The United States Government has a constant military presence in several countries around the world. A perfect example would be South Korea. However, no matter where the military is (physically), war is separated into 6 phases (0-5). Phase 0 is "Shaping" (or day-to-day/steady-state), Phase 1 is "Deter", Phase 2 is "Seize the Initiative", Phase 3 is "Dominate", Phase 4 is "Stabilize", and Phase 5 is "Enable Civil Authority". With the current fiscal environment steadily shrinking federal budgets, the Department of Defense finds itself taking on more responsibility beyond their typical scope of activities. This example paper goes into one possible solution to enable military leaders to better handle their new operational responsibilities in a Phase 0 environment. The paper also goes into some background on the military construct.
Developing Leaders for Phase 0 Operations
Major Todd Miller, USAF
Maj Sean Smith, USMC
MAJ James Ross, USA
Joint Forces Staff College
Joint and Combined Warfighting School
August 19, 2013
A submission to the faculty of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School in partial satisfaction of the requirements for Joint Professional Military Education Phase II. The contents of this submission reflect our writing team's original views and are not necessarily endorsed by the Joint Forces Staff College or the Department of Defense.
As the United States Government (USG) continues to tighten its budget, the Department of Defense (DOD) has, more and more, been fulfilling the role of diplomat in Phase 0 operations. In addition, military forces remain with the requirement to integrate security cooperation activities into a whole of government approach, while maintaining a balance with the primary mission of fighting and winning the nation's wars. Because of this changing fiscal environment and ever evolving mission set, the professional development of the military's leaders is as vital as ever. Our warfighters not only need to be joint in their training, but a thorough knowledge of the interagency machine is necessary. In order to facilitate this shift in education, a Goldwater-Nichols-type Act designed for our growing mission responsibility is necessary.
As we progress deeper into the 21st century, we as a nation are faced with ever-changing relations in a global climate and international community that exists across all pillars of our national powers of diplomacy, information, military, and economy, or DIME. As stated above, the United States (US) military finds itself playing a key role in this environment, especially in Phase 0, or steady state operations. This is evident in the way that our military finds itself involved in activities with other nations across the globe, with missions to build and reinforce relations as well as a serving as a means of deterrence to potential future conflicts.
Phase 0 Defined
In the continuum of military operations, Phase 0 is defined as the shaping of the environment. This process involves joint, interagency, and multinational activities conducted on an ongoing and routine basis to assure or solidify friendly relationships and alliances and/or deter potential adversaries (Joint Chiefs of Staff 2011).
Our current National Security Strategy (NSS) recognizes accelerated globalization and the opportunities it provides. This trend of globalization has the potential to increase dangers and threats. The NSS highlights that we must see beyond our current engagements and pursue a strategy of national renewal and global leadership. It also articulated that the US military will play a key role in this endeavor, but must be complemented by diplomats and other experts that can work seamlessly with other nations.
As our US national security is hinged upon the strength in our alliances, it is crucial that we focus on global/regional security priorities as well as leveraging new opportunities to advance common interests (National Security Strategy 2010). The proper balance of both military and civilian agencies using a whole of government approach in Phase 0 operations will only help to ensure these ends are met.
Steady-state operations are most often inclusive of joint and multinational operations as well as interagency activities. The intent of these operations is to deter potential adversaries while strengthening relations with our friends and allies (Joint Chiefs of Staff 2011). Contributing to enhancing our international legitimacy, these actions also help us in securing multinational support of our national strategic and strategic military objectives, which in turn aligns with the NSS and other strategic goals. Phase 0 operations look to strengthen bonds with friendly nations and deter conflict with adversarial ones. Often, these shaping actions take place through security cooperation, which is facilitated through partnered training, or other events such as humanitarian aid and bi-lateral operations. Then, the Combatant Commanders (CCDR) will formalize Phase 0 activities and tasks by including them in their Theater Campaign Plans (TCPs).
Phase 0 Concepts and Approaches
There are gains with DOD participation in the creation of interagency cooperation activities, but there should be a balance and limit of military involvement in Phase 0 activities. Rhatican notes that distinctions should be made regarding nations determining whether development or reconstruction is required in Phase 0 operations (Rhatican 2008). In the case of failed nations, special skill sets and caution may be required to intervene effectively and manage a potentially complex and costly undertaking, that may not be included in current military capabilities.
The United States Government (USG) must closely monitor these operations to ensure CCDRs do not overly influence Department of State (DOS) and civilian agency operations. Failure to do so could result in military solutions for Area of Operations (AOR) issues that might be ...
With the current fiscal environment steadily shrinking federal budgets, the Department of Defense finds itself taking on more responsibility beyond their typical scope of activities. This example paper goes into one possible solution to enable military leaders to better handle their new operational responsibilities in a Phase 0 environment.