Doctrine and practice of joint operations in the 21st century

Doctrine and practice of joint operations in the 21st century

The document «The fundamental concept of joint operations» (Capstone Concept for Joint Operations — CCJO) of 15 January 2009 sets out a vision of the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen on how the combined forces in the period from about 2016 to 2028 will act in response the huge abundance of security challenges.

It is understood that the combined forces of the future commanders will combine and ultimately adapt some combination of four basic categories of military activity — combat, security, stabilization (cooperation), relief and recovery — in accordance with the unique requirements of each operational situation. The concept is based on the as yet the current strategic direction of recent years, but as future-oriented, it is understood that it will be easy to adapt to changes in this manual.

«The fundamental concept of joint operations» is the most basic of all U.S. military concepts. It describes how the combined forces would operate in an uncertain, complex and changing future characterized by constant conflict. Military successes in the future will be the product rarely constructive new thinking, faster adaptation result of long standing truths to the new requirements, conditions and abilities. These are abilities that allow the combined forces to meet a wide range of challenges.

The combined forces as an instrument of policy

The basic purpose of military power is to prevent or combat operations in support of public policy. In this capacity, military power is an inventory of coercion created in order to achieve force or threat of force goals, which can not be achieved by other means.

In a broader sense, the combined forces — is one of those public policy instruments, contributing to the formation of international political space in support of U.S. interests. As follows lien all joint operations is that they should help to create or maintain the conditions sought by this policy, or through coercion or persuasion, and or in response to a sudden crisis or incidental, or as part of a deliberate and proactive Plan. Since even during the war, to be effective political inventory, this requirement can be significantly extended by defining not only defeat the enemy troops in battle; combined forces should ensure the political management of a wider range of options than usual an advantage in battle.

The armed forces are the only component of national power, moreover, in a challenging environment of the future, they rarely succeed alone. In contrast, the combined forces are likely to act together with other South American government agencies and partner governments, and this result will depend on the zeal of success of this partnership. Regardless of events combined forces could lead national or multinational efforts or could support other organizations, usually at the expense of creation of non-hazardous criteria that allow non-military organizations to carry out their work.

As an instrument of policy, the armed forces will never act in a political vacuum. Each commander of the combined forces must understand the reality of what political reasons will always limit the South American military operations, sometimes even at the expense of a significant reduction of combat effectiveness. But while commanders ising forces must adapt their operations to the needs of the policy, the policy should avoid introducing the combined forces who are not able to reach a result. Harmonization of policy objectives and military means, such makarom asks constant open dialogue between political and military favorites.

United martial place

Future joint combat place will reflect as immutable and changing conditions. Essentially unchanged condition — is the rampant nature of international political system, the universe of independent forms of government are constantly seeking to improve their own well-being, security, capacity and impact in relation to each other and the system as a whole. As a result, there is an overarching interactive place, in which the main action is unpredictable and at times illogical. In the context of sustainable inclusive place in the imminent appearance of tension, impermanence, disasters, crises and conflicts may require the involvement of the U.S. Joint Forces.

The second condition is the same America’s status as a global power with global interests. The United States will necessarily Favourites Civilization, which most of the world will find stability and security. This role will be in the upcoming fall on the United States and its partners to protect and support a peaceful global system-independent patterns of trade, money, disk imaging, law and government. Maintaining freedom of action and access worldwide is also necessary for the functioning of the global system of peace, as well as for military operations. It reclaims a long-running duties worldwide and constant presence, which is achieved through forward deployment of U.S. Joint Forces.

As a result of this requirement, the third condition, which will continue to manage the conduct of U.S. joint operations is the need to conduct and maintain them at global distances. Possible venue for most operations that require the combined forces of the role will be the areas where on the basis of constant small force deployed or they are not perfect. America’s ability to rapidly project power, conduct and support operations on a global scale, such makarom remains critically dependent on air and sea freedom of movement and of sufficient strategic and operational abilities redeployment. Future operational success will also all rely mainly on the introduction of space and cyberspace. So Makar, ensuring adequate relocation and maintain sufficient control over the global «communities» (Air, sea, and of cosmic digital space) that do not belong to any state, will form the basis of fundamental important fundamental principle of building the future joint forces.

As for changing the criterion is perhaps the most significant of them is the growing ability of other countries to fluctuate during the impact the U.S., if not worldwide, it just regionally. These emerging rivals from the military in the event of a conflict will be able to accept significant regional challenges threatening hostilities. Vpribavok arise with a certain claim to statehood different non-state actors, often targeted by extremist religious or ethnic ideologies, but a lack of political discipline superimposed state sovereignty and responsibility. Many of these «entities» already have or soon will be able to have the ability and opportunity to pursue their interests at the expense of the armed forces, and many — to operate throughout the state or even outside the regional boundaries. This dispersion of power in an increasingly «globalized» space, in which some actors or do not recognize, or do not constrain the adoption of international conventions of behavior significantly complicates the conflict prevention, management and resolution of them.

At the same time, the means of unleashing conflicts are becoming more deadly vsesuschimi as everyday in the deployment. Modern weapons, had once been the monopoly of the advanced industrialized countries, is becoming more accessible to the least advanced countries and non-state actors. Possible spread of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, particularly unsafe and could complicate further at least some use of U.S. military force. Also, while the U.S. sweetens indisputable The advantage of space in a few decades, cheaper access to space and the emergence of anti-counterspace weapons and start to smooth the field of play, and the introduction of cosmic space and control over them for civilian and military purposes is becoming increasingly competitive. Similarly, the same way frisky technological development of cosmic powers and relatively low price of their services will allow the States, non-State actors, and even to individuals at risk of destruction of military, economic and other digital networks in at least some part of the world.

Meanwhile, as a result of increasing the level of transparency and coherence, classic military operations becoming mostly sensitive to public perception and attitude, local and international. Vpribavok to what is becoming increasingly problematic to maintain secrecy of military operations, the increasing transparency of the risks to reincarnate what once was inconsequential military incidents in strategic behavior. Transparency will provide commanders at all levels more pressure than ever before, their every decision and action will be carefully studied and criticized in real-time media, whose access to independent disk imaging will be virtually impossible to ban.

Another factor markedly changing operational space is continuous urbanization as a result of urban sprawl and population growth in them. In these urban areas nesusvetno difficult to conduct military operations. Battle actions in urban areas accumulate a huge number of ground forces, they usually carry a languid loss than during operations on any other type of terrain. These acts may be a precursor of large losses in the midst of the civilian population and severe indirect damage, especially if the enemy are local militias deliberately using this form of protection as mixing with the civilian population.

Reducing access to the territory of another state is a new challenge, which is completely predictable for the future operational space. Sensitivity to the South American country’s military presence constantly increased and even the coming allies may reluctantly give access to their territories for various reasons. Lowering the availability shall prevent the retention of the South American forward presence, which makes it necessary to develop new approaches for frisky response to developments around the world, is also introducing a richer benefits available to U.S. actions in the sea, air, space and cyberspace. Guaranteeing access to ports, airfields, air alien place, coastal waters and the support of the host country in the possible areas of responsibility will be difficult and it will claim the active peacekeeping cooperation with the states in the troubled areas. In wartime, this task can claim forcible invasion abilities that are needed to capture and hold territories in the face of armed resistance.

Resolution of many complex problems, particularly in the developing world, eventually reclaims the establishment or restoration of legitimacy of local governments that the United States could not accomplish in the one-sided manner. Ability combined forces to work with partners to increase their abilities will be very valuable quality. The combined forces will almost always work with local military and security forces, for whose conduct they deservedly or undeservedly be liable.

Future operational space has the potential to generate more calls than that on which the U.S. and its military structures will be able to respond perfectly. Hence two positions. First — the importance of a proactive form of events such makarom that they should not have gained critical proportions, requiring the introduction of comparable coalition forces. Second — the importance of formation of joint safety measures in order to share the burden of providing security and stability. Compliance with these provisions will also promote the use of combined forces for peacekeeping stabilization. All together, these unchanging and changing conditions will be a huge amount of all-encompassing security problems, and overcoming these problems will often exceed the capacity of separately taken at least some government institutions, including the combined forces. Instead, the success of future military operations likely will depend on the introduction of an all-inclusive of all instruments of state power. In addition, in a globalized world, most of these operations will tend to affect different ethnic intrigued circles, creating a political, if not operational need to act together with international partners. In general, compared with one-sided government actions such joint activities is even more difficult to manage, then, to maintain unity, usually need a significant compromise.

Concept of coalition interaction

Three interrelated ideas outline in broad terms, will act as a combined force:
Treat each situation in its own definitions, in its unique political and strategic context rather than trying to cram the situation in the desired frame pattern
Conduct and activities relating to connect voedinyzhdy combat actions, security, stabilization, relief and rehabilitation in accordance with the concept of operations designed to meet the unique features of this situation
Conduct operations at a constant evaluation of the results and relate them to expectations, adjusting accordingly as the awareness of the situation and the steps

First, when planning joint operations commander of the combined forces must evaluate each operational situation without the help of others, taking into account that this awareness is rarely complete and fully correct, and in the best case, only closer to reality. Joint Operations place outlines overarching global challenges for which the deep background and driving forces will be far not obvious, whereas the effects of retaliation will often broad and unpredictable. Interests of different stakeholders can be vague, and even the definition of such parties can be difficult. In such a space, the combined forces can not afford to use for themselves without thinking established methods, but instead it should fit them under the special circumstances of each situation. These methods should reflect both the internal dynamics of the situation itself, which assigns its basic situation are systemic and strategic context, which sets broad policy and resource limits within which the operation should be carried out.

Second, the development of the concept of operations, befitting this situational awareness, the commander of the combined forces will have to create a concept of operations that connects and coordinates voedinyzhdy often competing types or categories of activities: martial deeds, security, stabilization, relief and rehabilitation. Most of the joint operations will require some combination of 2-or more of these broad categories of military activity spanning, in general, almost every problem which combined forces may be called upon to perform. Operational art, so Makarov, is the organization and regulation of the activities related to the fighting, security, stabilization, relief and recovery services for the purposes of co-operation or the entire campaign.

In the end, the commander of the combined forces to be ready for what seems to be painstakingly worked out was not his original operational plan, in some matters, he will not fully adequate. As it follows its plan should include exhaust the constant evaluation of results of operations relative to expectations and he must be prepared to adjust their operations in disagreement. But means certain actions can be fully created a situation that is a prerequisite for these discrepancies, in other words, so Makarov, the operations themselves are testing method earliest speculation and expectations. In short, as a consequence of the dominant uncertainty, all joint operations beyond doubt are based on its own adaptation based on zanii situation means acts.

The main categories of military activity

All combined forces made, organized, equipped and trained to perform the 1st or more of the four broad types of military activity. They are basic system building blocks of which are joint operations. As previously mentioned, most of the joint operations will claim some combination of 2-or more of these categories of activities and equilibrium adapted to perform combat tasks.

Martial deeds

Martial act aims to defeat the enemy’s armed forces — regular, irregular or both, and others. They run well, when the enemy is destroyed or surrenders. Historically, one or both of the 2-defeat devices involved in the battle: Exhaustion reduces the human and material resources of the enemy; Disorganization is focused on its organizational cohesion or efficient functioning of such makarom that even if the components of the system remain intact enemy, the enemy can not act as a single entity. Both mechanisms defeat also psychologically affect the enemy’s will to resist.

Upon reaching the stage of disorganization reduced need for exhaustion, saves time and human and material loss. But vulnerability to defeat the enemy means disorganization is dependent on the intrinsic properties and combat criterion. In general, the more aggressively structured opponent, the more its commitment decrypted doctrinal templates and the greater its dependence on constant operational management, the more vulnerable to disorganization. And conversely, the more deeply «embedded» in the enemy theater of war than the least transparent of its activities and its less dependence on external sources of procurement, the less prone to disruption.

Due to the fact that the militias dispersed tend to act on familiar terrain, avoid conventional methods and use episodic and often superfluous chain of command, they are less susceptible to disruption compared with constant forces. Very often combat actions against irregular opponents converted into battle of attrition in which success on the side of someone who has a slow shutter speed or resolve to act more brutally.

Martial activities and abilities may vary greatly depending on the situation.

Abilities needed for detection and destruction of permanent forces acting with modern combat platforms may differ materially from the right abilities to defeat irregular forces, which are often mixed with the civilian population. But all of these abilities will be very different from the skills needed for the detection and destruction of enemy action in space and cyberspace.

Trends described above, predicting more volatile, uncertain and politically unstable place than martial that has ever faced the combined forces of the South American. At that time, as the main task of the battle, which is to impose a defeat will not change, then how to do it impressively, will become increasingly difficult.


Security activities is to protect the civilian population and control — friendly, neutral or aggressive — and terrain. It can be done under military occupation, during or after hostilities in order to assist in the fight against mess or as a response to a humanitarian catastrophe. Security tasks are solved successfully when civilian unrest reduced to the level of law enforcement agencies managed.

Nedavneshny again showed the value of experience as security activities, and abilities necessary for its effective implementation.

Currently, widely recognized that safety activities can be as important for of success in the war, as well as combat action; it can not be adjusted relatively few special units must always go faster in the competence of all U.S. combined arms formations.

Because security is enough background is very different from the premises managed battlefield, and often back to them, preparing for the challenges of security requests appropriate education and training, ranging from the usual cultural awareness and the laws of armed conflict applicable to mastering the methods of population control and administration justice.


Stabilization activities aims to improve the ability of allies and other partners or strengthen cooperation with them. It could be conducted as a supplement to a broader diplomatic or economic stabilization, as an aid to friendly (and sometimes not so such a friendly) government in conducting their own safety measures and even during hostilities themselves. It is a major contribution to the national military to establish a common security puzzle. Stabilization activities is usually a prolonged exercise, ending only when she also achieved their goals, or when the U.S. government or partner management concludes that it has become unnecessary or unproductive.

Extent and nature of activities of stabilization may vary considerably, reflecting the difference in the strategic relationship between the United States and allied countries.

Need for stabilization measures all basically will exceed the ability of specialized but limited human resources organizations such as the Special Operations forces and groups of long-term military assistance. In this regard, an increasing fraction of joint stabilization tasks fall on combined arms units. These tasks without unacceptable deterioration in their combat abilities reclaims innovatorskogo configuration doctrine, organization, and training as a combined force, so the individual branches.

Relief and rehabilitation

Activities to help reconstruction and restoration anticipate major municipal institutions after hostilities, civilian order collapse or natural disasters. As security, the need for them can appear in different criteria, from military occupation and to counterinsurgency operations and humanitarian crisis. This step is successful, when the daily activities of the local government and commercial entities can satisfy the economic and medical needs of the affected communities or when other organizations are able to take responsibility for relief and rehabilitation.

Measures for relief and rehabilitation, conducted during the fighting, differ in several essential qualities of the activities carried out during long-term military occupation, and even more so from peacetime operations, aimed at assisting populations after man-made or natural disasters. Maybe basic variable here — it’s the security conditions in which must be carried out relief and rehabilitation. Where there is no significant safety hazard or where local security forces sufficient for the maintenance of public order, relief and recovery are the main problem of the real security and construction. On the other hand, the predominant purpose of relief and rehabilitation activities carried out during the fighting, is to maintain an offensive or defensive movement integrity. While this does not exclude niskolechko efforts to improve civilian population criterion, the value of these efforts should be placed painstaking manner in order to avoid lowering the pressure on the enemy as yet unbeaten. In counterinsurgency friction between these competing objectives can be sharpened because the combined forces commanders must constantly reevaluate and adjust the balance between relief and reconstruction activities aimed at maintaining the ongoing fighting, and activities aimed at improving the situation of the population.

• • •

Martial deeds, security, stabilization, relief and rehabilitation must be competent joint forces. At that time, as special forces will focus on one or several capacities, combined arms forces must be able to order or otherwise act in all four categories of military activity. Currently, the combined forces of the South American a systematic doctrine of fighting, but the doctrine and capabilities regarding other activities are less certain.

This disparity should be changed. Despite this, important to remember that while other structures are to work for the security, stabilization, relief and recovery, only the military can conduct combat actions.

Regardless of the combination of activities to conduct combat operations, security, stabilization, relief and rehabilitation to the base all future successful joint action will serve several extended rules.

These rules follow:
Obtain and maintain unity of effort within and between the combined forces and the combined forces of South American governments, international organizations and other partners
Plan and manage operational movements in time and space
Focus on current goals whose achievement implies the widest and most lasting results
Joining voedinyzhdy joint ability to maximize the effects of additional
Avoid combining abilities when it increases the complexity without counterbalancing advantages
Move joint activity on most lower end of where it could be perfectly controlled
Not act directly and through partners to the extent that the situation allows
Ensure operational freedom of action
Support the operational and organizational resilience
Inform the local audience and influence perceptions and attitudes of the major foreign communities within a certain and unchangeable operational requirements


This concept represents the future, characterized in the main uncertainty, complexity, change and frisky constant conflict, the future in which a wide range of insurmountable problems of national security in time of peace, in times of crisis and war will claim the role of U.S. Joint Forces. The most important here for the U.S. armed forces is a war, the ability to conduct combat actions that should never be considered as self-sacrifice.

These challenges based on its own is not new, but their occurrence in the future will show features that were not previously known, and current time — unpredictable. As a result, the combined forces must be ready to make their own contribution to the national effort to cope with all these challenges, even despite the fact that the preparation for one call makes the tasks in preparation for another.

This concept provides a general process of rapid adaptation, which can be universally applied to all joint operations, in spite of the enormous abundance that they may have. The main feature of this approach will be the integration of additional capabilities, which can complement the kind of troops combined forces. Structure of 4 basic categories of military activity provides the basis for the development of abilities.

Institutional consequences of following this approach are potentially dramatic. Either way, they are all focused on the creation of armed forces as a more adaptive and universal instrument of state policy. Among them are the basic formation of a high level of competence in all four categories of military activity together with the achievement of the best combat capability in dealing with a variety of regular or irregular threats.

On development of combat abilities responsible for the maintenance personnel doctrine, training, knowledge and real tools that they need for a successful implementation of the target. In the course credit, the combined forces are composed of ladies and guys, and they are specifically assigned to them the highest combat power.

Vyacheslav Merzliakov

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