Operationalizing Coalitions of the Future
Future warfighting paper
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING (SAW)
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Specific operational staff structures, procedures, and plans must be developed in order to address the issue of military cooperation amongst a coalitions members. Many trends in the future of warfighting have been identified and discussed but few are as fundamental as the trend towards multinational operations. In responding to future crises the military will be required to cooperate at the operational level with other nations in order to provide international legitimacy for military actions. This quest for international legitimacy will require military planners to develop operational options that allow all coalition members to effectively participate. Simply dividing the area of operations into different sectors for each coalition member is not enough. To truly achieve the potential synergistic effects of a coalition it will be necessary to alter staff organizations and procedures in order to harmonize the utilization of each coalition members capabilities. The capabilities that the various nations offer to a coalition will be varied and disparate. One cooperating nation may be able to provide forces that can conduct ground operations but lacks logistical sustainment capability and a means of strategic projection. Another might only be able to provide maritime forces but lacks the means to sustain them. Another nation might be willing to provide extremely capable forces but chooses for political reasons to limit the actions in which they can participate. The question of how these disparate forces and capabilities are brought together to conduct cohesive military operations is currently left to the operational military headquarters. This additional responsibility has required operational staffs to create international cooperation structures that normally find ad hoc measures to achieve integration.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics