Unity of Effort in an Irregular Environment: Empowering the Joint Force Commander
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The United States today finds itself in an era of persistent irregular conflict, the root cause of which may be illegitimate governance within failed or failing states. The resulting instability will likely require future U.S. military and civilian agency intervention to assist host nations to build capacity and maintain legitimacy in the eyes of their populations. Success in these irregular environments will require operating rand strategically, integrating the effects of all elements of national power into one coherent strategy under the direction of a single leader. A combination of security concerns and a lack of expeditionary civilian capacity will require the military to assume responsibility for stability tasks better suited to civilian agencies. However, current laws mandate parallel civilian and military chains of command that separate de facto responsibilities from necessary authorities to direct the activities of all elements of statecraft toward the accomplishment of national security objectives. This separation makes it impossible to operate in a grand strategic manner as demanded by the character of irregular warfare. In order to improve unity of effort among USG departments and agencies conducting stability operations in a specific theater of action, the President should empower the military joint force commander to coordinate all aspects of the USG effort until the security environment and civilian capacity allow transition to civilian leadership.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics