The Cutting Edge of Unified Actions
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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During the Cold War joint operations were primarily seen as set-piece battles to be fought by unified commanders against known threats in Europe or Korea. But in the new world disorder greater emphasis is being placed on an operational concept reminiscent of World War II joint and combined task forces. Like Task Force 61, the joint expeditionary force assembled for Operation Watchtower at Guadalcanal, joint task forces JTFs are seen today as a means of tailoring military responses to a growing number of crises. As Rear Admiral David E. Frost, the operations officer at European Command, has remarked JTFs are the biggest growth industry in the military. The challenges facing JTFs are likely to be greater than in the past. These mission-specific organizations must achieve unity of effort among disparate forces in shorter periods of time. JTFs may undergo a significant transformation as the nature of operations changes and they become the focus of coalition efforts or part of combined task forces. To make things even more complicated, joint and combined task forces in operations such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and counternarcotics may encompass various governmental and nongovernmental agencies functioning as either integral parts or close partners in order to achieve national objectives. Despite a seeming multitude of variables, planners can count on one constant each JTF differs with the situation.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics