Editors: Belinda Bragg, PhD (NSI) & Hriar Cabayan, PhD (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Contributing Commands: USAFRICOM, USCYBERCOM, NORAD and USNORTHCOM, USSOCOM, USSTRATCOM
SMA Perspectives Publication Preview
The 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS) states:
The Department will advance our priorities through integrated deterrence, campaigning, and actions that build enduring advantages. Integrated deterrence entails working seamlessly across warfighting domains, theaters, the spectrum of conflict, all instruments of U.S. national power, and our network of Alliances and
partnerships. Tailored to specific circumstances, it applies a coordinated, multifaceted approach to reducing competitors’ perceptions of the net benefits of aggression relative to restraint. Integrated deterrence is enabled by combat-credible forces prepared to fight and win, as needed, and backstopped by a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent. (Austin, 2022)
The 2022 NDS explains that while the Joint Force seeks to deter aggression, it is also campaigning to counter adversary moves short of armed conflict and build enduring military advantage such that adversaries calculate war to be too risky.
In the previous SMA Perspectives volume, “Emerging Strategic & Geopolitical Challenges: Operational Implications for US Commands,” contributors from ten military commands provided overviews of the challenges they face in their respective AORs and how they plan to ameliorate the risks and maximize the opportunities that these challenges present. In particular, contributors noted the need for greater understanding of adversaries’ interests and priorities and better mechanisms for collaboration across the USG and other stakeholders.
This SMA Perspectives volume builds on these observations and focuses more tightly on how some of these Commands are thinking about campaigning in support of integrated deterrence objectives.
The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
Watch the authors speak about their chapters in a Panel Discussion from August 2023
The Joint Staff and the United States military adhere to the maxim that effective strategy formulation starts with a proper diagnosis of the environment. This is particularly true when the operational environment has high levels of interactive complexity across various domains. In these settings there are no easy choices, but we know from centuries of experience that the best plans are informed by thoughtful, disciplined exploration of ideas and diversity of thought. In pursuit of this axiom, the volumes in the SMA Perspectives Series are a concerted effort to harvest the informed opinions of leading experts but do not represent the policies or positions of the U.S. government. Our hope is that the ideas presented in this series expand the readers’ strategic horizons and inform better strategic choices.