Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Andrew B. Artis, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Mark H. Taylor, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Uday S. Murthy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas P. Stablein, D.B.A.


counterinsurgency, economic development, stability operations, stabilization


The participation of the United States military in stability efforts has increased dramatically since 2001. The core of current U. S. stabilization policies and measures derives from the US military's lessons in countering insurgencies since the late 20th century through the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and countries experiencing radical Islamic insurgencies. Counterinsurgency operations focus on gaining support from the relevant population through security, governance, and economic efforts. This research seeks to improve the understanding of the relationship between perceptions of security and governance on populations' economic outlook during stability operations. Applying the “Winning Hearts and Minds” approach to the United States Agency for International Development Afghan dataset, nine variables for governance and security were identified.

Two regression models were developed to determine how perceptions of these nine variables best explain the variance of two attitudinal measures of economic outlook, (1) the ability to get to markets, and (2) the perceived availability of jobs. When examining the best predictors, the nine independent variables accounted for 25.2% of the variance of perceived ability to get to markets and 13.5% of the variance for the perceived availability of jobs. Step-wise regression was conducted to determine significant predictors of both dependent variables. Results show that overall security, the availability of government services, and perceived government ability account for 24.3% of the variance in perceived ability to get to markets. In contrast, overall security, the availability of government services, and the presence of security forces account for 12.2 % of the variance in the perceived availability of jobs.