Military Operations Strategy

Military Operations, Inc (MOI) — see this post — is both imaginary and real.  It behaves like an entity with a purpose even though there is no entity (defined by Merriam-Webster as, “an organization that has an identity separate from those of its members”).

MOI’s components benefit from acting together.  That’s all.  There is not even an essence hidden by a conspiracy.  MOI has no essence, is not bound together by common ownership or force, and yet it displays consistently reinforcing behavior that nourishes the life of its components just as if it did have an overall identity.

It seems that consistency of behavior could only result from an overall strategy, a comprehensive guide for action.  It’s not that way.  MOI strategy is not set by the top-down formal method of large corporate enterprises.  There is no over-arching strategy, only complementary ones for MOI’s components.  Most of those strategies are private to the individual components, especially ones that compete with each other.  Some strategic material is, however, in the public domain.  Here’s a link to one:


The author of this January 2010 presentation is Vice Director, Strategic Plans & Policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He introduced it as not necessarily the position of any part of the US government including its military leaders but we can assume it reflects their views as well as the President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and executives of our major military weapons and services suppliers.

This slide illustrates where military action may be initiated.  You can click it and magnify, but even the small version conveys the idea.  Because the Cold War is over, there is no longer a threat from Russia, and traditional wars are unlikely to be started by Europe’s initiators of past world wars, or China, India, Australia, Canada or Brazil.   That leaves only the less developed areas of the world.

Air_and_Space_MajGenMcDew [Compatibility Mode]Major General McDew termed the potentially formidable adversaries that are not in fact threats the “Functioning Core”.   All other nations are depicted as inside a “Boundary of the Non-Integrating Gap”.  That vast area includes the whole of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Southeast Asia including the entire Indonesian archipelago, and Northern and Western South America.   “Future hot spots” are highlighted in each region.

What are the implications of this view?  We may be called to action anywhere within a huge area, perhaps in several theaters simultaneously.  Action may be urgent, so we need bases throughout the area.  Substantial land forces may be required, especially in the Middle East.  We need large air reconnaissance, attack and transport capabilities.  We need a navy large enough to keep the huge oceans within the boundary safe, as a mobile base for attack wherever needed, and for large scale transport throughout the area.

Even when we are not fighting anywhere, this view implies a very large military capability of every kind deployed over a very wide area.  Terrorist threats and humanitarian crises could emerge anywhere.

This is a strategic view with benefits for every component of MOI and any US President because their power is greater in time of war.  Public support is more likely for an ongoing program of preparedness than for traditional wars like Vietnam a generation ago or Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade.   This is a strategy for war without end.

In a future post I will explore implications of this strategy for the future of the American people.

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