U.S. National Strategy What Three Essay

Pages: 16 (4520 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military


CCDRs determine theater strategy "based on analysis of changing events in the operational environment and the development of options to set conditions for success" (JP 3-0 I-3). They are expected to modify old plans or formulate new ones based on changing conditions in the operational environment or new directives from national command authorities. In their theaters, these estimates will also be based on less comprehensive efforts of subordinate commanders, and will be focused on threats and also "consider other circumstances affecting the military situation as they develop and analyze COAs" (JP 3-0 I-4). Commanders use strategic estimates to determine the likely intent of the enemy and consider alternatives in a continuous process. Theater Strategic Concepts describe the types of operations to be conducted, when and where, and the forces to be used. They should always "incorporate a variety of factors including nuclear and conventional deterrence, current or potential alliances or coalitions, forces available, command and control (C2) capabilities, intelligence assets, mobilization, deployment, sustainability, and anticipated stability measures" (JP 3-0 I-5). This will include deployment of both nuclear and conventional forces, special operations units, use of space assets and satellites, logistics, interagency cooperation, combat support, with the overall goal of controlling political and military events in the theater. The estimate will include assigned objectives from national command authorities, the relation between the theater environment and accomplishment of these objectives, assessments of threats and risks, and the availability of resources to accomplish the mission. They will consider and integrate other, non-military instruments of power, including civilian agencies, the media and NGOs, and how the operation will be terminated once the objectives have been met. Of course, only the President, NSC and Secretary of Defense can order an operation to end, though, but termination should always be considered from the time that planning begins.

4. How does the 2008 National Defense Strategy counterbalance the U.S. Department of Defense's natural tendency to focus excessively on winning conventional conflicts rather than irregular wars?

TOPIC: Essay on U.S. National Strategy What Three Assignment

Protection of democratic values is always uppermost, but the threats in the 21st Century will not come only from hostile states armed with weapons of mass destruction, but the environment, conflicts over natural resources, natural disasters, pandemics like AIDS and tuberculosis and threats from cyberspace. To prevail, the U.S. government will have to "harness and integrate all aspects of national power and work closely with a wide range of allies, friends and partners. We cannot prevail if we act alone" (NDS 2008, p. 1). One key to success will be by promoting democracy, good government, social justice and economic development in the poorer nations. From the military viewpoint it will require strengthening alliances around the world to defeat terrorist networks, prevent attacks with WMDs and defuse regional conflicts. In the immediate future, the overriding conflict will be against a "violent extremist ideology that seeks to overturn the international state." As well as rogue states like Iran and North Korea and their threats to use WMDs (NDS, p. 2). Al Queda is similar to communism and fascism in the past, if not in its specific ideology but in threatening the international system as whole, opposing democracy, human rights and self-determination, and exploiting crises and conflicts for its own purposes.

Many countries in the 21st century are failed states or lack the ability to police themselves and their own borders against international and regional terrorist groups. These groups are not tied to any states and "frequently exploit local geographical, political, or social conditions to establish safe havens from which they can operate with impunity" (NDS, p. 3). Many countries are often poorly governed or completely ungoverned, and an international effort is necessary to stabilize them and improve social, economic and political conditions. Iran is attempting to destabilize the weak governments of Iraq and Afghanistan and also attempting the proliferation of WMDs into the hands of terrorists groups. North Korea is a chronic threat to the Republic of Korea and is also involved in the proliferation of missiles and nuclear weapons, counterfeiting and the sale of narcotics. Both Iran and North Korea are brutally repressive toward their own people as well.

In the future, the U.S. may also face a greater military challenge from more powerful states like China, just as it is involved in economic and trade competition at present. This military threat could take familiar and conventional forms, or it might take place in outer space or cyberspace, through hacking attacks on the U.S. government and civilian economy. In the 21st Century, China "will continue to expand its conventional military capabilities, emphasizing anti-access and area denial assets including developing a full range of long-range strike, space, and information warfare capabilities" (NDS, p. 3). Under Vladmir Putin, Russia has also moved away from democracy and in a more authoritarian direction, away from arms control and force reduction negotiations and threats against countries like Georgia and Ukraine for attempting to join NATO. These actions indicate that Russia is "exploring renewed influence and seeking a greater international role" (NDS, p. 4). Over the next century, non-state actors and their sponsors are also going to rely on unconventional and asymmetric methods to counter U.S. military capabilities, and the DOD will have to develop more effective countermeasures. They will use the new Internet technologies to disrupt American civilian and military communications, and launch cyber-attacks before the U.S. government is even aware of the threat. For this reason, we "must develop better intelligence capabilities to detect, recognize, and analyze new forms of warfare as well as explore joint approaches and strategies to counter them" (NDS, p. 6). New technologies will interact with globalization, and rapid social, cultural and environmental change to create new and unanticipated areas of vulnerability and instability that are unpredictable.

5. Provide three examples from the critical findings of the "MNF-I Strategic Communication Study Paper" (C207 Reading B) where the Ambassador, the Commander or "Key Leadership Engagement" are associated with a critical finding.

The Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I) commander was the driving force behind the improvement in strategic communications in Iraq in 2007-08 and insisted on a "a comprehensive and coherent campaign plan and a much more attuned and educated staff to execute the plan" (MNF Report). He ensured that Operation Iraqi Freedom was revised so that strategic communications became integrated into all operations and planning, and that contractors were hired to fill specialized roles where no such experts existed within the command. Only very recently had the Department of Defense (DOD) recognized the importance of information control and strategic communication in counterinsurgency and nation building operations like Iraq. These capabilities did not exist when the war began in 2003, nor were they considered vital, and this "significantly undermined the overall reconstruction progress" (MNF Report). This reform came about after the report of an inspection team made up of the deputy public affairs officers from each Service, which recommended thirty major changes in communications. In February 2008, the MNF Chief of Staff then requested a report on "strategic communication best practices and to consider potential doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities" (MNF Report).

The Iraq MNF was dealing with a very complicated counterinsurgency war involving various tribes, regions, and international actors, along with Al Qaeda and associated movements (AQAM), which "actively wages communication warfare using advanced global technologies and considers winning the war of ideas to be a precondition for victory in Jihad" (MNF Report). In a world of instant communications and electronic media, any action or event can be recorded and distributed worldwide almost immediately, and often deliberately distorted and used against the United States. In the Iraq War, most of the Iraqi and Arabic media were hostile, and eager to report all political and military failures.

Senior MNF commanders understood that they had to counter this with their own media and communications strategy. They had to ensure that accurate information reached all the media outlets, Iraqi leaders and the civilian population first, before Al Qaeda and the insurgents were able to broadcast their own version of events. This was an information war that had to be fought every day and "the MNF-I commander took personal interest and responsibility for MNF-I strategic communication" MNF Report). Contractors were hired for polling, political campaigns, interpreting, media monitoring and assessment, and these were responsible for the successes in 2007-08. Important principles of Strategic Communications include the need for perceived truthfulness, understanding of others, respect for the exchange of ideas, awareness that every action sends a mess and unity of effort in reaching the right audience with the right message. Since 2007, the MFN commander "has taken ownership and ultimate responsibility for strategic communications actions and has challenged the entire staff to synchronize messages and activities in order to support the objectives and goals of each and every campaign line of operation" (MNF Report).

Senior leaders demanded that communications take account of all relevant political,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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