Center for Complex Operations

The premier Defense Institution Building Initiative of the National Defense University.

About the Defense Institution Building Intiative

Over the past decade, DIB programs have expanded and ascended in strategic importance, but there remains a glaring absence of doctrine, best practices, and implementation models to guide practitioners. 

Marshall Hall

In order to support ongoing U.S. efforts to mature and institutionalize DIB programming, our team will analyze DIB activities, particularly those executed by the Department of Defense; identify theoretical and doctrinal foundations to guide planners and practitioners toward effective outcomes; contribute to the development of best practices, implementation models, and metrics; examine case studies of where DIB has and has not worked; and consider how to overcome the major challenges facing DIB programs in practice.

The Center for Complex Operations (CCO) is a center within the Institute for National Security Studies at National Defense University.  It links U.S. Government education and training institutions, including related centers of excellence, lessons learned programs, and academia, to foster unity of effort in reconstruction and stability operations, counterinsurgency, and irregular warfare-collectively called “complex operations.”

What is Defense Institution Building?

Defense Institution Building: Security cooperation activities that empower partner nation defense institutions to establish or re-orient their policies and structures to make their defense sector more transparent, accountable, effective, affordable, and responsive to civilian control. DIB improves defense governance, increases the sustainability of other DoD security cooperation programs, and is carried out in cooperation with partner nations pursuant to appropriate and available legal authority. It is typically conducted at the ministerial, general, joint staff, military service headquarters, and related defense agency level, and when appropriate, with other supporting defense entities.