The following contribution from Captain Victor Addison, OPNAV N51 Advanced Concepts, comes as a response to the discussions on Information Dissemination regarding the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) Version 3.0 in the context of Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.
Captain Addison began the conversation with his analysis of the CCJO and the Navy with his January 2010 Proceedings article You Can’t Always Give What You Want available to Naval Institute subscribers.
I appreciate the spirited discussion on CCJO led by Galrahn and Prof. Rubel (also here, here, here, and here). To clarify two things about my article, I’d like to point out the following: 1) My intent was to examine Navy support to joint force objectives in our expected operating environment (as defined by the NDS, CCJO and JOE) and consider issues related to readiness, training, and ops. With the exception of highlighting the virtues of multimission ships, I am not advancing any particular force structure argument. 2) My reference to sea control as being part of our particular service dialect means that this is a fundamental capability (often referred to in varying degrees as maritime superiority, supremacy, or dominance) that the joint force needs the Navy to provide. JFCOM’s stated intent in providing a capstone concept is that service concepts can be developed to complement it. This is why we don’t see a discussion of sea control in the CCJO.
The extensive review of joint force “activities” by Galrahn highlights a potential point for consideration in the next CCJO rev. Much of the recent effort to assess our strategy in Afghanistan could be distilled down to questions like: “what are our goals?” and “what kind of war are we fighting?” These are not simple questions. Defining the four basic categories of joint force activities as combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction might be technically correct, but this approach leaves a lot to the imagination–particularly since combat is the only activity that is the exclusive purview of DoD as the supported agency. Perhaps CCJO could be a sort of “Rosetta Stone” to translate grand strategy into joint operations by discussing broad categories of “joint force objectives” such as:
- —DEFEATING adversaries (state, state-sponsored, international etc.)
- —SUPPORTING allied/friendly governments and populations
- —DEFENDING the homeland
- —SECURING the global commons and ungoverned spaces
Without objectives, activities (the joint force “toolbox”) lack purpose and have no defined end state. For example, “engagement” sounds like a worthwhile activity, but we need to associate this activity with an objective to calibrate our efforts and assess results.