Wednesday, May 9, 2018

JDN 1-18, "Strategy." 25 Apr 18

This is apparently a new publication. I just saw it for the first time today on the SAMS planners net.  The 47 page publication can be downloaded here.

I do not recall ever seeing a single joint publication focused solely on Strategy in joint doctrine.

I think the author must have been a National War College graduate or faculty member.

I think this will be useful not only for PME but also in civilian institutions that focus on security studies and strategy.

Note that I have excerpted the definitions of interests below.

Key chapter quotes:

Chapter I Theory
“Without a strategy, facing up to any problem or striving for any objective would be considered negligent.” Sir Lawrence Freedman Strategy: A History

Chapter II Strategic Ends and Means
“The most fundamental task in devising a grand strategy is to determine a nation’s national interests. Once they are identified, they drive a nation’s foreign policy and military strategy; they determine the basic direction that it takes, the types and amounts of resources that it needs, and the manner in which the state must employ them to succeed. Because of the critical role that national interests play, they must be carefully justified, not merely assumed.” Robert J. Art, A Grand Strategy for America 

Chapter III Strategic Ways
“The most complete and happy victory is this: to compel one’s enemy to give up his purpose, while suffering no harm oneself.” Flavius Belisarius (505-565) 

Chapter IV Assessing Strategy
“No plan of operation extends with certainty beyond contact with the enemy’s main hostile force.” Field Marshal General Helmuth von Moltke the Elder Chief of the German General Staff (1857-1888) 

JDN 1-18, "Strategy." 25 Apr 18

This joint doctrine note (JDN) provides guidance to develop, implement strategy, and
assess strategy. It focuses on the development of national-level military strategy and how
the military instrument of power is used, in combination with the other instruments of
national power, in pursuit of policy objectives. It discusses the essential elements of any
strategy; the relationship of ends, ways, and means; and the interaction among strategic
objectives, national strategy, and military strategy. It also examines strategies that may be
developed in different situations. Finally, it looks at how strategy is made, who makes it,
what moral criteria guide strategic decisions, and what pitfalls may occur in the making of

One approach is to categorize national interests as vital, important, and peripheral. 

 Vital interests: What are we willing to die for? States generally have four vital interests: security of the home territory, safety of citizens at home and abroad, economic prosperity, and preservation of the national way of life. 

 Important interests: What are we willing to fight for? Nations important interests generally include freedom of access to the global commons, regional stability, secure alliances, or the promotion of the state’s values. 

 Peripheral interests: What are we willing to fund (deploy peacekeepers, balance trade deficits)?

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