Now that I have imagined a re-organized US homeland security into separate independent orgs, and re-imagined the Military as departments of War, Peace and the Armed Forces, it is time to look at the next logical step.
Fourth Generation Warfare is characterized partially by the rise in the use of non-kinetic over the kinetic in conflict – at least the way I think of it.
US Military power is distributed globally through the Unified Combatant Commands framework…but that is just kinetic power for most part and it isn’t integrated well with everything else (better thought –> everything else isn’t well integrated with it)
The non-kinetic is not integrated in very well.
I propose that that the Unified Combatant Commands be replaced with Unified Action Executives (UAE) that combine and coordinate all elements of US Power.
The UAE would be inter-agency, War, Peace, State, Treasury, Intelligence Community, Energy, Agriculture, etc. They would also have cultural capabilities. They could draw upon resources that were formally associated with Homeland Security especially the National Emergency Response Authority, The National Infrastructure Security Authority and the Homeland Security Support Agency.
A UAE would be headed by an Executive Director who would report to the President of the Unites States. The UAE would be appointed by the President with advice and consent of the Senate.
The UAE could be any US Citizen, including but limited to being from the armed forces or a professional service of the federal government such as the Foreign service.
I foresee these Unified Action Executives:
The responsibilities of the current Joint Forces Command would be subsumed by the new Department of the Armed Forces.
The responsibilities of the current Transportation Command would be subsumed by the new Department of the Armed Forces and perhaps partially into the Department of War.
The responsibilities of the current Strategic Command would be subsumed partially by the new Department of War (offensive state smashing and WMD offensive and deterrence capability, military space operations), partially by the NorthEx (national missile defense), and partially by GlobalEx (IT Infrastructure warfare, global information warfare and Defense, global transnational threats and opportunities, )
I am not sure what do about Special Operations Command. Certainly, the Department of War will need a Commando capability. Perhaps a large part should be there. The counter-guerrilla and extreme light infantry capability will need to exists some where. I think in the end, the Department of the Armed Forces will train and provide Special Operations type forces to consumer like the Department of War, and the Unified Action Executives. No doubt, PMC’s will and should have a role here.
US Ambassadors to counties would no longer report to the state department, they would report to the appropriate UAE.
Ambassadors to international organizations could as appropriate report directly the president (maybe for the UN), to GlobalEx, the State Department, The Department of War, The Department of Peace or other Cabinet Secretary.
Each UAE might have a n Open Source Analysis Center and a Cultural Understanding standing as needed.
I see NorthEx having the some of former homeland security functionality, plus national missile defense.
There would need to be more inter-agency education. Perhaps, sport could be added to ROTC for military governmental positions, along with more slots for the post-grad service schools.
I think the Intelligence Community should have a center associated with each UAE.
Each UAE would have separate advisory council with inter-disciplinary experts and outsiders.
TCS Daily had an article on this idea too:
“Last week’s DOD-State clash was the latest manifestation of America’s greatest failure: the inability to achieve “Unified Action.” That’s the dry, wonkish term for coordinating and synchronizing every “tool of power” America possesses to achieve a strategic goal.”
The hard truth is, America has never been good at coordinating diplomatic, information, military and economic efforts (“DIME” being the acronym).
“The Global War on Terror is a war for neighborhoods. The war will only be won by successful economic development and political evolution, supported by military and police action.”
“World War II U.S. military planning guru Gen. Albert Wedemeyer argued that we didn’t do it well in that conflict. “Our failure to use political, economic and psychological means in coordination with military operations during the war also prolonged its duration and caused the loss of many more American lives,” Wedemeyer wrote in 1958.”
Let me admit, in my early notes on this idea I just called it an Inter-Agency Executive. I swiped the term “Unified Action” from this article.
From Strategy Page:
I know, that’s quite a claim, which is why I need to translate the mil-speak: Unified Action means coordinating and synchronizing every “tool of power” America possesses to achieve a political end — like winning a global war for national survival against terrorists who hijack economically and politically fragile nations and provinces.
People understand the role of soldiers and cops in a war, but in 21st century wars where economic and political development are determinative, an arborist at the Department of Agriculture and a Commerce Department trade consultant can be powerful contributors to “Unified Action.”
Our system for “Unified Action” is still largely a Cold War, 20th century relic designed to prop up governments (so often corrupt and ill-led), instead of helping individuals and neighborhoods become economically self-sustaining and self-securing.
We are in a long, global war, where economic and political development programs must reinforce security and intelligence operations — and vice versa.
But it’s time to quit improvising. Effective “Unified Action” requires re-engineering 20th century Beltway bureaucracies — which means thoughtful, sophisticated cooperation between the executive branch and Congress.
The Democracy-Project writes:
Instead, needed is a major overhaul of agency capacities and of interagency coordination.
Instead of seeking headlines or to micromanage tactics, the Congress should be holding serious studies and hearings on how to accomplish better agency capacities and coordination. The administration should be proactive in offering concrete recommendations, and in engaging in serious consultations with the Congress. This will demonstrate whether either the White House or the Congress is serious about better waging the long war that both admit we’re in.
- Where does 5GW fit into this?
- Rename the State Department’s Foreign Service as the US Diplomatic Service
- Split the National Security Council functionality into a Grand Strategy council and more of a tactical / crisis / Current Activity group (what the NSC really acts as).
- The President should have a Deputy Chief of Staff for Grand Strategy
Updated: Barnett talks about the problem too here.
Update- Another link from Strategy Page:
The Pentagon and State collision over economic and political operations in Iraq is (at least for the moment) the most dramatic example of interagency discord. However, the Departments of Agriculture, Justice and Commerce, and virtually every other civilian agency, are at loggerheads with Defense.
A State Department spokesman said the skills “needed for the additional staff” (of 350 people) “are not skill sets in which any foreign service in the world … are proficient.” State “would provide leadership,” the spokesman added, but “most of the staffing required would involve specialists like agricultural technicians.”
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