The Missing Element: How to Integrate Existing Regional and Cultural Understanding at the GCC Level Effectively
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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The recently published Capstone Concept for Joint Operations CCJO suggests that the future security environment will consist of several persistent trends, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction the rise of modern competitor states and an increase in violent extremism, regional instability, transnational criminal activity, and competition for resources. To address these trends, the joint force must develop and maintain deep regional expertise. The ability to understand political and cultural differences, especially when it comes to cooperative security operations, counterinsurgency, and unconventional warfare, will provide the foundations for flexible planning and operational execution. Unfortunately, the Military Departments view regional expertise not as a core function, but as additional training at the tactical and operational levels. To understand the strategic environment, the combatant command staff needs to understand the region and culture to develop approaches that effectively shape the environment within the context of that region. This paper will discuss the importance of regional and cultural competency as they relate to planning strategy. It will show how regional and cultural competency at the combatant command headquarters remains a critical weakness for the United States. The geographic combatant commands all identify the importance of having the right person at the right place, and their manning documents have identified the need for regional and cultural experts within their J5 and J3 directorates. However, it remains the job of the individual Services to place the correct person in the appropriate position. To fix this weakness, the Joint Staff must direct Services to assign regional and cultural experts to existing identified billets. Combatant commands must change some active component Branch-immaterial positions into the SOF specialty of Civil Affairs.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations