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Reforming the Joint Doctrine Process

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Journal article

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The publication of the new manual on joint doctrine, Joint Pub 1, Joint Warfare of the U.S. Armed Forces, dated November 1991, signals the opening of a new era in American military history. Though other manuals have been published in test form, this is the first fully approved manual that deals with joint warfare from such an authoritative position and is the first in what is sure to be a long line of joint doctrinal documents. As the new era begins, the issue is not whether joint doctrine is important the issue is determining what institutions and procedures for formulating effective joint doctrine are required and when they will be established. The purpose of this article is to suggest steps to speed the formulation of joint doctrine in the future and ensure its effectiveness. In sum, the development of appropriate joint doctrine in the future could become more efficient and effective with the establishment of a system with a Center of Excellence at Norfolk as its head. Without a coherent system with precise responsibilities and relationships, the efforts of those who develop joint doctrine will never be as successful as they should be. As the emphasis on joint doctrine increases and a more coherent system emerges, the Center of Excellence at Norfolk should initially have links to the Joint Doctrine Center, the Armed Forces Staff College including the Joint Advanced Warfighting School, the Joint Warfighting Center, the Wargaming and Simulation Center, and the Joint Campaign Studies Institute. Over time, the Center of Excellence should evolve from its status as monitor and coordinator of joint doctrinal formulation to having paramount responsibility. Ultimately, the Center should become a Joint Command, probably on the analogy of the National Defense University.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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