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Mitigating Surprise Through Enhanced Operational Design: Civilian Conceptual Planning Models
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING (SAW)
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The conceptual planning visualization portion of the United States Marine Corps operational design must be revised to incorporate a more detailed Commanders Battlespace Area Evaluation or estimate that attempts to identify the root cause of conflict in order to ensure that planners have a more systemic understanding of the operating environment and thus, are better prepared to recommend several well-informed courses of action that mitigate the risks of surprise and unintended consequences. If commanders lack the requisite knowledge of complex environments to correctly identify social or political connectedness, or know which effects will have unintended consequences, will this mean the rest of the process is flawed In a command driven process such as the MCPP, one would likely conclude that the answer is yes. There are three civilian problem-setting tools that satisfy military planning needs from the battalion to the Marine Expeditionary Force MEF level in complex environments. USAIDs Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation CMM, the World Bank WB, and CIA Political Instability Task Force PITF have developed three distinct problem-setting tools that have demonstrated considerable efficacy in determining the root causes of conflict, as well as the ability to accurately predict the outbreak of civil conflict. All three tools can provide military planners with a depth of knowledge of the environment that is unattainable through standard means of visualization, to include CBAE, staff estimate, or standard IPB. All three models can be completed using open-source materials.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE