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Defense Policy

The most important documents that reflect DoD intent for these strategy elements are the Defense Planning Guidance, the Contingency Planning Guidance, and the Strategic Military Intelligence Review for Support to Military Operations. Joint strategic planning examines the global security situation. It develops national military strategy to achieve national security objectives and sets related force requirements. It also prepares strategic and contingency plans, prepares supporting joint logistic and mobility plans, and conducts capability assessments.

Led by the Joint Staff, joint strategic planning involves each of its directorates and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Moreover, it entails close consultation with the combatant commands, Services, and other defense agencies. Joint strategic planning takes place within the context of the Joint Strategic Planning System (JSPS). Featuring a continuous review of the national military strategy, the JSPS yields products that help the joint community relate strategic planning to both the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) and PPBS.

Joint Strategy Review (JSR)

The Joint Strategy Review (JSR) lies at the core of JSPS. The review helps the Joint Staff integrate strategy, operational planning, and program assessments. It covers the short-, mid-, and long-range periods: 0-2, 2-10, and 10-20 years in the future. A continuous process, the JSR assesses the global strategic setting for issues affecting the national military strategy. The Joint Staff, with the Services, combatant commands, and defense agencies develop issue papers highlighting how changed conditions affect current strategy. Key judgments,if not earlier acted on, appear in the next JSR Annual Report. Provided to the CJCS, Chiefs of Services, and CINCs, the report, when approved by the Chairman, becomes guidance for maintaining or revising the NMS and other JSPS products. As needed the JSR produces a long-range vision paper addressing plausible strategic settings 10-20 years in the future.

National Military Strategy

The CJCS approves and issues the National Military Strategy (NMS). The strategy advises the SECDEF and, after SECDEF review, the President and National Security Council on the strategic direction of the armed forces. A standing document changed when needed, the NMS applies to program years, 2-8 years in the future. The NMS summarizes the global strategic setting from the Joint Strategy Review (JSR). It recommends military foundations and strategic principles to support national security objectives, and provides a strategy and force levels that conform with NCA Fiscal Guidance.

Defense Planning Guidance

The Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) contains defense strategy and the guidance for key planning and programming priorities to execute that strategy. The SECDEF places responsibility and authority for program execution with the Services and other DOD components but maintains central direction. Serving this central purpose, the DPG presents the SECDEF's strategic plan for developing and employing future forces. Prepared by OSD and published by 1 October in the odd year, the DPG is a principal product of OSD planning. It reflects military advice and information recommended by the CJCS; service long-range plans and positions on policy and other matters advanced by Service Secretaries; and CINC appraisals of major issues and problems bearing on command missions. By promulgating the Defense Planning Guidance document, the Secretary of Defense increased his authority over the development of programs and budgets. However, the practice of publishing a new document annually denies DOD components needed planning stability.

Joint Planning Document

The Joint Planning Document (JPD) derives from the NMS. Prepared by the Joint Staff with the Service Chiefs and the CINCs, the document exists as seven stand-alone volumes. Each volume advises the SECDEF on requirements and programming priorities in a specific functional area. Published in September in the odd year, the JPD receives distribution in time to influence the biennial DPG.

Chairman's Program Assessment

The Chairman's Program Assessment (CPA) checks the balance and capabilities of composite force and support levels recommended by the Service POMs. It compares the recommended capabilities and levels with priorities posed by U.S. strategic plans and requirements of the CINCs. Completed about 45 days after the Services submit their POMs, the document helps the SECDEF make program decisions.

Contingency Planning Guidance

The Contingency Planning Guidance (CPG) provides guidance to the combatant commanders concerning contingencies and includes the Prioritized Regional Objectives for DoD. The secretary asserted control of the contingency planning process by providing the Contingency Planning Guidance document to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders-in-chief (CINCs) of the combatant commands. Contingency Planning Guidance. The Goldwater Nichols Act increased the Secretary of Defense's authority and responsibility in the area of contingency planning. The act provides that "[t]he Secretary of Defense, with the approval of the President and after consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shall provide annually to the Chairman written policy guidance for the preparation and review of contingency plans."

The tool used by the secretary to implement this provision of the act is the Contingency Planning Guidance (CPG). The CPG is a concise, classified document that the secretary uses to inform the chairman of general and specific strategic areas of concern to the civilian leadership for which contingency planning should be conducted. The chairman then uses this guidance to fulfill his responsibility to "[provide] for the preparation and review of contingency plans . . .," also as required by the Goldwater Nichols Act. The CPG also informs the chairman of the general requirements of the secretary, or his representatives, to review contingency plans during their development as well as upon completion.

The Joint Staff collaborates with OSD in the initial drafting of the CPG. The final draft is coordinated with the chairman before it is forwarded to the secretary for his approval and subsequent submission to the NSC for presidential approval. After the CPG is published, the Joint Staff translates the policy guidance it contains into specific planning guidance and tasks and inserts them into the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP), the document by which the chairman tasks the CINCs to develop operation plans. Using this guidance, the CINCs develop plans peculiar to their geographic or functional areas of responsibility. Even before the plans are completed, the CINCs' strategic concepts are forwarded to the CJCS for review and approval. The Secretary of Defense, or his representative, selectively reviews strategic concepts of particular interest. OSD-level review occurs again when the completed plans are submitted for approval.

The Prioritized Regional Objectives are copied from the CPG into the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. The CPG provides the CJCS written policy guidance for preparing and reviewing contingency plans. Focusing NMS and DPG guidance on contingency planning, the CPG bears directly on the JSCP. The SECDEF prepares the document annually in coordination with the Joint Staff. Then, on approval by the President, the SECDEF provides guidance to the Chairman. The CINCs use the Prioritized Regional Objectives to write their Theater Engagement Plan. Theater Engagement Planning addresses shaping the international environment to promote U.S. interests. The Theater Engagement Plan has two parts. The first is the CINC's Strategic Concept and the second is the Yearly Activity Annexes.

Through the CPG, the Secretary of Defense has inserted himself and his selected representatives squarely into the contingency planning process. He has done so in a manner that gives primacy to the policies of civilian leadership, appropriately defers the actual development of contingency plans to the uniformed military leadership, and, by involving himself early, maintains effective civilian control throughout the planning process.

In November 2001 the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) laid out a top-level blueprint for "transforming defense." The deliberate planning tools includes a document that had not traditionally been an instrument for change: the Contingency Planning Guidance (CPG). The CPG has been used for many years to focus the guidance given in the National Security Strategy (NSS) and Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) to form the principal source document for the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP). This new version of the CPG emphasizes theater-wide vice country-specific planning, a revised set of planning factors, and the integration of conventional military planning with nuclear planning and non-military instruments of national power.

President Bush signed the new Contingency Planning Guidance in August 2002. The CPG will be reassessed at least every two years and look ahead 1-3 years.

Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP)

The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) underlies the capabilities-based military advice the CJCS gives the President and SECDEF. Another standing document, the JSCP, undergoes revision as needed, receiving formal review early each even year. Covering the 2-year, near term planning period, the JSCP gives strategic guidance to the CINCs, JCS members and heads of defense agencies and apportions resources to the CINCs. It tasks the CINCs to develop major and lesser regional plans to employ the force resulting from completed program and budget actions.

Strategic Military Intelligence Review

The SIR establishes core intelligence issues of highest priority, identifies needs and gaps, and provides a common framework and substantive guidance for allocating intelligence collection and production resources.

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