Monday, December 29, 2008

Department of Defense training for operations with interagency, multinational, and coalition partners

By: Michael Spirtas, Jennifer D. P. Moroney, Harry J. Thie, Joe Hogler, Thomas-Durell Young

The nature of recent challenges and the types of missions the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has undertaken highlight the need for DoD to consider ways to help the military prepare to work with other government agencies, international organizations, private and nongovernmental organizations, and foreign militaries. These challenges require DoD to combine military and nonmilitary means, such as intelligence, diplomacy, and developmental assistance, to advance U.S. national-security interests. Moreover, exhibiting cultural awareness and sensitivity vis-à-vis non-DoD partners is paramount to successful operational planning and execution. To build or bolster local governance, to foster economic growth, and to respond to natural disasters, the United States must also use different types of tools, military and otherwise, simultaneously. It is no small task to synchronize these different tools so that they work in tandem, or at least minimize conflict between them. This report provides suggestions for how the U.S. military can help prepare its personnel to work successfully with interagency, multinational, and coalition partners. The authors found that almost all of the requirements for integrated-operations training can be found in existing joint and service task lists. Current training programs aimed at headquarters staffs need to be revamped to focus on high-priority tasks that are amenable to training.

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