Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Message From ISOA President Howie Lind

Welcome to the Stability Operations Magazine (SOM), the new online magazine from the International Stability Operations Association – ISOA!

In 2004, we came out with our first quarterly newsletter, which was soon expanded to become the Journal of International Peace Operations in 2005 and ultimately to the Stability Operations Magazine in 2012. Now, after a break, we are fully embracing technology to expand the reach and value of ISOA’s flagship publication with the inauguration of the Stability Operations Magazine online.

All of these ISOA publications have sought to support the Stability Operations Industry and share its remarkable story.  SOM will continue to include articles demonstrating how our industry is providing unprecedented support to international missions focused on stabilizing and bringing peace to conflicted regions of the world, as well as helping to mitigate disasters. Readers, specifically policymakers, will learn of the potential this industry offers to improve international stability operations. Perhaps most importantly, it will serve as a voice for the Stability Operations Industry.

While focused on our industry, SOM will have informative articles from a variety of sources, including governments, nongovernmental organizations, humanitarian organizations and academics. They will be addressing the key challenges facing our industry, offering suggestions on best practices, insights into specific missions, looking at global and industry trends and highlighting lessons-learned from the past.

The electronic format allows some unique features that will be included in the future, such as photo essays and online discussions. The photo (and video) features, in particular, should be interesting as Members will be able to demonstrate the impressive results of their past or present field operations.

SOM will also provide instant business development value to all of ISOA’s corporate sponsors. When Members generously sponsor the Annual Summit, a Networking Reception, round-table event or another program, they will receive ad space in the SOM as a courtesy benefit. Stand-alone ads will also be available for purchase by anyone – and of course discounted for Members. We hope SOM will become another significant source of revenue for the Association,

Finally, and most importantly, SOM will serve as a policy tool. By producing a rolling stream of articles, ISOA will rapidly address policy concerns, support valued initiatives, and ensure the industry perspectives are immediately available to lawmakers who influence policy narratives. Trade associations have always served a critical role as the collective voice of the industry, providing a more unified and powerful expression than individual companies, and multiplying the effectiveness of policy interest.

We have engaged ISOA’s President Emeritus, Doug Brooks, to push this initiative forward and we hope you will reach out to him with ideas, improvements, suggestions and of course corrections and criticisms. Perhaps most importantly, send Doug your ideas for articles. Over the coming weeks, months, and years we hope to see the most interesting and valuable content coming from our remarkable and diverse membership.

I look forward to the development of this exciting new service to the industry and look forward to the feedback from our membership.

Howie Lind
ISOA President and Executive Director

SOM Editor’s message by Doug Brooks

I was pleased when ISOA President Howie Lind asked that I take on the role of editor and kick off ISOA’s new online magazine, the Stability Operations Magazine (the SOM). As most ISOA Members are aware, the Association produced publications in the past that covered the activities, issues and perspectives of the Stability Operation Industry. Those publications were hard copy magazines, and while we did share the later versions online, we are only now fully able to embrace the technology to make a publication that will truly and effectively represent, assist and advocate for this great industry – and to do so in a way that will more effectively reach a global audience.

ISOA’s past publications accomplished a great deal in their time, helping to define and ‘normalize’ an extraordinary industry that does extraordinary work in extraordinarily difficult environments. But ISOA Members know well that the daily work of this industry involves substantial behind-the-scenes work related to ensuring ethical, legal, and professional services despite the challenging locations where this industry carries out its missions.  From 2004 ISOA publications addressed those critical underlying issues, but also appealed to a much wider audience by covering an amazing array of topics including Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Maritime Security, TCNs, Elections, Ethics, Emerging Democracies, UN Peacekeeping operations, Disaster Relief and much, much more. At the same time we ensured article content from everyone with a stake in stability operations including NGOs, human rights activists, ambassadors, and policy-makers.

Indeed successful stability operations require a functioning partnership between policy-makers and policy-doers, and a goal of the SOM is to strengthen that partnership through improved communications. ISOA’s forums, round-tables, discussions, conferences and its annual Summit help the industry to strengthen this partnership and do its job more effectively. The SOM will amplify ISOA’s efforts and vastly increase their audience, but will also cover programs, events, publications and reports from governments, international organizations, militaries, NGOs and other entities supporting stability operations.

One thing we would like to encourage with the SOM – ISOA Member input. We would like the SOM to be a forum where companies are able to share their stories with others in the industry, but also with the outside world. Success stories, lessons learned, and with our new online format, also photos and videos. People and firms in the industry often produce insightful photographic records of their work, but also of the fascinating environments and interesting people from the places they provide services.

The SOM is yet another service and capability that ISOA is adding to its already lengthy list of benefits to its Members. The great thing about this benefit is that it offers value to everyone who would like to see more effective stability operations -with all the positive humanitarian implications that portends.

Finally, another goal of the SOM is to make it a financial asset to ISOA through advertising. We are already offering free ads to our Summit Sponsors this year, but we will be selling advertising space as well. ISOA Members will get discounts of course, but we hope to attract product companies and non-members interested in reaching out to our Members supporting the SOM as well.

ISOA’s new Stability Operations Magazine is the latest tool to support an industry doing the most difficult and yet critical missions in the world, and I look forward to exploring the publication’s potential along with the ISOA Membership!

Doug Brooks
Stability Operations Magazine, Editor