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U.S. Department of Defense Strategic Planning__The Missing Nexus

U.S. Department of Defense Strategic Planning__The Missing Nexus

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Published by chovsonous
1995 Publication by the United States Military Strategic Studies Institute
1995 Publication by the United States Military Strategic Studies Institute

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Published by: chovsonous on Jul 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE STRATEGIC PLANNING:THE MISSING NEXUSDouglas C. Lovelace, Jr.Thomas-Durell YoungSeptember 1, 1995
*******The views expressed in this report are those of the authorsand do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position ofthe Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or theU.S. Government. This report is cleared for public release;distribution is unlimited.*******Comments pertaining to this report are invited and should beforwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. ArmyWar College, Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013-5050. Comments also maybe conveyed directly to the authors by calling Dr. Lovelace atcommercial (717) 245-3010 or DSN 242-3010; or Dr. Young atcommercial (717) 245-4058 or DSN 242-4058.
This is the pilot in a series of reports on strategicplanning conducted within the U.S. Department of Defense. Itfocuses on the strategic planning responsibilities of theChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because planning at thatlevel provides the critical nexus between the strategic directionprovided by the National Command Authorities and itsimplementation by the unified combatant commands and militarydepartments. The authors’ thorough understanding of the statutoryrequirements for strategic planning and the interactions betweenthe Chairman’s complex strategic planning process and other keyDOD planning systems enables them to explicate today’s strategicplanning challenges and offer insightful recommendations.Strategic planning in the post-Cold War era has proven to beexceptionally problematic. The plethora of national andinternational tensions that the east-west confrontation of theCold War in large measure subdued combine now to create a worldreplete with diverse challenges to U.S. interests. Equallydisturbing is the fact that these challenges are not as clearlydefined and easily articulated as was the monolithic Sovietthreat. The authors point out that the Cold War provided inherentstability in U.S. strategic planning and that the basic elementsof a strategic military plan evolved over time. They go on toargue that the elimination of the National Military StrategyDocument and the abandonment of the Base Case Global Family ofOperation Plans amounted to recision of the Chairman’s strategicplan, and that nothing has been developed to take its place.In this thought-provoking study, the authors define a formalstrategic plan: one that contains specific strategic objectives,offers a clear and executable strategy for achieving objectives,illuminates force capability requirements, and is harmonized withthe Future Years Defense Program. They discuss the reasons why astrategic plan is needed and the value it would have incoherently connecting the guidance provided by the NationalCommand Authorities to the integrated activities of the unifiedcommands, the Services, and other components of DoD. Theyconclude by examining three alternatives to improve the strategicplanning processes and to facilitate efficient development ofstrategic plans. They settle on a set of recommendations thatthey believe would comprehensively link the major elements of

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