Joint Operating Environment: Trends & Challenges for the Future Joint Force Through 2030   [open pdf - 4MB]

"Joint and service concept development and experimentation applies innovation and change to the ideas and capabilities that animate U.S. military forces to ensure that they are adapted to the world in which they operate. The process of innovation and change relies on an ability to foresee and anticipate the key factors that shape the world and the challenges which are intrinsic to these factors. […]. Because the future is also shaped by shocks and other events that are by definition difficult or impossible to foresee, a culture of innovation and change encourages us to remain agile and able to quickly adapt in the face of surprise. To encourage adaptation, the U.S. national defense and security community must at times take a step back and look beyond the imperatives of current operations. This paper -- the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) document -- is an effort to take this longer view to better understand change in the international system. This view focuses on the period some 8-30 years in the future. As a first step, the U.S. defense and security community must forge a broad understanding of the key components of the international system that are relevant to the application of military power. Second, we must understand how these components evolve over time. Perhaps most important, we must understand the likely operational military implication of these trends and shocks for the joint force."

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