This is the pilot in a series of reports on strategic planning conducted within the U.S. Department of Defense. It focuses on the strategic planning responsibilities of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because planning at that level provides the critical nexus between the strategic direction provided by the National Command Authorities and its implementation by the unified combatant commands and military departments. The authors' thorough understanding of the statutory requirements for strategic planning and the interactions between the Chairman's complex strategic planning process and other key DOD planning systems enables them to explicate today's strategic planning challenges and offer insightful recommendations. Strategic planning in the post-Cold War era has proven to be exceptionally problematic. The plethora of national and international tensions that the east-west confrontation of the Cold War in large measure subdued combine now to create a world replete with diverse challenges to U.S. interests. Equally disturbing is the fact that these challenges are not as clearly defined and easily articulated as was the monolithic Soviet threat. The authors point out that the Cold War provided inherent stability in U.S. strategic planning and that the basic elements of a strategic military plan evolved over time. They go on to argue that the elimination of the National Military Strategy Document and the abandonment of the Base Case Global Family of Operation Plans amounted to recision of the Chairman's strategic plan, and that nothing has been developed to take its place.
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/