Concepts of Operations

A More Coherent Framework for Defense Planning

by Glenn A. Kent


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This Note establishes the utility of concepts of operations as the central feature of a more logical and coherent framework for planning. The overall framework involves six levels of activity, each of which takes place in a specific organizational setting. The activities proceed from the definition and announcement of national security policies' objectives, strategies, and commitments to the development of operational plans and deployment and employment of forces. The organizational meetings range from the National Security Council to the operational commands. The Note focuses on Levels III (formulation of operational concepts to attain specific operational capabilities) and IV (development and acquisition of systems and equipment). An appendix offers an exemplar package for Levels I and II. No new directive is required for adoption; the framework need only be used.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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