I have some real concerns about the future of MISO under the newly released (5 January 2012) military strategy. (see http://www.defense.gov/news/Defense_Strategic_Guidance.pdf). The goal of the strategy is to protect America while optimizing the defense expenditures over the next decade. There is no argument about the complexity of the future security environment and the primary missions of the Joint Force are equally clearly stated as:
· Counter Terrorism & Irregular Warfare
· Deter and Defeat Aggression (1.5 major state conflicts)
· Project Power Despite Anti-Access/Area Denial Challenges
· Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction
· Operate Effectively in Cyberspace and Space
· Maintain a Safe, Secure and Effective Nuclear Deterrent
· Defend the Homeland and Provide Support to Civil Authorities
· Provide a Stabilizing Presence
· Conduct Stability and Counterinsurgency Operations
· Conduct Humanitarian, Disaster Relief and Other Operations
While the new strategy clearly states: “Likewise, DoD will manage the force in ways that protect its ability to regenerate capabilities that might be needed to meet future, unforeseen demands, maintaining intellectual capital and rank structure that could be called upon to expand key elements of the force.” The document goes on to say that the “active-reserve component balance” and other factors “is a key part of our decision calculus”. And “The challenges facing the United States today
and in the future will require that we continue to employ National Guard and Reserve forces.
The expected pace of operations over the next decade will be a significant driver in
determining an appropriate AC/RC mix and level of RC readiness.”
The President clearly wants to communicate to the American people that he understands tomorrow’s threats and that he and the DOD are aware of the challenges of defeating these threats while getting the best bang for the buck.
Many of the missions stated above are MISO/PSYOP heavy. Some of them, like Irregular Warfare and Cyber Operations are being executed while their supporting doctrine, legal ROE and TTP are being developed. This means that the picture of the Joint Force (JF) needed to fight and win these battles and conflicts is still emerging. It also means that the influence warrior of tomorrow will need to be pound for pound more agile and adaptable than any in history.
The restrictions placed on the force will also challenge the supply and deployability of trained and competent individuals. All of this implies that DOD must approach MISO Force Development with a view to the total competency of the force. Leveling of talent means leveling of training and other requirements. The difficult component balance challenge decisions that have been floating around for years need to be acted upon quickly or else the MISO force will be left on the wayside like yesterday’s weapons systems.
Unfortunately Congress has been historically focused on weapons and programs because they bring local jobs which bring local votes.
Somehow, the MISO/PSYOP Community at all levels needs to energize itself upward and the responsible DOD Senior Executives need to step forward quickly to bolster the funding and resourcing needed by the MISO Force expected to carry out this new strategy.