The world of 2016 to 2028 will be fundamentally characterized by “uncertainty, complexity, rapid change, and persistent conflict,” thereby necessitating a change in how the US military operates as a joint force, writes Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the capstone document issued yesterday presenting a new concept for joint operations. (Full document, caution large file) “As capable as our joint forces are today, they will not be enough to meet future challenges,” states Mullen. Accordingly, he says, the Defense Department will need to create new joint and service doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures as well as new methods for integrating actions, both internally and with partners. DOD must also devise different ways to select, educate, train, equip, and manage personnel, he says. The concept comprises three interrelated ideas to describe how the joint force will operate: address each situation on its own terms, in its own political and strategic context; conduct and integrate a combination of combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction activities to meet the circumstances of the situation; and conduct operations subject to continuous assessment of results in relation to expectations.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.