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Comprehensive Engagement: A Winning Strategy

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Master's thesis

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Comprehensive engagement is a way for the United States to develop a more positive perception of its actions and motives in the world. This strategy focuses on engaging groupsnations that the United States can help achieve what is called a status quo. In this context, status quo means reaching a point where the targeted groupnation becomes stable and balanced. This strategy will be a Phase Zero approach that could span years or decades. Future assumptions lead towards more of a small war and full spectrum operational focus, which are both well-suited for a comprehensive engagement strategy. The Marine Corps must recognize this future strategic requirement now to adjust mindsets to a more non-conventional focus, create mechanisms to implement the strategy, and adjust planning staffs to meet the requirement. These actions will be best implemented at the MEF level. The MEF provides the crucial operational link from the strategic goals to the tactical capabilities the Marine Corps has for conducting comprehensive engagement. MEFs will be able to focus on the diverse set of groupsnations within their areas of operation and conduct the operational cultural analysis for each that will serve as the basis for the comprehensive engagement campaign design. Actions using comprehensive engagement at the MEF level can be tactical in execution, but their additive effect synergized into a comprehensive engagement campaign plan will have decisive strategic impacts in the future. The key is to implement the changes now that will lead to the development and practice of the operational art required to link these complex concepts for a complex strategy that takes place years before any kinetic actions may be required. This kind of planning is a distinct departure from the conventional mindsets that have existed over time.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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