Joint Task Forces and Preemptive Response
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
Today U.S. and multinational forces must respond to crises around the world and across the conflict spectrum. Such challenges are often initially defined by the media. Responding forces thus must enter information age battles with non-lethal but critical fires against multiple targets. The outcomes can establish the political-military context for all actions that follow. A joint task force activated to respond to a crisis must first determine actual contingency response requirements--whether the assigned mission is derived from an established operational plan or a new situation in the area of responsibility of a unified command. If the effort is quick and everyone in the objective area agrees on the initial response, a lethal, protracted conflict may be averted. Multinational military assets may not be needed. That situation occurred during a U.S. European Command EUCOM contingency in central Africa. The operation taught lessons about tactics, techniques, and procedures related to preventing conflict and conserving resources. Operation Guardian Assistance involved deploying joint forces from EUCOM in late 1996. They were sent initially as a humanitarian assistance survey team, which later formed the core of the Joint Task Force Guardian Assistance JTFGA staff. The first survey team personnel were tasked to assess the need for participation by the Armed Forces in eastern Zaire and Rwanda. The principal lessons dealt with understanding, defining, and dominating the information environment. From the first assessment carried out in the field in preparation for the U.N. steering committee meeting on requirements for a multinational force, accurate and timely information was essential for resource decisions. The task force made a major contribution in that process.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics