Stability operations and irregular war are increasingly complex and continually changing constructs which are no longer served by the traditional processes of the western military forces. This essay examines the significant work that has been carried out in recent years in an effort to develop new problem framing constructs that hope to offer the commander processes for utilizing and manipulating complex adaptive systems. What is becoming apparent is that the process of developing frameworks will not be of value to the military commander unless these frameworks can be embedded in the decision making process at an instinctive and experiential level. For the past 5 years The technical cooperation programme (TTCP) has been operating with the objective of harnessing complexity within the defense arena. The introduction of unknown risks associated with the incomplete and shifting information, and continuous readjustments due to the multi cell structure of irregular warfare would create significant base level noise in an adaptive system framework. This low noise introduced into the operational art of command would have the potential to damage the measurement schemas and feedback systems of the immediate adaptive framework and alter the responsiveness and sustainability of advancements based on these decisions. At present, significant work has been done to translate the science of complex adaptive systems into tools the commander can incorporate into his decision making process in high pressure scenarios. This has not yet been successful.