Analysis

To increase stability in your AO, you must understand what is causing instability. This understanding is based upon:

Operational environment (political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, and information)

Cultural environment (tribe, clan, religion, language, etc.)

Instability Dynamics (grievances, resiliencies, key actors, events)

Local perceptions

Until you understand your operating environment, your programming will not be effective. In some cultures, honor, justice, and revenge matter more than schools, roads, and jobs!

How do we acquire the population’sview of the local causes of instability?



If yes, does it also comply with the Design Principles:

Ensure sustainability by the local government or institutions?

Facilitate local ownership?

Consider the trade-offs between short-term vs. long-term impacts?

Fit the local political and cultural context?

Strengthen governmental accountability and transparency?

Leverage/support OGA, IGO, NGO, and HN programs?

Draw upon readily accessible local resources?

Provide flexibility?

Key: Are you fostering STABILITY?

  • Stabilization Fundamentals – does each activity:
  • Increase support for the government?
  • Decrease support for individuals or groups causing instability?
  • Increase institutional and societal capability and capacity?
process evaluation
Have your program activities been achieved? (Measure of Performance)

Have your program objectives been achieved? (Measure of Effect)

Is stability increasing or decreasing? (Big Picture)

Suggested Indicators:

Increasing road movement at night

TCAPF shows increasing government legitimacy

TCAPF shows decreasing security concerns

TCAPF shows population returning to their homes

Decreasing SIGACTS

Decreasing Afghan civilian casualties (all sources)

Decreasing number of govt and tribal leaders killed, kidnapped, intimidated (e.g. “night letters”)

Process – Evaluation
tcapf requirements
TCAPF Requirements
  • Requires training (2-3 days)
  • Requires time and resources to gather data before programming
  • Requires flexibility in insecure environments
  • Requires a shift in focus from national to local level
  • Requires us to differentiate environments – stabilization vs. long-term development
    • Designing, implementing, measuring & evaluating programs
tcapf timelines
TCAPF Timelines

1 Month - Identification of Local Causes of Instability - Develop counter-instability activities

- Initiate Activities

3 Months - Trend Analysis (Are the local causes of instability being mitigated?)

6 Months - Local Instability Analysis. Is the area more stable? - Change activities as required

9 Months - Continued Azimuth Checks.

(then quarterly) - Provide left/right correction.


tcapf benefits
Helps surmount “stove pipes” by providing a common view of the sources of instability

Provides a prioritization mechanism for activities in insecure areas

Provides a framework to determine when traditional long-term development activities can be initiated

Fosters more effective programming because the population identifies sources of instability, priorities, and potential activities

Provides data for Monitoring and Evaluation of activities – both their performance (Output) and stabilization impact (Effect)

Steady flow of data facilitates trend analysis and consistency throughout personnel rotations

Empowers FPOs and tactical military units, the focal point for successful Stability Ops

Provides StratComm themes that resonates with the local population

Key: Programming is based on knowledge—not assumptions and the population is the “center of gravity.”

TCAPF Benefits
  • Projects:
  • Pump Rehabilitation Project
  • External Factors:
  • 2. KJ Dam Turbine #3 Fails
  • Heavy Rainfall
  • Dep. Gov. Assassinated
  • Food convoys delayed






points of contact
Points of Contact

TCAPF Training

Tom Gannon

(202) 712-0332

[email protected]

Tamra Thompson

(202) 712-4045

[email protected]

TCAPF Methodology

Dr. Jim Derleth

(202) 712-5105

[email protected]

Dr. Tobie Whitman

(202) 712-1802

[email protected]

Eric Kotouc

(202) 712-5434

[email protected]

Mick Crnkovich

(202) 712-5422

[email protected]