Accession Number:

ADA426894

Title:

Grading Theater Engagement Planning

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH

Report Date:

2000-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

7.0

Abstract:

The Pentagon institutionalized planning for shaping forces and other assets for peacetime engagement in 1997. It organizes such efforts through theater engagement plans. First, the Office of the Secretary of Defense OSD prioritizes its regional objectives in Contingency Planning Guidance. In turn, the Chairman develops a Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan and then formally tasks CINCs and executive agents to produce their respective plans. Overall, the results of shaping have been positive. The fact that the noncombat use of forces is systematically evaluated bodes well. Militaries have always had political and policy applications. Shaping merely recognizes that reality and seeks to exploit it. However, the current system of shaping could do with some revision. An analysis of global shaping activities reveals that regional differentiation is fundamental. Regions, even countries, require unique shaping strategies and programs. However, it seems that the planning process for theater engagement falls short of developing coherent and unique regional strategies. Although regional CINCs have authority over an entire area of responsibility AOR, they must rely on component commands, the services, and defense agencies to carry out theater engagement plans. One problem in the process is continuing tension among theater commanders, the Joint Staff, and the defense secretariat on policy issues. The solution to this problem would involve requiring OSD to provide more specific guidance at the onset increasing coordination between DoD and the Department of State forcing trade-offs between theaters, activities, and strategies rethinking the planning process with regard to the lost countries -- Russia, Canada, Mexico -- that do not fall into any AOR requiring the centralized accounting of costs and benefits of shaping and integrating requirements for either contingencies or other operations into existing force planning efforts. 7 photographs

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE